Here you will see students as young as 4 and 5 years old doing algebra and "advanced" math, without ever knowing it's supposed to be hard.
You are invited to learn how to use this method...

## Tuesday, February 1, 2011

### Base Ten Blocks and Playdoh

Math Rich Environment II

Playing IS learning. Play with the stuff they like to play with...in this case playdoh and manipulatives.

This screen cast got over 150 hits in a day, I'm pretty sure people were amazed by their ability to multiply more than the dough...but you never know with the internet.

Share it.

Basically, we played and had fun first and learned math concepts second. This play session lasted around two hours. Note the complete lack of symbols in our play. We just talked about the concepts the symbols will come later.

Here you see us playing with addends and subtraction. A lot is going on here...you see hero zero wearing his five disguise at the top, first it was a ten then we made addends for ten below it then the 4 year old showed me ten take away one in no uncertain terms...

Here we see an addend for seven and a couple of cut outs.
Playing with ten and addends for numbers larger than ten.
Here you can see how the boys lined them up and pressed them in...
Talk about making impressions here we see 6+4 reall is the same as 7+3 and they are the both the same as 10.
So what if they don't line up perfectly they still "get it", at this age the emphasis is on playing and fun. You can't play "wrong."
Cut outs for one I don't talk much about it on the screencast and you don't see it here much either but we did all kinds of math with the cut outs...mostly adding and subtraction and smooshing together...
Then we started playing fractions, under my direction...it's play but it's directed play.
"Why don't we...?" What if we...?"  "What would happen if...?" "Can you make a square and cut it up...?"
Looks like an American cheese single...and right there I got about 100 ideas for lessons with a pack of cheese singles...eat your math lessons that will get them subtracting assuming you like eating processed American mucus forming chemically enhanced for optimum flavor cheese. I wonder if I could get Kraft as a sponsor?  Anyway, I can see lots of lessons that could be done with cheese singles...
Here we talked about one whole...then because it was yellow we cut it into a 4x4 square using the 4 block as a guide. First we cut it in half, then we cut each half in two to get quarters then we cut the other way and we talked about equivalent fractions...1/4 = 2/8 and they could see it...and then we cut those into halves and you get what you see here.
This gave us a good chance to practice counting by fours and to see 4/16,  (also see a relationship of 1 to 3, 1:3, but we did not talk about it at all, I mention it here because it's so blatantly obvious we could show equivalent fractions "the other way."  Keep it simple and fun and don't try to stuff too much info in there at a time. Older kids and adults might be ready to make the switches between the two but with the toddlers I made sure it was a coherent lesson with no jumps in perception. It's one square with a strip colored in as opposed to two rectangles, one over the other to show ratio and equivalent fractions of 1/3 that way.) This one square teaches a lot of math as it is.
Bigger is funner.  Here we put together a six by six square and talked about fractions as we did it...can you see how fractions and multiplication go hand in hand, and that you can teach multiplication with fractions?
The older boy wants in on the action since he did such a good job of counting by 6s.
However the younger boy would like it known that it was he who did all the work.
Since it was all cut up already I used a six to show one out of six or 1/6th. and that was the same as 6 out of 36. 1/6 = 6/36 again they didn't see any symbols and we didn't do any writing during this session.
Here is 1/36. Just for fun.
Here is 6/36 and again I see a ratio lesson here of 5 to 1, but we didn't do it.
Then we made it smaller and talked about fifths.  Each blue block is one of five or 1/5.
Which is the same ans 2/10ths.
It was fun rolling out the skinny lines and making stuff with them. I missed taking pictures of using them on that yellow flat to show other fractions and fractions concepts.
Then after we had played enough with these concepts crunch it all together and start all over again.
"What should we do next? " four year old.
"I dunno," I said. "Let's just PLAY." (And see what happens.)

Here is a screencast where the boys help me tell the story. Caution they may blow your mind with their ability to count.

Outages on Youtube and Screencast0Matic have been common lately.  I put screencasts here for all my teacher friends who have YouTube blocked at skool.  If you can't watch on one hopefully you can watch the other.

The screencast is titled "Crewton Ramone Play W/Clay Learn Math" on both YouTube and Screencastomatc. Last I checked it had 159 hits on screencastomatic alone and it's only been up since yesterday...please hit the like buttons and rate and share it where ever you watch it. People email and ask if they can use my vids and screencasts for various thing. The answer is YES, BY ALL MEANS GO AHEAD. Just don't try and sell them and try and put a link back to this blog or my website.

Vid won't play? Try this link: https://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cXVwcalGn

Here are a couple of posts where they play and learn math:
Math Rich Environment

Four year old math enrichment.

And just so you don't forget, you teach toddlers algebra right along with fractions and multiplication.