|Use a block you know to count to a number you don't know. It's fun to use your new skills right away.|
First graders still know how to play and have fun. They could help you if you let them. Relax. You have time. Let them goof around...of course there needs to be some discipline but don't get so caught up in the lesson or the idea that this is math time I have to teach them xyz. Good for you for being conscientious and relax: playing is learning. All you have to do is provide a little structure and direction.
"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance." ~Franklin P. Jones
Pretending you have x-ray vision is fun.
Be playful, have fun with your math instruction all the way through high school. People are always amazed when I say I make math fun...amazed might not be the right word incredulous might be a better word. They can't imagine math being fun...or even using math and fun in the same sentence. "Here have a worksheet instead." That's because they had a bad experience...I, myself, have shed a few tears over the mathematics. Then I found out it doesn't have to be that way. Break the cycle of math violence in your household! Have fun with your kids playing math, dammit! Use your weapons of math instruction for instruction not destruction (although at older ages you might want to do some analysis and deconstruction).
"Man is most nearly himself when he achieves the seriousness of a child at play." ~Heraclitus
The patterns of multiplication are easy to discover and hear. I can't stress enough multiplication is the major milestone in the beginning of a child's math career. Needs to be made as painless as possible. And as the case with all languages it is better if it is taught EARLY rather than later. Sing songs, watch vids play games learn multiplication...you may find that it allows students to practice their addends and addition...because that's all multiplication is, it's counting quickly.
They're just playing with blocks they said. Manipulatives aren't particularly productive they said. Sure, I said.
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And here is the House Of Math if you stumbled onto this post by accident and you are new around here. Soon this kid will have his own page and it will be password protected; you may eventually want to get a password.
Update: He now has his own page, you'll find this post and more vids you won't find anywhere else at CRHOM. This snippet was made from a much higher quality vid using screencasting the vid at my website has better audio and video.
"Almost all creativity involves purposeful play." ~Abraham Maslow American psychologist 1908-1970
"Whoever wants to understand much must play much." ~Gottfried Benn German physician 1886-1956
"Play gives children a chance to practice what they are learning." ~Fred Rogers American television personality 1928-2003
"People tend to forget that play is serious." ~David Hockney Contemporary British painter
"Do not…keep children to their studies by compulsion but by play." ~Plato Greek philosopher 427-347 BCE
"Necessity may be the mother of invention, but play is certainly the father." ~Roger von Oech Contemporary American creativity guru
"We didn't do anything dad, we just played with blocks." ~My favorite quote from a little girl who went from "F" to "A".