Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Much More Interesting Day

Ok, so I had to make up for my incredible laziness as a parent yesterday. Shawn woke up with Bridget, while I slept in for an extra half hour or 45 minutes. That was nice. Though I did hear Bridget ask Shawn where her iPod and headphones were. He said he put them away for awhile. She did some whining, but got over it quickly.

When I got up, Bridget wanted to read books. So we read a few together. A cute story stemmed from our reading Chicka Chicka 1, 2, 3. Now, although I teach math, I prefer the story behind Chicka Chicka A, B, C. If you're not familiar with the Bill Martin Jr./John Archambault stories, in A, B, C, the lower case letters march one by one up the coconut tree. When z makes his way to the top, the weight of all the letters knocks everyone out of the tree and the upper case letters come and rescue their little ones. It's cute. In 1, 2, 3 the story doesn't make any sense. The numbers 1 through 20 climb up the apple tree one by one, all the while zero is crying "chicka chicka 1, 2, 3, will there be a place for me?" Then after 20 climbs up, 30-40-50, etc. climbs up. What about 21? or 35? Where'd they go? So 90 climbs up, then for some reason 99 gets to climb up, and triggers an attack from some bumblebees. All the numbers tumble out of the apple tree, and the story "counts" backwards from 99, skipping numbers as they wish. Then I don't get it at all...after all the numbers tumble out of the tree except for 10 for some reason, the whiny zero hops up the tree and joins with 10 and makes 100. Apparently all zero is good for is to turn a ten into a one-hundred, because zero proudly exclaims, "Here's the place that's just for me!" All the other numbers gather around the apple tree proclaiming zero as the hero of the number tree.  Strange! I don't get it at all! Maybe zero chased away the bumblebees in the process, the illustrations show bees flying away as zero climbs up, but I still don't get it!

Anyway, that's not the story. Here it goes...On the first and last pages of the books are the numbers from 1-20 and 1-100. So Bridget and I were practicing counting. She can count from 1-13 just fine, but then skips to 16, so the math teacher in me was showing her how 1-4 makes FOURteen and 1-5 makes FIFteen and so on. She really got that. So I let her read the numbers on her own and she did great. 1-13 was perfect as usual, she got 14, 15, 16 as well, then it fell apart from 17-19. She just said "one-seven, one-eight, one-nine". Ok, so that needs more work. I figured we'd try the twenties, since they're a bit easier to read. She picked up on that in no time at all. "twenty, twenty-one, twenty-two," etc.  and we stopped at 30. Awhile later, Bridget was playing on her own with magnet numbers on a lap desk, and she was making different numbers, and reciting the numbers she had made. I wasn't really paying attention to her, but my ears perked up with I heard her say "two-teen". I looked over and she had 12 displayed on her desk. I was quite impressed because I never mentioned two-teen, in fact I stressed twelve and thirteen and fifteen were "tough" numbers because they sound funny. So I let her go, and sure enough, the next number she displayed on her desk was 13 or "three-teen". Not bad! After that, I explained that there is no "two-teen" it's pronounced twelve and three-teen is really thirteen. We'll try counting later today to see if she remembers this. 

As we approach mandatory "rest time" here's what else Bridget has done to make up for the lack of activity yesterday...She played with me and her doll house. We read even more books. We began a Christmas arts and crafts project in which she had to glue things together and help me cut out shapes. Finally, she played in the basement while Shawn played Rock Band. 

After rest time, Bridget and I drew pictures in a notebook and practiced writing her name. She can make a decent B, I, D and E, but the rest of her letters need lots of help. She also doesn't get that she needs to write things from left to right in order for it to make sense when we read it. She'll just write her letters where ever there's room on the paper.  And that's fine. She's doing very well for her age. Since she loves to read books, I have been trying to teach her how to sound out simple 2 and 3 letter words.  Today we tried some so-called "sight words". I showed her the words I, a, to, in, of, and, the and or and then I'd say the word and she'd repeat it. After doing that for awhile, we took one of her books and found those words in the book and I asked her what words they were. She got a few of the words correct.  I figure with 3 kids on the way and several months off of work, I better take advantage of this time with Bridget to teach her all that I can. She likes it too. It's not like I'm forcing her to sit at the table and drilling her with words, letters and numbers. These lessons come up very naturally. Like today, she wanted to draw in her notebook. I wrote her name, and then she wanted to write her name by herself. Shawn is the same way with her. Only difference is that Shawn teaches her things like how a car works, what a construction zone is, or what all the things on a fire truck are. He's also much better at teaching her what new words mean using words she already knows. 

Well, not much happened after that. We had dinner. Bridget took a bath. Bridget got cranky. Bridget went to sleep. 


AM said...

That is really cute that Bridget was calling it "two-teen," but I think she is grasping number sense incredibly early & she will be amazing at math.

Arlene said...

I hope so! Thanks!