Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Breaking Down Multiplication

We struggle with math..  from addition through.. well at the age of 11 we are on multiplication.  If we were in public school I am not sure what would have happened because I believe we are moving along at the rate that is possible.  Any faster and our time would just be a waste.  

So on multiple digit multiplication we ran into road blocks.  We use Math U See (love it) but needed more.  I started using Kahn Academy which also presented things in a slightly different manner but still, there were issues.

I tried tricky ideas that I believe came directly from God because I don't think these things up easily.  Kiddo asked, WHY do you have to CROSS over?  In ADDITION, you go up and down.  In my mind came a great idea.  Multiplication is an X.  So you CROSS over to do it.  It resonated with him.

Today we tried something new yet again.  He has mastered some parts of multiplication so I decided to make a game out of it.. video game style.  Each subset of multiplication was a 'level' and each 'level' had a Boss.  (If you don't know what a Boss is, go ask your kid.)

So here goes.. this is the initial breakdown of the first five levels.

Level 1.  You could start several places but this is where we started.

In this level there is NO regrouping/carrying.  But it does contain multiple digits.  (You can easily go back one and do no-regrouping, two digits on top and one on the bottom.)  This is where MUS started so that was my thought process.

Level 2.

In level two, you include regrouping but with just one digit on the bottom.  He got the Boss wrong and so he wrote "Game Over."  I told him we get multiple tries..  I also added in the following:

You know the show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.  This gave him some 'hints' he could use.  Also I included a "demo" button which is a feature on many video games.  He does NOT want me to teach.  He is HIGHLY resistant to it and wants to just KNOW how to do it.  This gave him an 'out' of sorts.  I intend to MAKE him use the Demo button from now on.

Mini-game level.  

At this point I recognized 1) we were about at the limit of working on 'hard stuff' and 2) We need serious drill work on the facts so I did a 'mini game.'  These are often found in video games.. games within games.  So we did a 'facts' sheet.  This was also a good exercise because it focused on the SYMBOLS.   You could do this however you want (and I have other mini-games in mind) but on this one he had to pay attention to if it was a +, - or X.   I think it helped get the brain working.

Level 3

Level three does regrouping with the units however does not include the complication of anything but a zero in the units in the lower number.  (I wonder, is there a math term for the upper and lower number in multiplication?  I am not a CERTIFIED math teacher and don't play one on TV so I do not know.)

Level 4

Level four puts a number in the units but does not include regrouping.  We are going to do this tomorrow.

Level 5

Level five has regrouping everywhere...

Of course this continues.  For example I gave him a "boss" that had a problem to the hundred's place and only units on the bottom with regrouping.  He didn't quite get that part so we will break that down even further.

etc.. etc.. etc...  I think you get the idea.  You can do this for I assume just about any math area.  And I plan to do it from now on.  Andrew has mastered how to do 'video screen talks' like in Kahn Academy although he demos how to do video games.  I think maybe I'll start my own tutoring site.  After I finish my day job.

 I will say even THIS only worked for so long.  But he was enthused about attacking math this way.

as a PS... Please note that EACH level we sometimes have worked on for a week or MORE to master.  In some cases a month or we work on it and then take a break.  I say this because this 'level game' has taken months to get to.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

No Fear

A year ago I sat outside writing this post about 'our story.'  It was a blessing to write and I still like reading it even though I have lived the story.  In the last year progress has been made, battles have been fought and won, and we move forward.

I love when God starts to bring things together from various places as if He is designing the universe just for you.  Indeed I believe He can do that.  And he has done that in many ways over the past weeks and even hours.  He loves me that much.

The topic that has been popping up in many places for me is fear.  Emily Colson talks in her book Dancing with Max about how she decided one day to no longer live in fear regarding her son Max..where to take him, what to do on a daily basis.  I have been re-reading some of that.  

And my last post was a song that has struck me deep called No Fear.

Then this morning I saw an incredible video about an mom raising an blessed special needs child.  One that many said she should have aborted.  She gave him a place in this world and did not live in fear of what others say although she is very honest about her walk through this.  

At church the pastor spoke on Mephibosheth... the grandson of Saul who had crippled feet.  In this story (which is in 2 Samuel chapter 9), David gives grace to this man who he could have destroyed.   David did not fear him even though he could have opposed him as being the grandson of Saul.  David's kindness made a difference.  He did not need to be afraid because it is all God's anyway.  The pastor asked, "what would you do if you were not afraid?"   He is our portion.  Do we give him everything?  The pastor mentioned..money, time, co-worker.. he left out the biggy espeically on this mother's day.


Can we give Him our kids?  And if so, then we have no fear.  Because He is in control.   He is our portion.  Psalm 73:26.  I memorized that one a long time ago.  I just want it to sink a big deeper in my heart.  Can we allow Him to work through them and in them in His timing and not ours?

Do I trust him THAT much?  If so, I can live in freedom knowing that He provides.. ALWAYS.

(the above is a really neat meme that is published every week.  click on it to learn more.)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

No Fear - Veronica Petrucci

I love this song.

1st Verse:
You know I gotta give this testimony
Growing up with fear was my story
Now I’m called… to share it all
Voices telling me I was worth nothing
That I never would amount to something
Not good enough… to be loved
How do u live with your head down to the ground
Don’t you know life can all be turned around
No fear, no fear, no fear
Just faith, just faith, just faith
No, I won’t be afraid
And, I will not be ashamed
No fear, no fear, no fear
Just faith, just faith, just faith
No more mountains in my way
there is a brand new day
No fear…
Destiny awaits
2nd Verse:
Being overcome by this darkness
Someone help me… I’m tired of this… Such a fight
A battle for my life
Living life so intimidated
When the wait of being elevated is sterilize
Feeling paralyzed
Filling our lives on temporary hope
Help me to fight
I must be moved
Now I know…
How to be brave
Life in the Word…
Has made me unafraid
Cause living life in fear
Is not living at all
I must be
Now I know how to be brave
Cause living life in fear
Is like nite living at all
Cause destiny awaits
No need to be afraid

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