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Math 101

Age 5-7

Wednesdays, 9:45-10:30am, Shove Park in Camillus, NY

(Age 3-4 will do Montessori-style learning. Age 8+ welcome to form additional class or work together)

Please bring pencils, an eraser, a binder, and a bag to keep it in. 

Strongly recommend to bring foot stool and tall sturdy pillow to create proper set up on picnic tables.  Feet should be flat, torso high enough for shoulder to be above hand while writing.  Please select a nice, big book (spiral art notebook 8.5x11 works well) to keep a research journal of drawings and written notes of independent research on our class topics.

Other materials will be provided.

A sticker chart will be updated weekly: 1 for class attendance, 1 for required homework (kept track of on a chart), 1 for bonus homework.  We will pick a group goal to achieve together, and parents may pick an individual goal to reward at home.

The core 45 min is a math class divided into three sections: silent written work; skip counting and adding/subtracting; graphing and science topics.

Afterward, 15 minutes will be added for each student to share their favorite page from their Research Journal.  Another 15 minutes will be reserved for a game each week, adding to a total of 1 hr 15 min.  From 11-11:45 students will be encouraged to stay and play checkers or chess, then do a little sports and eat lunch.  All this is optional.

Periodic table memory work is not required.  However, these basics are required to understand biology and will be very interesting to children.  For example, Oxygen in air, Carbon in everything; put a Helium balloon in the car and it will go the reverse direction expected when starting or stopping; Krypton, Arseneic; get some Tin, Silicon, Lead, Iron, Gold, Platinum, Nickel, Copper to compare, smell some chlorine and sulphur; eat some Sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium; just learn some interesting things and journal about how the molecules and substances look, the history of how they were discovered, really anything that seems memorable. The goal is exposure and familiarity.  We do it by group (number of electrons), but then skip the middle to spend more time on the more common ones at the end.

We will look at biology a bit too, relating to the numbers.  You can expand on this in your Journal.

I still need to create and give out the semester-long recording for daily listening, which will be around 30 min long.  It will include the skip counting songs from CC, periodic table elements and CC songs for that, and any adding, subtracting, and counting up and down things I can find/create.  The goal is passive learning - it is extensively used in cultures that have the highest math achievement.

One caveat: My classes are designed to be enjoyed at different levels of commitment.  Simply attending the class and doing no homework will still result in students learning.  However, please evaluate your willingness to fully participate in the class and consider starting out doing all the homework.  The second semester will build upon the first.

Here is a very rough outline of our class plan, to be edited later!


1) Sept 1: Introduction

15 min: Worksheets, in silence
15 min:
-skip counting 1-10 & 20 & 25 & 100 using pylons, money, clock, up and down.  Write down answers. Create number line on snake toy
-adding & subtracting objects: jars of stars, pom poms, create bead counters. Write down answers.
15 min: snap card game. ball in net adding game

homework: play snap card game (or other more advanced game) daily at home.  Skip count through all the numbers daily.  Create add/subtract problems daily using objects & writing it down to show class next week.  Use new bead counters daily, writing down created problems.  Memorize skip counting by 2s for next class.  Think about what the big group prize should be if homework goals are achieved.

optional homework: learn about periodic table group 1 (H, Li Na, K, Rb, Cs, Fr). Draw diagrams and write notes to describe and explain.

2) Sept 8: Two

15 min: Worksheets, in silence

15 min: skip count 2s on the ground, walking fingers on the numbers on paper, using toothpicks (ie two points) / create snake number line with positive, zero, and negative numbers / add & subtract by 1s and 2s using number line/ anatomy 1&2 (obvious body parts but also inner functioning) / nature - lines & connections.  Divide ONE in half to create TWO.  Show harmonics on violin string, halfway along.

15 min: find objects in nature representing the number 2, explaining to the class. Draw them. Measure and label the drawings, labeling height and width in inches and cm.  Combine 2 colors to make a third.

extra 15 min: share from Research Journal about Group 1 elements

extra 15 min: review Snap. play Uno

homework: play Uno (or other) daily. Skip count through all the numbers daily.  Create add/subtract problems with 2s daily using objects and write down to show class.  Bead counters.  Memorize skip counting by 3rs for next lesson

extra homework: Periodic Table group 2 (Be, Mg, Ca, Sr, Ba, Ra). Remember they all have two electrons.  Ionic bond

3) Sept 15: Three

15 min: skip count 2s (review) then 3s.  Life-size number line (-0+) to jump the skip countings then draw it out and walk fingers on the skip counting, then write them out

15 min: build triangles with toothpicks & plasticene / draw 3-D stick on graph paper, two becomes three / draw equilateral, isosceles, scalene using a ruler.  add/subtract 3s using number line

15 min: molecules with three atoms: water (H20), ozone (03), neutron-proton-electron

extra 15 min: share Research Journal

extra 15 min: review Uno, learn Snakes and Ladders

homework: play Snakes and Ladders (try 2 dice to practice adding the numbers). Skip count through all the numbers daily.  Create add/subtract problems with 3s.  Bead counters. Memorize skip counting by 4s for next lesson

extra homework: Periodic Table group 3 (Sc, Y, Lanthanide series, Actinide series). Triangles in architecture, molecular biology, 3s in mythology, history, structure of stories and music.

4) Sept 22: Four

-review 3s and 2s skip counting. Walk, finger walk, draw 4s skip counting.  Add/subtract 4s

-create square with toothpicks, graph it using ruler.  trapezoids. parallelograms.

-4th dimension is time, history of the square

extra 15 min: share Research Journal

extra 15 min: review Snakes and Ladders, learn checkers

homework: play checkers. learn skip counting by 5s - tell children they will get to keep the nickels next week they can count, up to 10 nickels.  I DO NOT WANT ANY CRYING CHILDREN NEXT WEEK. 

extra homework: Periodic Table group 4 (Ti, Zr, Hf, Rf)

5) Sept 29: Five

-review 4s, 3s, 2s skip counting using a ball to throw to each other.  Skip count 5s with our fingers and toes first, then nickels. Kids who can do it up to 50 can keep the nickels.  *If your child has not learned to do 5s yet, he or she can try again next week* Students are only allowed to do 5s if they have already learned prior 4s, 3s, 2s.  Add/subtract 5s, how many ways can you connect 5 dots? History of star shape with five points.  5s in nature.

extra 15 min: share research journal

extra 15 min: play checkers

homework: play checkers, skip counting 2s-5s, create add/sub 5 problems, bead counters. Memorize skip counting 6s.

extra homework: Periodic Table Group 6-13, pick favorites.

article on history of star shape, more to come

6) Oct 6(!): Six

-same basics as usual, including review

6s in biology Architecture. Beehives, carbon. Saturn, dragon fly eyes, snowflakes, turtles. Bolts, why do hexagons work best,

-soccer ball - 20 hexagons, 12 pentagons.

"6 of one, half-dozen of another"

1/2 foot, measuring

6 as half of 12

7) Oct 13: Seven

8) Oct 20: Eight

9) Oct 27: Nine

10) Nov 3:  metric system


11-15) Nov 10, 17, 24, Dec 1, Dec 8

5 lessons- review two numbers per class. Add in 10s, 100s, 1000s for each number.  Review corresponding elements.  Some students may enjoy starting to multiply by this point.

We can incorporate new ways of using the review: start using fractions for each number (use counters for fractions instead of 2+3=5, 2/5 + 3/5 = 5/5.  experiments mixing colored water with different proportions. Create pipe cleaner counters to add the numbers WITHIN each number. Old fashioned weigh scale- add & sub from either side to create equal numbers. Measuring sticks rulers to measure specific objects bigger or smaller than each other.  Time with stop watches balls rolling different distances down a ramp or kids running specific distances. Do graphing each class & drawing the shapes. make pictures & diagrams of the shapes.  filling containers, surveys ie 2/5, cutting up snacks & food, knots in ropes, strings with harmonics, (recorders/tubes to blow into), INCLUDE 0 THROUGHOUT. Hopscotch for skip counting. Shooting/aiming closer or father from target. 
—-> semester-long CD daily listening


16) Dec 15 evaluation, review, celebration, preview of next semester

—— sem 2 ——
Jan-June (6 months)
-abacus sheets together (complex adding and subtracting)
-learn multiplication & div for each number in the same way as +/-
  (Takes Jan Feb 1/2 March)
  -continue abacus work over holidays-

April - negative numbers & review
May & June - equations

This semester will review the elements, but focus on logic puzzles and games.

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