My Owen has been enamored with numbers from the time he was teeny. He’s got a brain for numbers, he’s got a thing number puzzles, and he’s got a way of looking at numbers that I cannot understand.
But I do understand that though his math skeeeels will far surpass mine most likely by the time he’s in ninth grade, that I can help him now by building some early foundational skills–his number writing and number-word spelling.
Seriously, it’s not all that fun (in my opinion), but he digs it, so we run with it.
And really, Maddy’s homework time is much more manageable when Owen and Cora are happy campers.
So we upped the fun factor for Owen this week, by playing with numbers and their names. And we rocked it out M-E-M-O-R-Y style, which makes everything more fun! Woo-hoo!
- Playing With Numbers and Names: I knew this was coming–for weeks now (okay, months) I’ve meant to create number number word matching cards, but I’ve never stopped to do it. So finally when Owen asked me for the sixtieth time how to spell ‘five’, I knew it was time.
So I created several sets of cards in one happy document. Numbers and Number Words 1-10, Numbers and Number Words 11-20, and Numbers and Number Words, by 10’s from 10-100. We only used 1-10 today.
Number and Number Words is here to download as a pdf if you’d like. (And I’m trying out Scribd, so let me know what you think!).
Once we got Maddy settled with her work and Cora with hers, I said to Owen, Okay, big man, meet me on the carpet. We’re going to rock it out with some number games today.
And he like skidded/slid/jumped onto the carpet (no joke).
I said, I know you love numbers, so we’re going to do some number matching today–matching between the numeral, or the number we write, and the word for that number. Okay? Like here I have a ‘0’ and I want to match the word ‘zero’ to the number ‘0’. Get me?
Yes, I get you. I know. I know. (As he’s rummaging through the pile and trying to throw the numbers next to the correct word.) I can do this.
Now it’s time for Number-Word MEMORY!
And before I knew it, the numbers and words were matched up. Woot!
Great. You’ve seen the numbers matched to their words. Now let’s match them up Memory-style!
He immediately started flipping and mixing, and I laid the cards out in rows.
We shook hands, gave each other a ‘good luck’ like we always pre-game, and we got rolling. He found the first match, and he said, Mommy, we’re keeping score. Every number we find is how many points we get. Let’s see who wins, okay?
Okay, then. Sure, O.
Any reason to get the big man to write his numbers, I was happy. So sure. We’ll keep score for number Memory.
So we did.
And of course he won because my brain is mush and I stink at Memory, but that’s fine. He added as we went along, writing the score in the margin.
Sure. We’ll keep score in Number Memory–I love it!
And he matches them again so he can write the words.
In order to buy a little more work time for him, I asked him to match the numbers and the words again and then write them himself. He gave me a little grief–he wasn’t too keen on writing ‘all. those. numbers. and. words.‘
So I said, Hey, listen, there’s tons of cool places you can write your numbers and words–you don’t have to do it on plain paper. Do it on a white board. Do it on a piece of roll paper. Do it with crazy markers. Do it with watercolors. You decide. If you need help, tell me, but otherwise, I’m looking forward to seeing your big guy numbers and number words.
And in the end, he was proud. It took two small white boards, and several attempts at tricky #5, but he did it. And we danced a little happy jig and went on with our day.
My plan is to use 11-20 in the next few days, either with Go Fish! or some sort of something and then the 10’s the next week (or week after). Owen will be happy!
It’s not always that easy. I give these guys lots of love for their hard ‘homework time’ work–stickers, hugs, and genuine, meaningful praise when praise is due.
And if Owen wants to use a Game Time ticket in the afternoon, it has to be after we do our work. Plain and simple. But the biggest key to our homework time success is repetition. We do the same thing every single day, without fail. We walk home from school after playing for a bit at the park. We have a snack. We head over to the craft room for homework time. And we all work. Not for long–maybe 20 minutes max–unless they’re really rolling with something.
Sometimes I totally strike out on what I have planned for Owen and Cora, but it’s always some sort of small activity–and obviously some days are easier than others.
So that’s that. A happy Owen, and a happy mom. And lots of practice with numbers, word recognition, and writing. Yeee-ha!