Engaging with Numbers

Math is rich with patterns and logic.

Galileo understood and said: “The universe cannot be read until we have learned the language and become familiar with the characters in which it is written. It is written in mathematical language, and the words are triangles, circles and other geometrical figures. Without numbers it is humanly impossible to comprehend a single word and we are wandering about in a dark labyrinth.”

Together with my students we have continuously revised our basic number line and graphs through careful listening, watching and exploring.

We initially used the standard odd/even 1, 2,3, etc.  – which is insufficient! We needed leading zeros to assist with comprehending place value.

We now begin with 001 on our first day of school and progress to 176 as each school day arrives. The Friend of the Day chooses how we count. We quickly become familiar with the symbols you can see on the number line – like the Fibonacci spiral numbers, Prime numbers, and integer Square Roots. Students easily skip count by twos, threes, fours, fives, sixes, sevens, eights, nines, tens, elevens and twelves by the end of the year.

Of course we also have various number graphs, number fans, change coins, interactive place value pockets, calculators, cubes and chain links for each day in school. Because the children are in charge of these counting possibilities they are completely engaged. Sometimes math goes on for an hour at their request! No complaints!

We can also count in ASL, in Spanish and in Japanese every day! No wonder it can take an hour!

Because we learn the also Elements of the Periodic Table they are on our number line. Some students love to look up the Element on their day.

Please enjoy the following video –

Five year old William is Friend of the Day.

We have a special math unit in Base 004 called Handies. I’ll share about Handies soon!