Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stuck in a (Math) Rut

Why can't I wrap my head around Montessori Math?  It shouldn't be that hard.  Really.  But I tell myself, "I'm not a teacher by training, I'm not used to this sort of thing. "  Sometimes that makes me feel better, sometimes.

I have a manual.  It's pretty good.  It tells me what to do and when.  For some reason I am finding that its not enough.

I'm reading these posts and thinking, why don't I know more about this?!

I chose these because they either organize the primary math sequence or are referencing something from about a year ago, which is about where we should be.  We are not where we should be, probably because I'm not introducing the works correctly.

So MBT teacher organizes math into threads:

I divided the math up into what I call "threads."   My threads are:  linear counting, operations, memorization, fractions, and story problems/equation formats.  By the third year of primary the boys do 3-4 math works daily, each work from a different thread.  So, we don't get to every thread every day but we do get to every thread every week....Me Too is further behind him in the sequence.  So, on Monday he would choose counting a bead chain (linear counting.  spindle boxes, 100 board, teen boards, etc., are past works in this category), golden beads (operations), subtraction snake game (memorization).  On Tuesday Me Too might choose the subtraction finger board (memorization), counting a bead chain, and a packet of story problems.  He has not started fractions yet (he did the typical primary work, but I waited to start fraction equations until elementary).

We are even farther behind, since we are just doing the collective exercises.  But in this post, Me Too is still working on static division with the golden beads.  So, it seems like he has been doing the later collective exercises for some time.  (I don't want anyone to think I'm comparing my kids to other kids.  Its not that.  I'm just using other kids as a rough guide to figure out where I should be heading.)  

In the free Montessori By Hand album that I use it says to wait to do the Teens and Tens until we are into the collective exercises a bit.  I would not say that we are since we've only just done addition.  So I feel like I'm stuck with only the addition collective exercise.  Should I also be on some other thread?

My other big problem - setting the work up so that it can be done independently.  Shoot, I can't get him to do it with me, much less without me!

**Edited to Add**
I'm thinking of buying the Montessori R&D album  or the Keys of the Universe albumhoping one has more information than my Montessori By Hand album.  Can anyone who has any of these say if that would be helpful or not?

**Edited Again to Add**
Ok, I'm starting to get see my problem - I'm just slow :)  I am not into the collective exercises much, but Link is still ready to start the "Linear Counting" thread (or Group 3 from MBH).  First that means the Short Bead Stair.  Link was probably ready for this a long time ago, but I've been holding off because I haven't gotten far into the collective exercises (which is my fault for having a hard time presenting them.)  I got some help from MBT that should make this go better.  She left a great comment on how she does these exercises with one child.  

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