Starting first grade mathematics with the quality of numbers is brilliant. Reflecting the essence of numbers. I can’t understand why it’s not done in traditional schools. This really forms the basis of understanding what is in each number. Here below is the work of Evan done this past year and Tristan which was done in the years 2006/2007.
Each of the numbers is represented with a picture, the pictoral number, written forms in english and french, and roman number as well. Small explanation of the drawing is giving under each picture.
- 4 is the earth, earth’s four seasons, earth’s four cardinal points, earth’s four elements
- ~ Evan 2010
It may seem a little simple to start grade one mathematics this way, but with everything in life, it’s necessary to take all the steps needed in order to build a strong foundation that will support much more complex notions of later grades. Understanding what is “in” each number allows the child to develop a clear inner picture of the number rather than an abstract one.
Along with this program, I complemented their learning experience with traditional board games: chess, mancala, stratego, tangrams, cards and a series of easily constructed homemade math games from one of my favorite books called “Games for Math” by Peggy Kaye. I think it’s important to step away from too many mental math exercises and instead engage the children into hands-on pratical projects to further enhance the lessons given.