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  • justine441

Doing Sums

It has been a criticism of my work with Toby, that his counting is not secure and that maybe it will be an issue later. To some degree I agree, but in my opinion it is a concentration / eye sight / hand eye coordination issue rather an inability to count successfully. The thing with counting is that you don't stop practicing it, and my hope is that more practice will lead to improved one to one correspondence. However i see no reason to stick on counting in the meantime when Toby clearly has abilities beyond this and clearly can count correctly when the planets all align.

So today we practiced doing sums in three different ways. First we used bricks. This was by far the most challenging route. The bricks had to be counted out before we could do the sum, which wasn't particularly easy. Bricks were flying everywhere. We do need to work on making a group of X number from bricks.

Secondly, we used a numberline. This was the method that helped us discover that Toby could add up. We started by using a pen to draw lines on a numberline but today we used a finger on a numberline. This is the easiest method for us as Toby can simply take the numbers and work out the answer, and there's no bits to go flying across the table. He would be able to draw a numberline anywhere.

Finally we used Sumblox. We love using these for addition and finding missing numbers; however today we had subtraction sums which are more challenging as we had to add on bricks to find the answer which didn't feel logical. I'm going to study the Sumblox books tomorrow to see if there's an easier way. Sumblox overall are so easy that it feels like cheating though!

Last week we used an abacus which was very simple to understand and use.

All methods led to working the sums out correctly, but there was a huge difference in difficulty level.

The question is which way do you teach addition and subtraction? Stick to one method, or generalise the skill? Published Orginally on 10.5.2021

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