Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Let's Learn About the Number Four - Composing

(4 Years)

Little Miss and Wild One love using dot markers.  Therefore, whenever I can tailor an activity to include dot markers I do, because I know I'll definitely get them to want to work on whatever I've planned.  This morning one of our activities, besides Soak the Sight Words (again!), was working on composing the number four out of unifix cubes and then filling our work in using dot markers.  My inspiration for this activity is from Playful Directions, I found her on - well, you know where.

I modeled how to complete this activity with the number three.
We took turns pointing to the top of the page, the tally marks, the number in word form, in number form, and in dots (subitizing).  I modeled the different ways we can make three with two sets of cubes (they chose black and green).  We removed each cube, and used the same color dot marker to make a dot that represents each cube.  That's when Little Miss noticed a pattern.  Next to each row, we wrote the corresponding equation.  Little Miss then took over and began explaining how I should write the remaining equations.  

Before we began working on making the number four, the kids put the cubes back together in columns of ten.  Wild One counted each cube to make sure he had ten linked together.  Little Miss borrowed her brother's set of ten and measured it against her set to determine if she had the correct amount.
Together they discovered that they were missing just one cube.

Did you notice that Little Miss completed the left side of her sheet first?

 Little Miss wasn't done straightening her cubes when I snapped the picture.

She then removed one set of cubes at a time, and added the correct color dot marker to her sheet.

I think next time, we work on composing numbers I'll use two different objects instead of the same object in different colors.  When we discussed that 3 black cubes + 1 red cube = 4 cubes, and 3 red cubes + 1 black cube = 4 cubes, she said, "It's the same 3 + 1 = 4, why did we do it two times?"  If we use bears and cars, I think it may be easier to understand that the colors represent two different groups that we are adding together.  

What a busy morning!  Picnic breakfast, three rounds of Soak the Sight Words, swim lessons, imaginative play in the pool, read several books, worked on composing numbers three and four, and lunch.  Whew I'm wiped out!  Little Miss went straight to sleep during nap time.  Wild One decided he wasn't tired- even though he has dark circles.  He ran to the couch with a Cat in the Hat, Learning Library book and began "reading".  So cute!  

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