Sunday, 3 March 2019

Montessori Yellow Area Material

This week, we focused on Area of triangles and quadrilaterals. I used these Montessori yellow materials for the presentation, which I made using a foam sheet and a  1 cm yellow grid paper.  

I just followed the instructions given in the Geometry Album of Cultivating Dharma. Initially, we concentrated only on rectangles and squares. My little one practiced a lot of sample problems on rectangle, square and irregular shapes consist of rectangle and square. Then we moved to triangles and finally to parallelogram and trapezoid. Here are the snapshots of our presentation...

Area of Rectangle

Area of Square

Area of Triangles

Area of Parallelogram

Area of Trapezoid

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Seed Dispersal

This week, we studied about how seeds travel and the characteristics of the seeds for each type of dispersal. Our seeds collection came in handy to discuss the adaptation each seed have.

Wind Dispersal

I used Tridax and milk weed for parachute seeds, Indian elm and Tecoma stans for flutters and spinners, some Moringa seeds (drumstick), samaras of casuarina pine for helicopter seeds.

Dispersal by Explosion

These seeds were one of our favorite play things in our childhood. We used to keep these in the palm and show them in the sunlight to watch the seeds burst and scatter.


Water Dispersal

These are tamanu seeds- an example for drift seeds which I collected in the Tharangambadi (Tranquebar) beach during a visit. Drift seeds like sea beans, coconut, and tamanu seeds are adapted for long distance dispersal by water. 

Animal Dispersal - Food

This is a very common scene in our place which helped us to discuss about animal dispersal.  The bright red banyan fruits are eaten by the crows; the undigested seeds are discharged and germinated somewhere - here on a palm tree.

Animal Dispersal - Hitchhikers

Sunday, 3 February 2019

Food Chain and Food Web

We did some exciting activities on food chain and food web this week.  The first one is to make a simple food chain by putting together the animal figurines.    I placed an organism and my daughter has to extend the food chain in either direction to make a food chain or web and will get points according to the length of the chain/web. We also labeled it to learn the food chains vocabulary.

The second one is to place some animal figurines of a habitat and arrange the food web.

Here are few sample questions that I used to find out the food chain or to find out the type of organism.

We read this book again as a part of our lesson and it is one of the best books to go with the lesson.

Sunday, 27 January 2019

Study of Periodic Table of Elements

This year 2019 is the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT). When I planned to introduce the periodic table of elements, I wanted the lesson to be simple, fun, memorable, and understandable as it is important up to high school.

 We cannot learn any subject, if we do not recognize the connection that has in our daily life.  When we started the study of the periodic table, the first think I did was collecting some elements that we use in our daily life.  I started with showing the stuffs that made up of aluminum, silver, gold, and, copper which my daughter is familiar with. After showing these elements in the periodic table, we started to learn the name of other elements. 

A colorful periodic table, simple information cards, and, the elements collected - that’s all; it makes the learning of periodic table fun and hands-on.

Our lesson covered the following,
·        What are elements?
·        Elements that found in our daily life
·        Total elements found so far, and how they are arranged in the periodic table.
·        Major classifications of elements and their properties.

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Teaching Algebra using Algebraic Tiles

We have been solving a lot of puzzles like this, which we found in pinterest and face book pages and my little one likes to solve it. It really helped her in learning algebra. 
 I don’t know why we hate algebra, when the pictures are replaced by the alphabets x,y….

 I was thinking about introducing algebraic equations to my daughter and started a conversation like this,

“When I have 2 stamps you have 4,
when I have 3 stamps you have 6,
when I have 4 stamps you have 8,
and when I have 5 stamps you have 10 ….”
She interrupted, “So, I have twice the stamps as that of you
Great, if I have x number of stamps, how many will you have? Let us use ‘x’ instead of any particular number. Ok
2x” she said.
“If I have x stamps and you have 3 more than that…”
“ if you have 2 fewer than mine”
mm X-2
That’s it. Now she knows how to write pre algebraic equation.   I gave these cards which I downloaded from here to arrange the word phrases and the corresponding equations. She enjoyed it.

Once she was good at forming equations, we started a lesson on how to solve it.  I used very simple single order expressions taken from Singapore primary questions.

Algebra tiles are really helpful in the introductory stage and here are two sample problems.

The second problem

Monday, 17 December 2018

Wooden Puzzles for Visual Spatial Intelligence

Visual Spatial Reasoning is the capacity to think about objects in 3 dimensions and draw conclusions with limited information. It helps the children to imagine objects in different angles and perspectives. It is also an important skill tested in many academic and professional fields. Skills such as estimating, geometry, measurement, map-reading and simple drawing are some of the mathematics ideas behind this topic. Tangram, patterns blocks and tetris are some of the fun ways to promote this skill amongst young children.

Wooden blocks are another powerful tool to improve spatial thinking skill. You can read more about this here.

As the first level, I used our wooden blocks to construct various 3D structures and asked my little one to count the blocks from a particular distance and height. She was not allowed to come closer.

In the second level, she had to draw the top view, front view and side views for the 3D structures what I built. 

The third level is little trickier and what my little one enjoyed a lot.  I drew the top view and side views and asked her to construct the 3D structure for it.