Friday, January 8, 2010

Number Neighbors

Taking a month off from math and reading wasn't our intention, but when life creeps up sometimes you have to let a few things go. So, during our Christmas break we were truly off from everything. Which means, when school stared this week I received a few blank stares, a couple of "this is boring", and my all time favorite comment, "What does this have to do with oceans!" Thankfully I speak Little Boy, and I knew that what they really meant was, "I'm confused and I don't remember how to do this." So, rather then continue to frustrate them I asked for chalk. It took some digging and a few cries of, "But Mom there might be a spider in there.." I'm not sure if they really thought there were spiders in there or if they were trying to distract me, but we located the chalk all the same. We then marched off to the only flat space of our driveway (it goes uphill) and I started writing numbers down at random. The boys were utterly confused and pretty concerned that I'd forgotten how to count. There were some giggles coming from their way too when Jayden pointed out how whacky my number line was. Thanks for that Buddy.. Once I had numbers written down from 0 - 20 I was satisfied. I wasn't pleased, but satisifed. What I really really want is one of those awesome playground/schoolyard 100 charts. Have you seen one? They are so awesome! We should really petition out council to install one at one of the various parks in town..

Next I told the boys we were going to play a going to play a new version of Number Neighbors (we play a card version of this from time to time..) and that there were a few minor rules to listen to. I told them I was going to call out a number and each of them must run to it's neighbors. They could not stand on the same number and they could not, no matter what or why, push each other. Then I started calling out numbers. We had a few tears at first because one child had been intently studying the "board" to know where numbers were. The other one hadn't considered this and was looking for order with the numbers. It frustrated him that there wasn't any. The dog decided to join us and was eventually fully chastised for barking at us while secretly eyeing the neighbors cat. Our dog has issues. He hates cats. I'm not talking dislikes and will bark at them. I'm talking hates them so bad I think he could seriously use some therapy for it!

To keep things fair we let them call out numbers while Daddy and I raced to the correct spots too. Morgan found Daddy's inability to locate the correct numbers the first time amusing while it caused Jayden to slap his own forehead. This also works for calling out even and odd numbers or having them go to any number that can be said while counting by 2's, 5's, 10's, etc.

Yes, putting them in order would have made more sense, but I wanted to challenge them a bit more. Besides, if I had put them in order I probably wouldn't have stopped at 20, but covered our driveway with 1-100. Honestly though, I'm considering picking up a chalk line to make our own nifty 100's chart out there. The boys had so much fun with this that I heard a lot of cries for, "No, we're not hungry for lunch let's keep playing!" Best part? We only had to do a review that one day and since then they've had no struggles with the number neighbors...


Morgan said...

That's a really great idea! So far I have yet to work at a school with a 100s chart, so don't feel alone in your lack of one.

Liz said...

I want one (giant 100s chart)! I was actually already contemplating a hopscotch-style numberline, but a 100s chart would be GREAT!

Kendra said...

Morgan the primary school in our neighborhood has a Snakes & Ladder (Chutes & Ladder) one and I'm debating using it while they are out.. but, I don't think it's numbered..

Liz, I actually considered getting some cheap muslin from Spotlight and making a hundreds chart for the yard with it, but my husband pointed out what a HUGE undertaking it would be.. It's still brewing in my head though! We've played hopscotch with 2's & 5's before while learning to skip count!