If you missed it, I wrote an overview of the Math Facts That Stick series over here, including an interview with the author, Kate Snow. I definitely love the program and was so excited to get started using it at home.
To start at the first lesson in Addition Facts That Stick, you need two sets of 8 to 10 “pieces” of something (I used small legos but you could use buttons or coins, or just about anything you have around the house) in two different colors and a penny. If you have a hard copy of the book, you will need to tear out the “ten frame” in the back of the book. If you have a digital version, you can print this out. I highly recommend laminating it so that it lasts!
I worked through the first lesson with my four year old. It’s really recommended for someone a little bit older, but he will be five in less than a month and he’s already been doing Math U See Primer and has reached the point of beginning addition, so I felt it wasn’t pushing him too much to give it a try. Plus, he really likes numbers.
The coolest part of this book series is that it’s much like other well-loved books from The Well Trained Mind Press in that it gives you a script so you know exactly what to say. I find that to be a confidence booster as the parent/teacher when you are starting something new. So we worked through the lesson, learning about how the ten frame works and then we did some sample addition problems on the ten frame. The ten frame really helps them SEE what they are adding and I really love the concept so much!
Next we play a game! For the game we need legos (or whatever you are using) and a penny. We flipped a coin and depending on how the coin landed, we got to add one or two more legos to our frame–whoever got to ten first won! I really stressed with him that we needed to SAY the math equation each time. You don’t just put two legos down, you have to SAY, “Four plus two equals six.” Obviously that is a preference and not a hard rule, but I am trying to really solidify “plus” and “equals” into his vocabulary so I required it. To make it fun, I said that if he forgot to say it, he’d lose a turn! He hates losing a turn so he was sure to do it!
As is typical in my house, a preschool level game is sure to draw in the older kids who are far too old to really need to play an addition game–but they sure wanted to! By the time I finished with the little guy, my middle child and had jumped in and eventually both the big kids had pushed the little guy out so they could play ( I wish I had gotten a picture of that!).
There are worksheets in the back of the book as well. Again, if you have the digital copy, you will need to print those. For my four year old, a whole entire page of math equations is so overwhelming. What I am doing with him at the moment is having him choose 4-5 a day that he wants to do. We aren’t going in order at all, he just chooses. When we get through the entire worksheet, we will continue with the next one in the lesson. This means it is going to take us far longer than it states at the beginning of the book to work through it all but that’s ok! He’s on the young side so we aren’t in a rush. And I want to keep math FUN for him so he continues to enjoy numbers!
I strongly recommend the series for your home school. Honestly, even if you don’t home school, it is a fun way to help boost your child’s confidence in math or keep those skills fresh over the summer. Check them out on Amazon! Multiplication and Division coming soon!