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Author Topic: Using LIttle Math with Older Toddlers & Preschoolers  (Read 5660 times)
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« on: November 12, 2012, 02:04:06 AM »

Can your child count to 100 forwards and backwards? Can she skip count forwards and backwards by 2's, 3's, 4's, 5's & 10's? Has he memorized his addition and subtraction facts by heart?" If not, then take another look at using LM with your older toddler or preschooler. This thread is in response to another members question about keeping her preschooler interested in LM. My kids went through a phase when they didn't care for it as much. What we did was take a break for a bit and then reintroduce it with some different strategies. Here's what I suggest:

1) You can still use icons with toddlers/preschoolers to maintain interest, just take the time to customize them to their favorite characters and let them pick a new one even for every individual lesson if they want! It takes just a few seconds to change it, I just change it from the override settings on the bottom right hand side of the screen, but you can change the individual lesson if that works better for you. Ask them "What kind of math do you want today? Thomas math? Mickey Mouse?" etc.

2) Change the icon placement from "random" splatter placement to "grid" placement where everything is lined up in rows, it will make MUCH more sense to your older child.

3) You can change the background to flash random colors throughout the lesson if you like to help maintain interest as well, instead of just being plan white throughout. I believe you can change the font color, too.

4) I found at a certain point the premade curriculum was simply too long for my kids, so I followed their lead and instead we just do individual lessons. Just like LR is broken up into categories, the LM curriculum is broken up in Learn Numbers and Learn Math categories. You can show your child:

-Counting forwards and backwards to 100, either using icons and numerals depending on the day. At first we just did icons because they are more fun. If your child is skittish on the program, do not start with counting all the way to 100! Start with counting just to 10 or 20 and work your way up from there. You can use a single lesson and keep lengthening it if you like by going into the settings and increasing the range, just make sure you change how many slides to display. There is a max of 50 slides, so you'll have to break up counting to 100 at least into 2 separate files. Try to balance how often you count fwds and backwards, kids often have a weakness in subtraction because they simply count fwds far more frequently than they count backwards. (You can find all of the counting files under "Learn Numbers")

--Use the "Learn Numbers" files for Even Numbers, Odd Numbers, and Skip Counting (titled Multiples of 3, 4, 5, 10, etc)

-Under "Learn Math" you can find Math Fact Presets for addition, subtraction, multiplication, division.

5) Work your way slowly through the individual files to mastery. Watch one lesson, and then try to recreate the lesson "hands on" with manipulatives immediately following.  You can choose to go through one lesson on auto fwd and then one lesson hands on set to manual fwd. Do whatever works for you! I like to use our homemade RS inspired abacus--no mess!  (you can do a forum search on it) but use whatever your child likes. You can do just one lesson in a sitting, or two or three, follow your child's lead. If your child needs to see this material 10 times to achieve mastery, or however many, so be it! It may not be "right brain" but if you're asking this question, then maybe RB isn't working for your child right now and it's time to take a different approach.

Remember, model the behavior you want to see in your child! If you want them to count along, then YOU need to count along. If you want them to use an abacus or other manipulatives to recreate the lesson, then first take a take and let them see and build their anticipation. We do patterns a lot in our house, even for piano practice! (haha) "Mommy's turn, Lily's turn, Owen's turn, Mommy's turn, Lily's turn, Owen's turn...."

Lastly, my laptop speakers are not very loud. I used to do lessons in their highchairs in front of the big TV, but now that they sit at the table I just use my laptop. The speakers aren't very loud and if the kids are chattering at all, it's extremely difficult to hear. So I use some small plug in speakers that  raise the sound nicely to make the lessons much more effective. If you have the same problem and decide to buy some, I strongly recommend getting speakers that have a usb plug and charge automatically. Mine require batteries so I use rechargables but it's a major pain when they die in the middle of a lesson. The loudness of the speakers are a much better attention getter for math lessons (well, any lessons for that matter) than the quietness of my speakers built into my laptop.

I hope this helps some of the kiddos out there. Let me know  how it all works out for you if you decide to give it a try!

« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 02:32:25 AM by TeachingMyToddlers » Logged

Proud Momma to DD 11/28/08 & DS 12/29/09, exactly 1 year, 1 month, and 1 day apart in age. Check out my youtube channel for BrillKids Discounts and to see my early learners in action! smile
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 10:45:02 AM »

Thank you TMT.  This is a great idea.  I am going to have another go with this for my 3.5 year old.  I will let her choose the icons (princesses, pooh bear and others might be popular!).  I will call it "Princess Maths"!!  LOL

In a similar way, she is learning a lot from seeing the pattern phonics lessons for her younger brother in LR, so I'm sure this will also be very beneficial.

Also the USB speakers tip is a great idea - we are using the laptop a lot at the moment, usually at the breakfast time, and it's often difficult to hear.  This will also be very beneficial for LMs.  I found there are some really good value USB speakers on amazon UK.

« Last Edit: November 12, 2012, 10:48:47 AM by lzp11 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 11:04:22 AM »

I have been using a blue tooth speaker at Kindy because the laptop is so quiet. It has a power supply to a power point and we leave it plugged in all the time. But as the laptop is portable the plug in speaker was difficult. Consider a wireless blue tooth speaker, if your laptop doesn't have Bluetooth you can get a blue tooth USB dongle ( very small) for a few dollars. As a bonus the blue tooth speakers play my iPhone music wirelessly also ( and I can leave the phone in my bag in another room and not leave it at work!  LOL )
Great tips for LR with bigger kids. I used it to develop quantity confidence but may have a go at using it for skip counting at work.
I didn't find anything on multiplication or devision....better have another look!


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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2012, 09:33:21 PM »

Thanks for starting this thread TmT - as usual, you have shared many excellent ideas!

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« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2012, 10:30:57 PM »

Thanks, Tmt, for more great ideas!  I had already implemented some of these after talking to you earlier; but now I have more things to try!  It has really helped for us to stop doing the daily lessons and just using the numbers and learn math sections.

Since we don't have an abacus, we have been using our hallway number line to reinforce what we are doing on LM.  I made it with different markings for odd, even, 3's, 5's, and 10's.  She recognizes all of her numerals up to 100, but she doesn't have the stamina to count with me all the way yet.  She has started at least listening while I finish counting when she gets tired.  Then we go out to the number line and count it on that.  It is nice having it up where she sees it throughout the day.  As she trucks back and forth in the house, I can hear her shouting out numbers as she runs by.  She just can't slow down long enough to recognize each numeral as she passes it.  LOL   We do need to work on counting backwards though; thanks for that reminder!

One other thing that I have been doing with LM is adding and subtracting families.  I made a new folder in the learn math section and have presets with all the adding problems that add up to 1, 2, etc, up to 10; and all the subtracting problems also.  I think this is reinforcing the subitizing numbers file that Sonya_post made for LR. 

To use the number line with adding and subtracting, I made two frogs.  One frog faces left and has a minus sign on it.  The other frog faces right and has a + sign.  We always do one adding or subtracting problem; and then immediately we do the opposite problem, so she can see how they are related.  Right now we are only working on the families that we are working on subitizing.  She really enjoys hopping the frogs up and down the number line.  She has been showing a lot more interest in maths lately and I think it is because LM is making more sense to her the way we are using it now. 

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