*A bit more of what we’ve been working on, from multiplication to the history of Thanksgiving!*

*As always, this is some of our recent work…but not all of it!*

*Mr. Scientist is 8 years old (3rd grade); Miss Adventuress is 5.5 years old (kindergarten) and Miss Braveheart is 2 years old.*

*Mr. Scientist began working on the commutative and distributive properties, using the Montessori presentations from the Keys of the Universe albums. Those albums are our Montessori curriculum, and they are AMI Montessori. I translate them as I go, before giving each presentation.*

*Mr. Scientist also began long multiplication with the large bead frame. He’s getting tired of the bead frame, so I started to show him how the algorithm works, since he now understands the process after this presentation. We’ll go on to the next Montessori materials that will allow him to work with much larger factors, but I don’t think it will be long before he isn’t using any materials at all for multiplication. He’s just not very interested in it right now, so we keep moving forward little by little. He always makes up his own problems to solve; I don’t give him worksheets or task cards with problems he must do. It’s not only better for him this way, it is in line with Montessori theory.*

*And this is the same work, after he embellished it. 🙂*

*Miss Braveheart decided to take this box of clear stones off of her shelf, and asked for a spoon and bowl to play.*

*Also, she learned to build the pink tower all by herself, completely correctly! She was so proud that she refused to take it down for the rest of the day.*

*Miss Adventuress found some Miquon math books that I had. We had begun that curriculum just before finding Montessori, so only Mr. Scientist had seen it, and he used very little of it. It uses the Cuisenaire rods, in a Math workshop format. The students discover math principles, instead of beginning with the algorithms. The theory is similar to Montessori theory, but it uses less materials. This work in the picture was very easy for her, since she already knows that 3 + 4 is 7, for example, without using the rods, but I wanted her to see how they work before continuing. She worked with the rods quite a bit that day, but hasn’t shown any interest in using them again this week.*

*She was excited about using the large bead frame. She was working on this activity (that I shared here), and needed to add some numbers. She didn’t want to use stamps or anything else, so we brought out the bead frame to try, and it went well.*

*Miss Adventuress wanted to continue with the large bead frame, so that is what we did. She wanted to add two large numbers. I did an example for her, and then she invented her own problem and solved it using the bead frame. I think she likes the bead frame because it’s a material that Mr. Scientist uses, too. She feels very big when she uses it. 🙂*

*Since Thanksgiving is coming, Mr. Scientist wanted to study its history. We took out the books we have on the subject and began to investigate. He was very interested in the village of Plymouth, and what life was like back then. I wish we could visit Plimoth Plantation, the reproduction of that village! One day. 🙂*

*Mr. Scientist decided to build a model of Plymouth village. He made this plan first. He’s worked quite a bit on his village model, and Miss Adventuress was inspired to make more houses and a chicken coop to add to the village too. I’ll share pictures of those works soon.*

*After rereading the books we have about the first Thanksgiving, I decided to do my own research. I already knew that much of what was presented in those books was myth, and I put my historical training into practice, going directly to our local university’s library. I used what I learned to write some short readings for the children, and made math activities and games to go along with them. This is the activity that reenacts the course of the disease that killed 90% of the Wampanoag tribe that lived at Patuxet, the very site where the pilgrims settled just two years later. Mr. Scientist worked on the 9 multiplication facts and subtraction beginning with a four-digit minuend. (You can find this activity here, in Spanish only for now.)*

*This is another activity, that simulates the feast after the harvest of 1621. It was immediately evident that there were far more Indians than English at that banquet…and in the reading, they learned that the Pilgrims hadn’t even invited them. Their arrival was a surprise! Miss Adventuress filled in a rectangle on the bar graph each time she rolled the die, and later analyzed her data.*

*Mr. Scientist played the game too, but he used a different recording sheet. He noted the data with tally marks, then filled in a table, and finally made his own bar graph to represent the information. Then he analyzed his data, too. (This activity is also available here, in Spanish.)*

*Here is Mr. Scientist observing our three gerbils, and noting his observations. Miss Adventuress did some observing and recording, too.*

*And here are the bells I bought, to use in place of the Montessori bells. We’re going to do the same presentations, but I have to paint them first. That way they’ll learn to match the bells of the same tone, and put them in order, etc., without using the colors to help them.*

*Until next time!*

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