Missing blogger finds visuals

Hello! Oh, didn’t mean to startle you, I know I’ve been a “missing blogger” for quite a while now!

It seems my life sped up, blind folded me, spun me around and let me go dizzy there for a bit. (Can you see that picture!?) We have been very busy and yet somewhat lazy in some regards here at our home lately. I have much to catch up on in posts and look forward to filling you in on quick meal fixes we’ve enjoyed, a field trip to Mt. Vernon, career search challenges, spiritual growth, home care,  homeschool ideas and wonderings, and just plain old life. I am working to set aside time each day to prepare a post or two so that on days that I am just not going to make it to the computer… yes.. I DO have those days!… I will be able to share something that I’ve prepared but not yet published. :0)

One thing I will share now. I recently saw a “neighbor” that I had met 6 months ago for the first time in those 6 months! NY winters are about 6 months so this isn’t completely strange, but the children and I wish it wasn’t so hard to keep in touch and develop new friends in the cold, dark months. Anyway, she is moving in 2 months to California! Of course she is! As we were chatting she mentioned that her son was frustrating her the other night with his math homework and just didn’t seem to get it. She said how much she respects my ability to homeshool and tolerate learning curves. I was thankful for the compliment but later that night also thought that this is just another reason that I love homeschooling! Yes, there have been moments in our days where I wonder what language I need to say something in for them to “get it” because I feel like I’ve said it 200 times! However, usually in those moments I have the upper hand as a home school teacher because I know what and how my students have already been taught and if repetition isn’t working, than usually a visual is needed. (or just a 15 minute break!)

So the issue they were having was adding fractions and he just didn’t understand that the denominator stayed the same… repetition of the fact didn’t matter, he just asked why she kept saying it! So the work was turned in as is and I’m not sure he really got it yet. I was one of those students that had a hard time grasping math concepts too, and if we miss early concepts, it just gets harder! Here’s my solution to this visual need… When adding common denominators the denominator stays the same, the visual kinesthetic learner needs to see why this is in a tactile way. (Like me)

So lets say we need to add 2/8 + 3/8

I used a muffin pan and cut up paper towels for the common denominator. We have lots of Legos here so I had the kids get 3 of one color and two of another, they each get sat on the common denominator… so how many 8ths do we have filled up? The answer is 5/8. This can be done with subtraction too, they just need to start with the 5/8 and take away the 3/8 to get 2/8.

I know it’s a simple visual, but when you feel like you are banging your head on a brick wall trying to explain why math does what it does, sometimes the simple eludes us.

That’s all for now folks! More to come… really! 😉

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