This year we moved into Right Start Level B. The first several lessons had a lot of review and we moved quickly through them as they weren’t particularly challenging for Curly. The concepts she had learned in Level A had not been forgotten.
Curly enjoys Right Start. Her favorite part is the math games that are suggested in the lessons. Some of them are so simple that I wonder why I never thought of it. But I’m not creative when it comes to math and with Right Start, the games are scheduled into the lessons. I needed that. Curly also enjoys using the abacus and the other manipulatives. She just “gets it” now. I think she also enjoys the minimal worksheets. We do our math with tiles, with cards, on a white board, or with the abacus. The variety is great for her.
I enjoy the variety of Right Start too. The lessons have built in review, games, instructions for manipulatives, and detailed teacher notes. I am actually enjoying math time and Curly is too. The topics in Right Start sometimes feel random-one day you’re learning about place value and the next you’re talking about money but you’ll get back to both topics again eventually. It is more of a spiral program. I think I like that about it. If we’re struggling with a topic, I know that a new topic is coming soon and we’ll get a nice little break.
So, what does a lesson look like?
Lesson 28 is about Thousands and Patterning.
The lessons are divided into several sections: objectives, materials, warm-ups, review, and activities. Some also have worksheets or game suggestions.
For our Warm-Ups we played the Comes Before game with days of the week. I say a day of the week and Curly names the day that comes before that one. We also do this with numbers. It is helping her tremendously with subtraction.
We played another version of the Comes After game in which Curly named the next several numbers that came after the number I named. We did this with numbers in the tens and hundreds. We also did the game with skip counting-I would start counting by twos, fives, tens, or hundreds and Curly would have to continue the pattern.
Lastly, I showed her the bead cards and asked her to quickly identify what number was shown by the beads.
For our Review, I had Curly enter 10 and 100 on the abacus and name each. We discussed how the number 10 is actually ten 1’s and how 100 is actually ten 10’s.
For the Activity, I introduced the concept of thousands. We used the abacus tiles which each represent one abacus. I stacked 10 of them and asked her what number was represented. She correctly responded that there were ten 100’s shown. I then told her that ten 100’s had a different name-one thousand. We talked about how many tiles we would need to represent 2000 or 4000.
Next, we used the place value cards and talked about how the number 1000 is written. We looked at the other numbers in the thousands and discussed how many tiles we would need to represent them. Then I had Curly compare 1000 to 100 and notice the difference in zeroes. I laid out the hundreds and thousands and called out numbers, asking Curly to correctly identify which number I was naming.
Then we used the white board to practice writing numbers. I gave Curly numbers in the thousands and hundreds and had her write each number.
We also did some word problems, adding numbers in the thousands. Curly was excited to notice that adding 2000 plus 3000 was no different than adding 2 plus 3. She was quickly able to do simple addition in her head with numbers in the thousands and hundreds.
The last part of the lesson focused on patterns. We pulled out the colored tiles and I built patterns. I taught Curly how patterns were named (ab or abb or abc, etc.). We practiced building and naming patterns. I built patterns and had Curly copy and name them. Then she made patterns for me to copy and name.
So, that’s what a math lesson looks like at our house. Curly is really retaining the information and moving forward quickly. I supplement our Right Start lessons with Math Mammoth so Curly can have more facts practice and we also use Math Enhancement Programme because Curly enjoys the challenging problems and the way it encourages her to think outside the box. So, we have a blend of math programs at our house, but Right Start is really our spine and it’s what has helped Curly understand and visualize the math problems.