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After weeks without much interest in maths, there seems to be a lot happening here this week! There has been lots of creating with patterns, counting, reading the time, weighing, and using the stopwatch. This afternoon Miss 5 grabbed some maths materials off the shelf (cuisenaire rods, abacus, and 100’s chart) and asked me to play a maths game with her that we made up about a year ago. We were just heading out to the shops to grab a few things so I sat with her and played a few times before saying we had to go. She was still interested in doing ‘more maths’ and didn’t want to leave. I suggested she could take something with her, maybe a calculator? She jumped at the chance.
At the shop there was numbers to be found everywhere! I asked if she would like to find the prices of everything we bought and add them up as we went. She thought this sounded like a great ‘maths game’. In fact, every person we met along the way was informed that we were playing a maths game. First, she located the price of each item. We had a talk about what the ‘dot’ meant and how to read the price in dollars and cents.
She then found the numbers, the ‘point’, and the plus sign on the calculator and entered them in.
It took a bit longer than our usual shopping trip would but it was so worth it.
She concentrated so hard on what she was doing.
At the checkout she watched the screen as the items were scanned, waiting to see if the price matched what she had on her calculator. It did! She jumped up and down yelling ‘I did it! I did it!’ As we left the store she said to me ‘Mum, I can’t believe I did that. Can we do this every time we go to the shops?’
At home we looked at the receipt to see the prices of everything we bought and how they added up to make the total price.
Watching the joy on her face when she learns something new is so exciting to me. When people express the view that children would not be motivated to learn things like maths without someone making them do it, I wonder where this idea has come from. It is just so far from our truth.