Wednesday, November 04, 2009

november third

I s'pose mostly it's been an Art Day, today.
Could have had something to do with that big box that landed on our porch this morning left by that lovely man in brown.

Trev and I sat this morning with just a couple of double-digit subtraction problems. Yesterday we had a minute where I was really uncomfortable, and taking it out on him. sheesh. This morning I wanted to make it right, and do some explaining/not over explaining but see if I couldn't make sense of what I had made muck of yesterday.
It went well.
At this point, I'm not certain that he's comfortable enough with the tens and hundreds columns to have it be clear why we actually "take one away" from the next column to "borrow", and I feel a little stressed about the arbitrary "this is how it's done" when I'm not certain that he gets it. His thinking is "3 - 5 = negative 2". Which is where the discomfort was coming from. And the "he'll get it when he's ready," too, for that matter. At the moment it (the information) is all sort of disjointed and disconnected, so we'll just take it slow, and I'll remember that he is most reasonable, and there is nothing wrong with his processes. And more relevant... that they are not entirely different than my own. Time! We have lots and lots of time for this. :)

Oh, yes. We tore right into that big ol' box of goodies.

Much of it was for Madeleine for Christmas and/or Solstice (haven't decided what is going to when, yet). She loves paints and creating with just about any medium... puzzles, beads, sculpting, tangrams, blokus, legos, paints....
So a few things were for her and are tucked away.
Like some big spoungy stampers for paints.
And several new bottles of watercolors.
And eight colors of that sculpting foam bead stuff.
And some paint tools that look like mops and combs and feathers and wheels. (This might be a really fun project to make for babes for a holiday gift.)
And plain puzzles... some I'll make for her, and some I'll wrap for her to paint/color/stamp/chalk whatever.
And some air-dry clay, though I'm not certain if that's for her, or if we'll be using it.

Other than that, we got a gorgeous collection of Biocolor paints, a lovely new stack of watercolour paper, a box of chunky white crayons for relief paintings with watercolors, and we've kept a couple of the blank puzzles for us.

So we played.
With relief pictures with the BioColor.This one didn't turn out exactly as expected... but it still worked. I loved the jungly look of the background, and the wet paint allowed for lots of mistakes... we just worked the paint back over the scratch, and tried again. Very forgiving... and very helpful.

For scratching we used a plastic fork, the end of paintbrushes, spoons... whatever looked interesting.

And puzzles.When Maddie took her painting into the other room to put it together, and when it was done she called me. I could tell she was really, really excited about this project, and very proud. "Pretty great," said she.
(I got a set of 24 of these -36 piece puzzles- for $10.99-- a great deal, as far as I am concerned. I imagine we'll make little paper boxes to keep them in.)

And white crayon/water colours paintings.

And we've made invitations to friends....
Maddie asked me to draw Kyan, but she was most offended by my (stick figure) rendition, and said it didn't look like him and it was too small anyway (and I have to ask myself when this happened - this new-found discernment).... so I hopped on the computer and edited a picture that I took of him until it resembled more of a coloring page (as well as I could get it) and she colored that orange -because orange is Kyan's current favorite color- and had me write a note on the back and then get an envelope and then she folded up a similar invitation to Soleil except So's is the relief pictue. But it's lovely.

There has been pbs kids and lego window shopping on Amazon (a favorite pasttime of Trev's lately)

and we went downstairs looking for something to do and came back up with Cuisenaire rods and Trev and I sat in the livingroom for an hour playing with division and multiplication problems and challenging eachother and feeling quite comfortable, happy, and at ease with our games.
These games looked like Show me three times eight (which includes eight times three)... and Are they the same? (ie is eight three times the same as three eight times?) and What is the answer?
It was nice to play with division and multiplication and have it make sense.

It's warm and sunshiney, here... Mama Nature has given us lots of sixty-degree days
which means the doors are open and feet are bare and dirty and we're roaming in and out of projects and each other's moments.

Nothing fancy
but all is well.


  1. Mama Nature is giving us gorgeous weather too, I look foward to making more leaf piles with the kids the sunyshineshine!

    And oh we can relate to that math situation :o)

    Can't wait to see more artwork, I bet that is sooo exciting for them when that big brown box arrives!

  2. wow! you hit the "mother load" (teehee). what great stuff. those blank puzzles are fantastic aren't they?!

    have fun!

  3. I am swooning over the very lovely painted puzzles.... just great :)

    We've had our share of math bumps here - I am going to try Miquon math soon - uses the cuisenaire rods and has very simple books to go with.... no worksheets, promises to be hands on - we'll see!

  4. You will probably come up with your own (better) way of explaining double digit division, but this is how I taught it:

    I tell my kids to imagine that we are selling apples.

    We are going to box up the apples to store easier, and we're going to put 10 apples in each box.

    Anything left over (that doesn't quite make 10) will set on the shelf.

    So, if someone wants 16 apples, but we only have 8 on the shelf, we don't have enough apples on the shelf for them to buy, but we do have one box of ten apples that we can "borrow" from. So open up the box and we now have 16 apples on the shelf. How many apples will we have left to sell after our customer takes 8?

    And so on, and on, and on. I always try to bring it back to what they know and can picture, because that's how I think too.

    Hope that helps!

    Love, love, love those make-able puzzles! And that paint behind the dinosaur looks exactly like it should. Too awesome!!

  5. Great puzzles and lots of lovely art!

  6. I love the idea of a crafty, artsy day. What a cool blank puzzle. I didn't know they made such things. I'll have to hunt some down.


Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!