Thursday, July 12, 2012

Counting Happy Face People, with Index Cards

I asked LC if she wanted ten index cards. She was very excited and said yes. So, I gave her my old index cards and a pencil...and I went into the dining room to boot up my laptop. LC comes over to me with an index card that has 1 happy face person drawn on it. I put it on the table. She goes back to the living room. She returns with another index card, this one has two happy face people on it. I put it on the table, next to the first card. She returns to the living room. A few minutes later she is back again, this time with an index card that has three people on it. She asks me to put it on the table next to the last index card. Now, I'm starting to catch on and this continues...until the tenth index card with ten happy face people drawn on it.

Self-directed, fun math & art lesson...on a summer day.  The core standards that are being pushed, by the way, aim to teach kindergarten students (2013-2014 academic year for LC) how to "count to tell the number of objects" understand the relationship between quantities and numbers, "connect counting to cardinality" the end of kindergarten, kids need to be able to answer the question "how many" for as many as 20 things arranged in "a line, a rectangular array, or a circle, or as many as 10 things in a scattered configuration." "Count elements with one-to-one matching." She can certainly do that already, counting a random number of objects shown to her. She went a step further and drew people in the proper counting sequence of 1-10, retaining in her memory (as she went back to the other room) how many people to draw on the next index card.

She keeps proving that a young child, guided by a caring stay-at-home parent, has the curiosity, initiative and ability to learn...without feeling pressured in a structured, test-driven, competitive environment. We're opting out of pre-k for LC and choosing "out in the world" hands-on schooling, play and socialization for many reasons...including LC's happiness.

A closer look at the adorable index cards...

If you would like to see the individual index cards...