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Old 11-14-2012, 02:59 AM
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Default Numbers, how do they work

Kiddo is so much like me it's scary that we're not biologically related.

Anyway, he seems to have the same difficulty thinking about numbers as I did and do. He's doing very basic addition and math facts, and I am looking for some varying visualization tools to try to see what clicks. We just got counting on his fingers through to him, kinda.

Addition squares? Number lines? Show me what you got, Raji
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:24 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
Kiddo is so much like me it's scary that we're not biologically related.

Anyway, he seems to have the same difficulty thinking about numbers as I did and do. He's doing very basic addition and math facts, and I am looking for some varying visualization tools to try to see what clicks. We just got counting on his fingers through to him, kinda.

Addition squares? Number lines? Show me what you got, Raji
Don't feel bad. Counting as we do it is not natural for most humans. People tend to comprehend quantities logarithmically. All you can do is drill counting and multiplication and he will get it.

http://www.radiolab.org/2009/nov/30/innate-numbers/
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:44 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

I wanted to say that too ^, but was afraid of being publicly excoriated. Rote and repetition is the only thing that worked for me all the way to algebra. Everybody is different, but he might could possibly be one of these types.
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Old 11-14-2012, 04:47 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Some people just seem to get it. I never did. Reading and grammar...I AM SO SMRT. Math? Total derper.

I had hoped it was because I was educated stupid, or simply never came across the key to my type of brain, and that I could correct that for the Kiddo :(
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:01 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Me too, my sister picked up everything numbers with no effort, but I had to struggle and struggle. Carry ones? WTF? Borrow? omg R U kidding? lol, I must have had to learn multiplication and division like 50 different times, and each time it was like I'd never seen it before. :lol:

For counting if he's getting confused between 9 and 21, he'll probably just need to repeat it a million times. If he has trouble with understanding numbers between 20 and 100, maybe try large objects to be tens, and small objects to be ones. Wood blocks and crayons maybe? Then after he gets the hang of saying the number, have him start writing it down.

It's just an idea.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:10 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

The upside is that if you spend some time using logarithm paper, it's not that difficult to do logs to one decimal place in your head. Having learned how to do this I was able to solve electrical engineering problems in my head. It used to freak everyone out. They would be punching furiously at their calculators, I would sit there calmly, and then a few seconds later would call out the answer, usually correctly.
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:16 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

I can do numbers naturally but for those that can't Montessori has the answer:


and

feature=related
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:02 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Abacus
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  #9  
Old 11-14-2012, 06:24 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

You could try Cuisenaire rods.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:48 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

I don't know if this will be helpful or not but if I find I'm not connecting with information it usually helps if I give the information a story or "understanding" point. Numbers have symbolic meanings that might help with the memorization aspect.

Number Symbolism

One you get to ten you just picture a set of steps... it keeps going a level higher but is made of the same stuff.
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Old 11-14-2012, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Even numbers are balanced and odd numbers put you in a predicament. The predicament pushes you forward and the even number gives you a balanced rest period. I've always thought of uneven numbers as being uncomfortable. If I stretch one arm I have to stretch the other. In memorizing the tarot suit cards regardless of deck it went like this:

0= (The Fool) before the suits come into being. Nothing but it is also potential. It is the starting point of everything.

1= (point) Newness. the first point of manifestation until one there is only potential but nothing happened.

2= (line) one meets its match. It is as happy as a couple who first lay eyes on their lover.

3= (triangle) the couple have a kid. We move forward.

4= they build a house (square) They are safe. They feel secure but kind of bored.

5= They shake things up a bit to kill time.

6= They learn how to solve problems. Harmony

7= Someone interferes to find out how strong they are.

8= They learn how to fight back.

9= They are close to accomplishing their goals... but not quite there...

10= They are enlightened and move to the next level. Add a number and put another fool after it. Repeat.
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  #12  
Old 11-14-2012, 11:30 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

I think counting physical objects such as jigsaw pieces, coins, beads or lego bricks is the best approach.

I think lego bricks are particularly good - if you have a bunch all the same size then you can not only use them for addition, but multiplication too: if you make three towers that use seven bricks each then you need twenty one bricks - kiddo can just count the bricks to begin with but will eventually realise that knowing his multiplication tables will save him time! Also useful for learning about square and triangular numbers, and language too.
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  #13  
Old 11-14-2012, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

I second the Montessori solution. It really works for my sprog.

Having something tangible to perform simple operations on takes some of the confusion out of number problems. As they use it again and again, they require it less as they get used to working with numbers. What I like about it is that there is no time spent thinking about numbers and drawing a blank, which gives them the idea they are bad at numbers. In stead, there is a simple, fool-proof set of actions to perform that always yields the right answer, which is good for their confidence.
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  #14  
Old 11-14-2012, 01:34 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

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Why does it jump from 10 to 12? It's a conspiracy! :freakout:

:1111:
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  #15  
Old 11-14-2012, 02:46 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Let him count marbles or something. Show him that if you have a certain (prime) number of them you can't divide them into piles of equal size. Pretend that you don't really know in detail what's going on there. Give him the impression that there is really deep, mysterious stuff involved, something that if he found out about it, he would be smarter than his mom even. That would even be true.

If he's at the point that he really wants to know, he will. All the numbers have their individual character by which you can identify them and which you can learn about, no need to substitute some arbitrary symbolism for that.
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  #16  
Old 11-14-2012, 04:27 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Kiddo is probably too young for this, but you aren't, so maybe you could look at it now for ideas about how to explain and talk about things, and he could use it in a few years.

Mathematics: A Human Endeavor (3rd Edition): Harold R. Jacobs: 9780716724261: Amazon.com: Books

It's supposed to be especially good for people who have mental blocks or phobias with numbers. We had a copy of it around the house when we were kids, and it got a lot of use from everyone, though. (It is expensive, but it looks like you can get used copies for less. I think I have our old copy in the garage or something, too, but it would be extremely messed up. I could try to find it and hose it down or something, though, if you'd like. It would be the first edition.)

For what it's worth, both of my li'l borts have advanced math degrees, and if we go out to eat, they get all whiny and make me figure out the tip because they both say they don't like doing arithmetic. (I don't know if I totally believe them because my entire family dynamic consists of mutual trolling, but there is a difference between math and arithmetic, so my point is that not liking one doesn't mean you won't like the other.)
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  #17  
Old 11-14-2012, 05:08 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Bear in mind you've been talking s-m-r-t to Kiddo and reading and basically immersing him in natural language savant kinda activities since the minute you became his momma.

I'd nudge you towards maybe not being too quick to see the gap between his youngster language skills and his youngster numerical skills as representative of his innate abilities.
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Old 11-14-2012, 06:15 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Thanks all. This came up during the parent teacher conference, and in doing his homework where he has to "show his work". Trying to find all whole number combos that = 8 or story problems involving simple addition.

I may very well be jumping the gun, but it was such a horrid struggle for me, and doubly problematic because I was 1. very used to things being easy and 2. very much a perfectionist. Kiddo seems to have similar aggravating circumstances (though he is learning to cope with irrational anxieties about his own performance a little better)

Sometimes I see things that do click I get all mad like "Why didn't they show me that when I was a kid??"

I am thinking an abacus might help some. Simple, easy to find, and lots of evidence supporting it's usefulness.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:40 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

OMG, Shea. I know I'm posting in your thrad and everything, but I discourage you from reading this article.

Math can be literally painful.

Quote:
Does the thought of 1+1=ouch?

If you hate math, it might—literally. According to a new study, the mere prospect of a math problem causes pain centers to light up in number-phobic brains.

Researchers at the University of Chicago measured the neural activity of 28 adults—14 who'd been identified with high math anxiety and 14 with low math anxiety. Each subject was given a series of word and math questions (some of which are below) while his or her brain was scanned.

Result: When those in the high-anxiety group saw a math task was coming, their dorso-posterior insulas and mid-cingulate cortexes—the parts of the brain that perceive pain and bodily threats—reacted as if the subject's hand had been burned on a hot stove. Those in the low-anxiety group showed no such response.
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Old 11-14-2012, 11:54 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

I am of little help on this issue since math from arithmetic to calculus came easily to me (later math scared me away because of actually having to think about it), but I wanted to say a thing anyway!
Quote:
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For what it's worth, both of my li'l borts have advanced math degrees, and if we go out to eat, they get all whiny and make me figure out the tip because they both say they don't like doing arithmetic. (I don't know if I totally believe them because my entire family dynamic consists of mutual trolling, but there is a difference between math and arithmetic, so my point is that not liking one doesn't mean you won't like the other.)
Namely, what I wanted to say was...

There are two muffins? :shocked:
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  #21  
Old 11-15-2012, 12:06 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Even though Bort (capital B) loves muffins, borts aren't muffins.

:muffinpile:
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Old 11-15-2012, 12:10 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

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Originally Posted by erimir View Post
There are two muffins? :shocked:
Gross, no! There is only one TLM. My li'l borts are my brothers. I just like to qualify them as little brothers so everyone is always clear that I am older and the boss of them.
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  #23  
Old 11-15-2012, 04:11 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Oh right :doh:

I guess I forgot what bort actually stands for.
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:42 AM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

:hoot:
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:06 PM
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Default Re: Numbers, how do they work

Quote:
Originally Posted by LadyShea View Post
I may very well be jumping the gun, but it was such a horrid struggle for me, and doubly problematic because I was 1. very used to things being easy.
Ayup. Years ago one of my own li'l muffins was diagnosed with a learning disability in math. On account of she met the formal definition: performance on math testing was more than two standard deviations below her general reasoning test scores. But that was entirely about her general reasoning, not her math: her performance on math tests was squarely in the middle of the normal range. So she was in some sense just fine in math, and in another sense frustrated that math was so hard for her -- i.e., convinced that it was subjectively harder for her than for other people -- because she couldn't do math perfectly while also thinking about dinosaurs and ball pythons full-time.

Anyhow, we just worked a little more number awareness into our routines, and that seemed to make some difference. For example, at that time, she and I were doing exercises together in the mornings, and I would get her to count up to 30 as we did sit-ups, but she would count by 3s or 7s or whatever.
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