Today was the first day of my professional development block, which means I don’t teach for a block. Instead I do professional development, which in my case is write. Of course I didn’t write a lot today, since I still had a department meeting and I’m finishing up grading from last block. My son also brought home some homework that was infuriating. He had to identify rivers and creeks in our general vicinity (100 mile radius). Rivers are easy; creaks are not. In fact, the map was a bad map, and even using google, google earth, mapquest, and various other terrain maps we were able to find, we aren’t at all certain that we have properly identified the creeks, but at this point, I just want to kill someone. This was not something they went over in class. This was not something they had a book for. This was most definitely irritating. And don’t get me started on subtraction with the girlie. I really need to make flashcards.
And right now, all of them are annoying the flipping noodles out of me–dogs and kids. One of those nights. I’m holding on for dear life until bedtime for them. It can’t come soon enough. Not soon enough.
You might also get some counting blocks and a card game called Five Crowns. We didn’t use flash cards for addition or subtraction. The one kid learned to subtract on his fingers. The other did everything in his head until he ran into a wall with borrowing. At which point I got out the counting blocks, and demonstrated how he had to borrow blocks from one pile to subtract from the other. A light went on and he never had trouble again.
Why Five Crowns? It’s a very fun game. Tons of wild cards will make every kid happy. It uses good strategy for younger minds, but it’s not so hard as to make it frustrating. For scoring, we took the face value of the cards and added them up (which isn’t quite what the printed rules say). The first round scoring is for 3 cards, so younger kids can learn to do it. Last round scoring is for 13 cards, which takes a bit longer to learn. Friends would come over and play with us and be stunned and amazed at how fast and easily my kids could add those cards.