I am really working very hard on the elementary albums reviews. Both the project and the writing are just taking a lot longer than I thought it would. I am also still waiting for a sample from one of the suppliers who promised one. I DID take photographs for an "official" school room tour and that post is in the works.
In the meantime, one day early last week my husband and I came downstairs to find the boys already awake and already at work. Math had exploded everywhere all over the classroom.
I had put out the 100 chain and 100 board the night before in anticipation of giving presentations that week. Kal-El beat me to it. I guess the purpose of the 100 board is pretty obvious. When we discovered them, Kal-El was overwhelmed by the sheer number of unordered tiles, was stymied somewhere in the single digits, and Me Too was trying to bail him out.
Me Too followed Daddy to the kitchen to help cook breakfast while I showed Kal-El how to categorize the tiles by tens. After that, it was a very easy task for him to put the number tiles in order from 1-100. What was exciting, was all the discoveries he made along the way. Make no mistake, this is much cooler than the traditional kindergarten task of memorizing how to count from 1-100. He counted in a linear way until sometime shortly after 30. It was at that point that he realized that there was a pattern to the vertical columns (all the 1's in a column, all the 2's in a column).
After he had completed the board he noticed that he could count from 1-9/10 along all outer edges of the board. He completed the board at least five more times that day (a Saturday...not a "school day"). He was proud that he didn't need to categorize the tiles after that first time. Because he understood the "structure" of 100, he could easily find the place of any tile on the board as he randomly chose them.
You can find many other extensions you can use this board to explore all over the Montessori-blogosphere...even/odd, multiplication and factors, and on and on. Kal-El's new hobby is to count as high as he can whenever he is riding in the car (199 yesterday!).
Kal-El left the board out 1/3 completed just before nap time. A little later I heard the telltale "click, click" of tiles. I waited a few minutes then went in to tell him to go back to his room. I was surprised to find it was Me Too working with the board. He had filled in the rest of the board with the tiles in a very random way. Many of the tiles weren't even right-side-up, but rotated every which way. He looked at me and said, "I finished Kal-El's work. He's going to be mad."
I noticed a few days ago that the hundred board has taken up residence in Kal-El's room. I think he slept with it last night.