Wednesday, January 9, 2013


Kal-El is working on mastering division with the stamp game so that he can move on to some less-cumbersome materials for his operations work.

If Kal-El is doing division, Me Too won't be far away.  He told me today "I find this VERY interesting."

He might find it a little too interesting. Could you concentrate under this level of scrutiny?

I didn't think so.


  1. I most definitely could NOT! That is so funny!

  2. Hahaha! That is awesome! Little brothers know just how to be cute and annoying at the same time dont they? :) Are you having Kal-El finish all the primary work first? In the albums I have, the suggested skipping the cumbersome materials and moving onto charts and the bead frame for some of that work since the kids find it easier and are more interested. I was wondering if you found Kal-El still interested in the stamp game. Bunny was SO happy to get rid of some of the math materials. She told me that she would rather do it in her head. She will still pull stuff out if she is confused or needs help, but would MUCH rather work with the bead frame then to lay out all the stamps or beads. I was just wondering if I maybe did a mis-service in letting it go too soon or if you had seen something like that too.

  3. Stephanie,

    No, I'm finishing the primary work first. I have found zero instances so far in which Kal-El didn't enjoy the materials. In fact he says that division with the stamp game is (I quote) "ridiculously fun." He LOVES it. He is absolutely ready to move away from the stamp game for the other operations. However it was super obvious that he had not processed the concept of exchanging for division yet. If he can't "picture" the exchange of beads while using the stamps he absolutely won't be able to "picture" the exchange of beads or stamps while using the abacus. I didn't want to compound our problems.

    Just last week for the first time I noticed that the stamp game looked a little cumbersome when he reviewed the other operations. (He hadn't chosen any operations work for a few weeks maybe even months because he was more interested in all of the other things. But, when I told him he could have something new if he could show me he understood all four operations with the stamps he bit the line. We have ALL IRONS in the fire right now when it comes to math so he is pretty busy overall.) Then, sure enough a few minutes later he verbalized it. He didn't say he'd rather do it in his head but he asked for smaller numbers so that he didn't have to lay out so many stamps to show me he understood the operation. That's why this week I'm letting him JUST do division. I don't want to make him feel icky about the stamp game with the other operations. I *DO* like waiting just long enough to letting him feel the "relief" of the new level of abstraction when he gets the new material so he can appreciate his accomplishment.

    Obviously the albums have Bunny pegged :) Is she doing all four operations regularly with the other materials or just puttering?

  4. Just to share a related experience:

    For my son, the memorization boards became tedious FAST. Other life situations got in the way, so we just had to move on from them. He then did not "start" elementary with a full set of memorized math facts; but we worked with the remedial section for this concept and a couple of others and moved on anyway. Then, at age 8, all of a sudden, he WANTS those boards! Go figure! Just when AMI albums say, "At this age, the children do not want the tedium of this material." Yeah, well, I'm following the child on this one ;)

    And that's really the important thing - is the child being challenged appropriately, learning, enjoying themselves even through difficult moments, and most of all, able to make connections at some point to "real life?" If so, then it doesn't really matter "where" they are, as long as they are where they are supposed to be as their own individual self.

    Then for my co-op and when I've been in schools:
    That remedial section in the math and language sections, I personally (and opposite many others) find to be a blessing and a relief. If any child I have doesn't finish the primary materials "on time" and still has interest in the materials, we just go about in a more "elementary" manner - with challenges and silliness and confidence in their budding skills. If the same child or a different child, for the same skills or different skills has NO interest in the primary materials, I have that remedial section to say, "Ok, here are the key points - and here are some ideas to modify this work to an elementary age." Many times I find the child actually knows the material at hand, just needs it clarified; and regardless if we do remedial work or not, we still continue to work with the early math work, because the elementary child is just there.

    One note on the stamp game: It is still used in elementary ;) So it comes back into play. I told my son, "there is no escaping the stamp game! bwahahahaha!" He rolled his eyes at me and responded, "I'll learn it all so fast the stamp game can't keep up with me!" A year later, he loves drawing his stamp game work on graph paper, so I think he likes it ;)

  5. Another note,

    Although I primarily use and enjoy AMI albums the most, right now I am using my Montessori R&D elementary math 1 album a lot too. All of the work Kal-El is doing is included in that "elementary" album. I am still using the AMI framework to structure his work and generally for the style of my presentation. However, I keep peeking at the R&D album for the occasional tips on how to make the presentations "elementary" rather than primary.

  6. Looks like Me Too is living up to his name:) So precious!!

    Thank you for sharing.

  7. To be honest, we are just puttering right now. She has really kept herself focused on her geometry and fractions, and on starting to get some of those addaition and subtraction fact memorized. It seemed like when I looked through the albums that the fact charts were the most important, so that is where we focused. She hasnt done division for a while. I was trying to make sure that we were all set with the subration and addition work first. She has done well and seems to understand it really well. So I was planning on getting back into the some of the other math work! Thanks for the thoughts! I am just trying to get it all in! Like you said, there is so much work that we can do, it is sometimes hard to remember it!

  8. My older one (6 now) is not too fond of the strip boards too. We played a lot of math games with cards that helped with the memorization of the addition facts. The snake game helped a lot with helping her finding strategies to add numbers by making 10s. Since she understands the operations well she has figured out how to subtract by reversing addition and has not touched that strip board for a while. We are playing games to ensure she knows her facts. We recently started the multiplication board and she likes that. She often does that alongside the corresponding chain. We have to start the loose equations on multiplication. It is amazing how each child is so different. My younger one who is just two and a half loves the elaborate Montessori works, whereas my older one will do it, but grudgingly. My 2.5 year old, loves the number rods, does cards and counters upto 5 all by herself and the proper montessori way completing the whole cycle! I am sure she would go through and love all the math works! My 6 year old, uses the works once or twice, gets the concept and after an incubation period masters it without a need for repetition! I am hoping to get my money's worth with my second child!

  9. I love these pictures and keep up with your blog regularly! It is by far one of my favorites :)
    Amy W