Connected Math

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After 18 months of working with Tim through the elementary materials, Aidan has basically finished the 6-12 scope and sequence in numbers.  He hasn't done all of the geometry, but we have supplemented with enough that he is proficient in that area as well.  After talking with Tim, we decided to look into a book based curriculum that would help Aidan transition into a more traditional program for advanced math.  The program Tim immediately thought of is Connected Math, which he taught from 7-8 years ago in 7th grade, but the program begins in 6th, officially.  It is a unit based, real world, program (hence the "connected").  The thing we like is that we can buy the units individually and each one is only about $12.   There is a teacher's manual, but we passed on that.

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At the same time, I have taken over the majority of Aidan's math instruction because it now needs to happen on a daily basis instead of once/week.  The first topic we covered was largely terminology (prime, composite, factor,  & multiple) and how to find and identify those things.  One of his assignments during that topic was to find all of the factors for the numbers 1-30.  

Fast forward, he is now visually representing numbers and factor pairs on graph paper.  This is similar of course to what he has already done with the multiplication bead board, adding in all of the factors.

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One of his assignments this week was to draw all of the ways to visually represent the numbers 1-30.  

Sound familiar?

Yeah, Aidan got all way to 25 before he realized that he didn't need refigure out the factors.  He had already done that.  He was laboriously counting out cubes and rearranging them into rectangles.

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Then suddenly he rushes into the kitchen, pulls out his finished work folder and starts frantically digging through it.  The lightbulb went on and he realized there was something familiar about this assignment...

....some connection to what he had already done.

Imagine that.

Miraculously numbers 26-30 were finished in record speed!

For those who are interested in more specifics on this curriculum, it can be a little hard to track down but Tim and I will do our best to answer your questions (or rather he will after I pass them along).  This specific unit moves into square numbers and then least common multiple and greatest common factors.  The next two units we have are Bits & Pieces I (fractions, decimals, and percentages) and Shapes & Designs (2D geometry).   Adjusting to this curriculum from Montessori has not been completely smooth, but he was definitely well prepared for the higher level thinking and problem solving involved.  Actually the one thing we really had to do was learn how to use a calculator, especially for checking our answers!  If that is a weakness, it is one I can live with.

2 comments :

My Boys' Teacher said...

I love that he realized he already knew how to do that work, I can just picture him digging through that folder. Great job Aiden!

tdunbar said...

Good illustration of what's great about Mathematics!