Saturday, April 23, 2011

JUMPing for joy

I decided to try out some of the first worksheet from JUMPmath: I downloaded both the teacher's guide, and the workbook.  After reading the instructions fairly carefully (since this does seem to be a program in which the instructor's role and attitude is critical), I printed out the first couple of worksheets.
Skibo had been misbehaving this morning, and as a consequence was not allowed to go along with Boo and a friend to an easter egg hunt: so he and I sat down with the worksheets, on fractions, and did some mathematics.
We started with a review of multiplication, which he's just started to do (I think on his own, but it may be in class): he did very well at that, and so we moved on to fractions.
Now, Skibo is in first grade, and I'm fairly sure that he's not doing fractions at school yet: nonetheless, he took to the worksheets like a duck to water, immediately getting the idea of what the fractions represent, pictorially representing them as segments of a circle, subtriangles within a big triangle, and other sorts of shapes.  (As an aside, I was pleased to see that the worksheets didn't just use circles, as is common here: using a variety of shapes to represent fractions really helps instill the idea).
He then went on to adding fractions with a common denominator, getting the idea really quickly. 
Not wanting to push him too quickly, we stopped after four or five worksheets.  Best of all, he loved doing it, learned it well, got all the concepts, and wants to do more.  I now need to give Boo the same worksheets so that she can catch up, and they can work them together.

Yours, thrilled by the care taken in designing this programme,

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