I don’t normally dress like this…..

June 25, 2009

arithmetic village 022The night before my last  workshop, my handsome partner asked, “You don’t do anything half way, do you my darling?”.  You’d never guess by my living room floor  that I religiously plan lessons a full week in advance.  It just so happens that the really great ideas and extra touches come to me  within 24 hours of a lesson. This is something I cannot control. So the floor is full of cardboard and fabric and I am up all night again making game pieces. The idea to present the story of King David Divide with little dolls  came to me an hour before the workshop Wednesday, and I went with it, collecting all the bits and bobbles on the way out the door. I’m glad I did, the kids loved using the dolls as manipulatives!

I’m supposed to be a fortune teller. The children were greeted with dress up clothes and face paints and we all dressed up like villagers, any villager. Some children were pets, some were Polly and Tina, some were pirates. (Is this pirate phase ever going to end?) By the end of the hour we all had the materials, dress ups and knowledge to become King David Divide.

Busy sceneI read the book and acted it out with small dolls and props like a little puppet show. The equation rhymes in the book helped the children confidently shout out the correct answers. We went on a scavanger hunt, played board games, decorated crowns and shared lots of jewels.

At the closing circle, each child received their decorated treasure chest with ten bags of jewels and five small books. As  official village fortune teller, I forsaw their excellent comprehension with math, and lastly  presented them with a certificate of citizenship to Arithmetic Village.

I am delighted the  first workshops are behind me, even more delighted that the children had such a positive response to the material.  This past month was like hosting an original theme birthday party for 11 children weekly for five weeks straight. I have agreed to repeat this course next term in August.  I look forward to the new ideas that surely will grow from hosting a new group of real live learners.

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