Playing With Numbers

Adrian really likes math. Since we started with Math-U-See, he has enjoyed playing with numbers more than ever, most likely because the blocks made it more fun. Sometimes he’s have a problem to solve like 12-7=? and he’d pull out a 7 and a 5 block and put them together to make 12 and then take away the 7 to leave the 5. Clearly, he knew the answer immediately*, but wanted to go through the process of using blocks.

A couple nights ago he started asking me questions about fractions. He asked what a quarter of 100 was. I told him 25. Then he asked what a quarter of 60 was. I told him 15. His next question was what a quarter of 6 was. I told him 1 1/2. He thought about that and then said two quarters would make 3, so half of six is 3. His next question was what was a quarter of 5. I told him 1 1/4. That one required even more thought, but he did figure out that a half of 5, then, would be 2 1/2. It went on for a while with other numbers, too. The most interesting part of it is Adrian has never been formally taught about fractions.

Negative numbers really were a scary, horrible thing for his oldest two siblings when they were first taught about them. Adrian, however, already thinks negative numbers are the coolest thing ever. When asked something like what is 2-8, he usually does the typical automatically subtracting two from eight to get six, but if we remind him that the question is asking him to subtract the bigger number from the smaller number, he gets the correct answer of -6.

He does all this in his head. For fun. He finally admits he knows how to read, but he still doesn’t like it. He claims he doesn’t know how to write at all, but 7 year olds do and he’ll be 7 in a little less than a week and will start writing then. But math. Math is different. He loves playing with numbers.

*If he hadn’t known the answer immediately, he was instructed to put together a 10 block and 2 block to make the 12, put an upside-down 7 block on top to indicate subtracting 7, and then count what was left uncovered or use blocks to match the number of leftover blocks.

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