sarah wrote:In the Complete Book of Math under the measuring section, it recommends making a homemade balance scale out of a wire coat hanger hanging down, then put a small margarine tub on each end to put objects in to compare weight. I hope someone knows what I'm talking about. Anyhow, in looking at that I was confused. I'm not very crafty so maybe I'm just not using my imagination, but first of all the margarine tubs I have don't have handles? How would you make handles on the tubs in order to be able to do this? Secondly, if they are on a hanger, how do you keep them in place? I mean if one of them slides towards the corner then it's going to throw the balancing off, right? What I am saying is that wouldn't the tubs have to be pretty close to the exact same distance from the center for it to weigh correctly? It looks like they would slide easily. I know I am over thinking this, but we don't own a balance scale (which it also suggest) so I was hoping I could get this working. Has anyone tried this? Does anyone know where one could get balance scale for cheap?

Under the place value section, they have a mat with hundreds, tens, and ones. I understand how to use the mat and all, but what did you do to represent hundreds? I understand making the counters out of the wooden sticks and beans, but when you move on to 3 digit place value and math, what did you use to explain this concept. There's no way to make that many counter sticks. We have some unifix cubes, but only 100 of them, plus they seem kinda big to do that with.

Also, in looking at the math it says to begin memorizing math facts once your child has gotten comfortable with hands on math. I was wondering at what point this was for most of you? Of course, I understand it will vary child to child, but I was just curious how some of you approached this. Are the fact families part of memorizing the facts? In other words, should we use the fact families to memorize our facts or should we just go in the order suggested in the manual and do flash cards? Do your kids memorize the facts in order and the fact families?

I would not bother making a homemade balance. Yes, the way margarine tubs and lids are made has changed. They used to have handles on them -- kinda like the tubs of ice cream used to.

For the amount of work and supplies on it... yes, it can be done, yes it can be fun. But you work part time so, sometimes it is just worth it to buy a tool.

Do you have a teacher supply store near you to pick up a balance? Or maybe order from Rainbow Resource Center? I tell ya, I did fine all of those years without one but was so glad to buy one a few months ago. why didn't I do it sooner? I was cheap. Yes, you're right.... you have "calibrate" any balance including the homemade ones.

to represent 100, what if you have a picture of 10 dimes, or a picture of 100 pennies to use? put the pennies in 10 rows of 10? or just blank 10 x 10 rows. here is a link

http://donnayoung.org/f11/math-f/chart/6blk.pdf
You might not deal with it in 1st grade all that much to have lots of adding of groups of 100's. Some plastic math blocks do come in 100 blocks. That's an option as well. Until then, print the sheet from donna young's site onto cardstock (even in color cardstock, or lightly color it in yourself)

Math facts memory...

I would begin that when you reach the part in the yellow sheets where addition/subtraction is the main focus of topics for about 4 weeks.

You can do math memory facts in a variety of ways. In Singapore math, which mfw suggests in 2nd grade, facts are done in "number bonds" which is just another way of saying fact families. Some children (mine!) need to do just addition first.

a couple of suggestions based on me teaching my children.. your mileage may vary.... when teaching memory of facts, give the answer several times in a row as part of saying it out loud together before you ask the child to fill in the blank (either paper or out loud). dont' let them guess because some children will remember the wrong guess. If they struggle, show the answer and have them just say the correct answer.