English Class first graders are back in the flow of school work after a long, restful holiday. On Tuesday of this week they practiced body percussion using different parts of their bodies. Together they counted the motions and rhythms. The strange thing was that it always worked out to seven! The sum combinations were then written on the chalkboard. Ms Kati, their teacher, asked if there were other ways to end up with seven, and like a snowball rolling down a hill, the children came up with more and more ideas. Ms. Kati wrote these all on the chalkboard. Then the first graders thought about how arrays help when doing subtraction and filling in missing numbers in an expression. More work with the number seven will continue later this week.
Yesterday during their Finnish lesson, the first graders wondered out loud what the strange blue line taped to the floor of their classroom was. It wasn’t until their math lesson that they found out that it was a number line. The first thing that the children did was to put the number cards in order along the line. Together they discussed the beginning and the end of the line. Someone knew that the line began at zero. Ms. Kati purposely made mistakes on the number line. The children had to find the errors. Then the numbers were removed and each child was given a number but they were not permitted to look at it until everyone had a number. Following that the children were timed to see how long it took to put the numbers back in the right order. (It didn’t take long!)
In the beginning the children moved along the number line by bouncing. Everyone got to bounce one expression. Then the class’s hedgehog mascot, Wilson, bounced and the class got to calculate the distance. Wilson left home to go to the fox’s to eat and then to the deer’s home by different routes.
Finally the children competed in two teams. The fox and the deer competed to see who was the champion of the number line by moving one space forward for every correct answer. By a slim margin the fox won this time, but the children on the deer’s team played hard and skilfully.