We have decided to approach learning time differently now the Twins are older. As when I sit with Button they just trash the room and when I sit with them, Button needs help. So now, Daddy's days off are school days. Today was our first day and while Daddy sat with the Twins and made a clock face, I sat with Button and tackled quarter to and past. She did amazing and we are now looking at a learning watch to reinforce what she's learnt. We also touched on algorithms by getting her to write down the steps to making a jam sandwich.
She gave me three steps to begin with:
1. Butter the bread
2. Add the jam
3. Eat the sandwich
I pretended to be a computer and did the steps. As you can imagine I couldn't do the first step as "I did not compute" which made her giggle. So then I explained that computers dont have brains and need everything to be really clear. We then wrote out the instructions together (still me as the computer) and I would "not compute" if she didn't think it through. The funniest one was when she asked me to take the bread out of the bag but didn't say how much so I removed the whole loaf. We finished on 19 steps and she was amazed at how much you needed to tell a computer. This was a great start to coding.
We did a brilliant activity that we had downloaded from @twinklresources. The first activity, coding a girl to build a sandcastle, Daddy helped Button. However, the next two, about a strawberry pavlova and a bbq she did on her own with increasing speed. This really built well on the jam sandwich algorithm from earlier in the week and the blocks activity that Button did with the Twins.
Daddy also played a couple of math related games with Button. First he taught her how to play Dominoes. Button seemed to enjoy it and we won one game each.
Secondly, we played higher or lower, but using Flash cards (well sheets of paper) with '<' on one sheet and '>' on the other. Daddy pressed the buttons on the phone with Button holding up '<' (greater than) to guess higher and '>' (less than) to guess lower. Button was confident with these signs so this went well.
Daddy started laying some of the basics with Bear and Buttercup. We talked about the numbers, o'clock and half past, the hands and then built a clock face. We also read "Mr Cuckoo's clock shop", did a couple of pages on size in a maths book and Buttercup coloured some numbers in.
Their attention just about lasted long enough to build a clock face using two Grimms semi circles and a selection of wooden numbers with pencils for hands. Unfortunately, the book was a bit long for them and the hands a bit stiff. The maths book went OK considering they are at the lower end of its age spectrum (3-5). Their attention only lasted two pages but they did well and it was both a good start and also stopped them being a distraction for Button from her learning.
The Twins second Chunk of learning was finishing and copying my patterns. They could easily tell me what was missing but actually putting the right colour in the gap themselves they struggled with. They got there in the end and I think it was a great way to introduce patterns to them. We also had a number scavenger hunt, I told them what to find and how many and they ran and grabbed them, for example 3 beads, 1 toy animal and here Buttercup is counting out 4 pencils lol.
We managed to fit in a maths game called "sum swap". Button has always loved this game and even though it's a bit old for the Twins (as you need to add and take away) they loved it and Bear won the game today. It was still really good for their counting as I would hold up the number of fingers their total came to and got them to count my fingers out loud then we would move their piece together.
We also did tangrams and symmetry, together. using our Melissa and Doug tangram set and some mirrors to find the patterns that were symmetrical. They started by creating their own patterns themselves using the mirror before moving on the Melissa and Doug sets. It's nice for them to play and learn together.
We continued to teach Button about algorithms and coding but with the Twins this time as well. We began by making them all face away from each other so they couldn't see what each other was building and they had to follow my instructions to build a tower. Once I had finished we all showed our towers and saw who was the closest. Button did really well on this one, only getting one tower wrong slightly. Bear did well but one of his fell at the end and he decided he wanted to create his own tower, Buttercup on the other hand just did as she wanted all the way through lol. We then showed them in a simplified way how a computer works by having four different types of blocks and I would just say the number. As I said each number they lined up the specified block. This was a lot easier for the Twins to cope with and they succeeded every time.