Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Hungarian Math

So I have attend 2 days of the 5 day course for Hungarian math called Varga Nemenyi. We asked in the start of the lesson if there are any other countries that use this method, and the answer was no. It seems Finnish teachers have been working to use these hands on methods for more than a decade now, and Finland is the only other country that has translated the materials. Interesting if that is true.

Many of the concepts we have gone over the last 2 days are all hands on activities for counting and measuring. In Finland, first grade is when children begin their school career (the same year they turn 7), so some of these concepts may be better used for kindergarten in other countries.

Here are a few:

Sensory Counting: On top is a closed piece of fabric made to look like a snake. Inside the snake are marbles, 6 marbles to be exact. Students grab a snake, figure out how many marbles are inside, then find the matching number and ten frame to go with it. SUPER CUTE IDEA, in my opinion. Other teachers have made just plain squares that are sealed with marbles inside (same idea, not as cute though).

Counting Jars: These are just baby food jars with a set number on the outside. Students are to take any manipulatives left with the jars, per say beans. Students then count out that many beans and drop them into the jars. Easy Peasy!

Counting Nuts: These are match boxes decorated with a number (0-9). Students are given all the boxes and then some nuts (no bolts this time). Student then count and put the correct amount of nuts in each box. To make this more challenging, students then turn over the closed boxes, and mix them up (with the nuts still in them). Students then try to put the boxes in the correct order of weight, lightest to heaviest. NICE!

Visual Skip Counting: In each small Ziplock bag is always the same number of beads (in this picture 3). You pass out the bags to the students. To start the counting the first student puts his/her own bag into a basket being passed around and the student says 3. The student next to him/her puts their bag into the basket and says 6, and so on until all bags have been placed into the basket. The idea with this is that if someone is unable to skip count  accurately yet by 3's, then he/she can listen to the previous number and then count it out with their own beads before placing into the basket. Brilliant!!

Counting Random Patterns: Here is a laminated sheet with lots of stickers. The idea is that students get in a rut learning only regular patters (like the dots on a die). This sheet can be used with students to find different number sets (for example the teacher asks students to find the set with 6).
Another idea a teacher had: instead of using dice for a game, you could make a set of these cards. Each card would only have one number represented by symbols (as in the picture below). Representing numbers 1-6, like a die would have. Once you have a stack of cards made, students would flip over one card on their turn and would move that many spaces.I hope that all made sense!

Logic Pieces: There are many ways to use these logic pieces, mostly for sorting and classifying. If you want to know more, send me a message.

These are only a handful of the many ideas taught in just two days. Super course!!
I'm excited to get started making these math centers for next year.

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