Last week when I posted about playing The Quarter Game with Jenna(2.5), Lia from One Mouthful posed an interesting question. What type of quantities are adults capable of visualizing? Unfortunately, I have no idea, even after trying to figure out the answer via Google! Instead, my son Bruce(6.5) and I have been conducting our own experiments on each other. I can visualize up to seven quarters within 3 seconds, and he can visualize 6. We still need to try this out on my husband.
Interestingly, when we used two or three different colors, we could both go a lot higher. This reminded me of some Right Start mathematics literature I read by Dr. Joan Cotter, which encourages teaching your child to recognize the quantity 5 as being two on each side with one in the middle. (I can’t remember the specific place where I read that, or I would include the link).
So for me as a parent who is trying to anneal my daughter’s math skills, once Jenna has the quantity 4 nailed, then I should start introducing 5 as four of one color, and one of another. As soon as Jenna can do that, then I’m going to start her out on the first few lessons of Right Start Level A. I tried this a couple of months ago, and she wasn’t ready back then. But I think she is going to be ready soon.