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# Tag Archives: abacus

## Three Year Olds Can Do Math

In the above picture you see my daughter Jenna learning the greater than/less than symbol, at age two.  She thought she was playing “Hungry Guy”, but really she was learning a first and second grade skill.

I believe that children as young as two and three can do real math.   The trick is to teach them mathematical concepts in a way that makes sense to them.

## Play-based math will get results!

Jenna is three and a half now, and I felt like she was ready for something more formal.  So three weeks ago, we begin using Right Start Mathematics Level A I have no affiliation whatsoever with Right Start.  I’m just a die-hard Joan Cotter fan.

We are on lesson 7 now, and I am thrilled.  All of the activities are easy to set up, play-based, and conceptually very deep.

Jenna does between 5 -10 minutes of math every day, but only if she wants to.

Here is a sample of what we have done so far:

We learned about comparison words like long and longest.

We did ordering work of longest to shortest. (This is the before picture.)

We began to explore the abacus.

## This is exciting.  This is fun.  This is easy.

The teacher in me wishes every child in America was benefiting from Dr. Joan Cotter’s wisdom.  The mom in me wishes I had know about Right Start when Bruce was this age!

## The AL Abacus

AL Abacus front

AL Abacus, reverse side

In a previous post I talked about the Right Start Level C math program Bruce has been using, and its core component, the AL abacus.  I explained about how even though I think the abacus is totally amazing, Bruce hasn’t been too keen on it yet, which made following the specific lesson plans in the Level C teacher guide difficult.  He still benefited a lot from the other parts of the program however.

For those of you unfamiliar with the abacus, here’s a cool and (free) link that let’s you explore it online: http://www.alabacus.com/pageView.cfm?pageID=321

Here are also some pictures of two ways to represent 57.

Pretty cool, hunh?  Hopefully Jenna will be much more interested in using it when she is ready.