Why the Tree of Life?


Death Star and the 4 Processes

Earlier this week, D and I read "Paddy's Picnic," the second Enki math story for the Four Processes (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division).  I still love the Enki math stories and activities for introducing new concepts.  Anyway, the day after I read him the story, he was supposed to work with it artistically.  In the past, we've done a drawing of the story or maybe set up a little scene with silks and little people and animals like acting out a play.  D chose to work with the wool board for a little change.  I left the room to help K with something, and I expected to see something like Paddy Plus and Max Multiply fighting over cherries with Mini Minus and King Dominick Divide coming to the rescue.  Instead, I came back to the Death Star destroying a planet.  Notice the little Tai Fighters circling the Death Star?  That was my suggestion. :)  So, we called it good for that day.

Today, we worked with counting stones and *I* drew Paddy Plus, Max Multiply, Mini Minus and King Dominick Divide.  Normally, they are colored-coded: green-addition, yellow-multiplication, blue-subtraction and red-division, but since D sees colors differently, I held up two shades of the same color for each corresponding character and had him choose which color seemed the most green to him or the most red to him.  He seemed to make a good connection with the characters body positions and the corresponding process symbol.  Division is a sceptor, minus is Mini's "giving away" hands, Max is an energetic cartwheeling 'x' and Paddy is just a wide, fat cross over his big, lazy belly.  We did a few problems for each using the counting stones, and we both had fun.  There seemed to be a lot of lightbulbs going on as D connected what he has seen K doing in the past and what he's just started learning for himself and what it all means.  Fun!
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