Friday, March 11, 2011

Playing School (Nolan's Crazy Math Skills)

I have been playing "school" with the boys occasionally, since both boys love this pretend game. We all get a turn as teacher, and I've been having to up the ante with various skills lately.

Tonight, we were playing "Math Class," and Matthew is getting bored with basic addition. I threw a wrinkle in it and had him guess at what the missing number would be - it takes a little thought, but he eventually gets most of them. This didn't surprise me very much: he's five and addition isn't too far beyond his ken.

Nolan, however, is kind of freaky with his math skills. Not only can he add smaller numbers, but he also had these nailed without even thinking about the answer. If you listen carefully, he gives the answer to the final problem long before Matt comes up with the answer, at about 1:05 in the video (transcript provided below):

Nolan has done this several times. I'm not quite sure how well he can add, but he's been spot-on every time I ask Matt a question. His teacher of the deaf was over the other day, and had him put cheerios next to the numbers. He did fine until he got to the number seven, when he smiled slyly and placed four cheerios by the number. Thinking he had reached the "ceiling" of his counting abilities, the TOD said, "Nolan, is that seven?"

He looked aghast and told her, "No! I need three more to make seven!"

The good news is that he'll be very ready for kindergarten by the time he gets there. The bad news (for me) is that he may surpass my mathematical skills at a very early age!

Video transcript:

Me: What do you think the first one is?
Matt: Three!
Me: You're right! What do you think the next one is?
Matt: A three!
Me: Mmm..Two plus "X" equals four...
Matt: Uh, that's a two.
Me: Yes, a two. What do you think the next one is?
Matt: Four!
Me: Mmm.. three plus "X" equals five.
Matt: (mumbling)
Me: If you have three, how many more do you need to get five?
Matt: TWO!... uh, ONE!
Me: You're right... no, two.
Me: And two plus "X" equals seven. How many more do you need... if you have two, how many more do you need to get seven?
Nolan: Um, Mom, Matthew needs five.
Matt: Um, we don't need to get to ten or eleven, so that's a higher number.
Me: No. You're only going to seven. You have seven, and you already have two..
Matt: So I need five more.
Me: You need five more - that's good.
Matt: I couldn't think of the X on that one. Five X.


Joey @ Big Teeth and Clouds said...

That's amazing. What a wonderful game for you guys!

rouchi said...

That is such a fun thing and I think ur boys are clever with a clever mum behind them.

Herding Grasshoppers said...

That's awesome!

Terena said...

very awesome!!!!!!!

tammy said...

That's awesome Leah ... for both your boys!

leah said...

Having a braggy moment, lol!

Jamie said...

Hey, I stumbled across your blog while looking up the speech banana. Thanks for sharing! My husband lost most of his hearing to meningitis when he was a year old, and reading through your blog is giving me a bit of a window into what his childhood was probably like.