Hi All,

We’re well on our way to learning Access Points Participatory Math skills.  One of the things we’re learning about is basic algebraic thinking involving X + a number = something for example, X + 1 = 2.  You may be  saying something like, “Okay, Dr. Mike, but how are you making it meaningful and useful?”  Well, the answer is that we’re working on adding and subtracting items from counting baskets to get a specified quantity.  For example, we’ll have a counting basket with 1 block in it.  Then we’ll have a set of more blocks outside the basket.   Then we’ll say, “There’s one item in the basket.  How many more items do we need to put in the basket so there are 2 items in the basket?”  With lots of modeling, and oral/visual/physical prompting, we work through the problem.  For some of our students, this helps them learn 1) basic counting skills, 2)  basic addition skills, 3) developing and understanding of quantity in sets, and 4) works on developing fine and gross motor skills in grasping and manipulating objects.

At home, when doing things with familiar objects that have more than one item in a set (for example, sets of spoons, sets of game pieces, sets of pencils, etc., where each item is the same or similar), say, “we have one ____; give me another so we’ll have two ____’s.”

All the best,

Dr. Mike