After a year of working with the Golden Bead materials, I introduced DJ to the Stamp Game this week. This material will be used in a very similar way to the Golden Beads to do addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. However, instead of have a tiny unit bead and a large thousand cube, each category will be represented with a small square with the category written on it. This is the beginning of the "passage to abstraction" - although DJ will still be working with concrete materials, they are more abstract in that there are not size differences.
We started out comparing the stamps to the Golden Bead Presentation tray so DJ could see that instead of a unit bead, he'll have green squares (stamps) with a 1 written on them. In place of the 10-bars, he'll have blue stamps with 10's on them. The hundred square will be replaced with red stamps marked with 100's. And the thousand cube will instead be a green stamp with 1000.
To practice with the material, first I would ask for a number of stamps in one category at a time such as 4 units or 3 hundreds. Then we brought out the place value dice to roll a random 4 digit number and then build it with the stamps.
Then I brought out the stamp game paper to teach him to write the 4-digit number into the squared spaces. And this is where he hit his limit of understanding. His stamps showed 4,321 which he could read correctly as four thousand, three hundred, two tens and one. But when I instructed him to write it, he wrote 4000-300-20-1. And even when I tried to correct him, he insisted he needed the zeros for it to be correct. Next time I think I will bring out the large number cards so I can remind him how the zeros disappear when you do the magic slide. We'll practice writing the numbers more before moving into addition.
We didn't do much else this week but DJ did work with the Asia map, practice tracing with a stencil, practice with the bells, clean off his markings on the refrigerator and did his own laundry again.