Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Learning WrapUps

Math. You either hate it or you love it. Regardless of how you feel about it, it is one subject that you must learn (the basics at least) just to get by in life. Fortunately, we can make the process of learning math more interesting by using manipulatives. I have used tons of manipulatives in my attempts to get my math-hating daughter to at least tolerate math. Most have failed. One has succeeded.

Learning WrapUps are a cool way to help kids learn their basic math facts. Learning WrapUps are key-shaped manipulatives that you use to match up a value on the left with the answer on the right. I'll use addition for an example. The addition set comes with 10 keys held together with a rivet. In the middle of each key is a + sign and the number you will be adding (ie. +1, +2, +3...). On the left of each key are the numbers 1-12 written out of order down the length of the key. On the right side of each key are the answers again written out of order. The goal is to wrap a connected string around from the left side over to the correct answer on the right side, around the back to the second number on the left, then to the correct answer, around the back to the third number on the left and so on. There is an animated clip showing this on their website if you are having trouble visualizing this. When you've done all the problems on the key, you hook the string at the bottom of the key and turn it over. There are lines on the back...if your string lines match the lines on the back of the key, you got all the answers correct. It's an easy, self-correcting way to practice your math facts.

The basic math set comes in addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and fractions. They also come in other subjects like pre-algebra, states and capitals, vocabulary, spanish, and science. We bought the basic math facts set that comes with a rap CD that raps/chants you through each key giving you enough time to follow along.

Here is our set. You can see two of the sets have one key completed and ready to have the answers checked. The CD are shown in the photo too.

Here is a photo of my daughter working with the division set. She's not quite ready for this set but likes doing the 1s and 2s. As you can see that aren't too big which makes them very portable.

I'd like to tell you that my kids think these are as neat as I do but they don't. My son thinks they are pretty cool and will work with them without being told. He's my math loving child. My daughter doesn't like them but then again she doesn't like anything that has to do with math. However, she will tolerate them which is a huge step up to getting her to practice/learn her basic math facts with other methods.

I think they are great for several reasons:

  • There's no paper waste.
  • They are portable.
  • They are easy to use.
  • They teach the facts out of order so they are learned better.
  • They don't make my daughter cry.
  • They are durable.
  • They come with ideas of how to make them into a game (races).
  • You can use them for several children over many years.

Did I mention that they are portable? I'm going to keep ours in the car so the kids can use car time to practice or take them into the doctor's office to work on while we wait.

And, you should know that I'm not getting paid in any way for this post. My goal of this website it to share about our homeschooling, including things that we like and things we don't like. This just happens to be one that I like.

Oh, and they also sell another cool thing called a Learning Palette that I haven't tried yet but can't wait to get for my youngest as soon as he's old enough for it. I'll be using them for preschool skills but they go up to 5th grade, I think.

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Manders said...

I learned about this method while my son was in second grade. Others in the house werenot interested in it, but my son was able to comprehent is and it made sense to me as well.

Check it out.

But I just found the Lattice Method, I really like.