I am pretty much exploiting P’s Thomas engine phase and teaching him all I can while it’s (Thomas) is still the ‘lavour of the seaso’. P is doing a lot in Math at school (which I personally think it’s too early) which has got my little fellow a little muddled up. He is learning ascending and descending order and P, who is a concrete learner (like all children his age) just couldn’t solve the abstract version.
That’s how Thomas the tank engine came to the rescue.
I took some of P’s old blocks and wrote the numbers using white board marker (easily erasable). I then told him, “Today Thomas has to pull many carriages of different sizes. He thinks it will be a good idea if he pulls from the smallest to the biggest (ascending order). Can you help arrange the blocks in ascending order?”. He quickly got down to work and arranged them.
And there, just like that P got it without any tantrum or fuss. We repeated with many more numbers, descending order and even tried stacking them up to break the monotony. It turned out to be a fun story and game session.
Now that he has got the concept, I intend moving him to the abstract version (pen and paper/question mode) soon.
For any early learner, the best way to teach them concepts is through the tactile and concrete way. It is scientifically proven that the little brains cannot fathom abstraction and they require to touch and feel the concept to learn it.
As I pen this down my little learner is busy making up stories and writing the weight (numbers) Thomas has to carry to Brendan Docks!