Thursday, March 09, 2006

Math, bleah; books, yay!

G has been working on money problems in math for the last couple of weeks, and it's been a real struggle for her. She knows how much all the coins are worth, and she can add up groups of coins pretty accurately, but she's stumped by the reverse problems -- the ones that say "Draw 84 cents in coins," and you're supposed to draw three quarters, a nickel and four pennies, or two quarters, three dimes and four pennies, or whatever. She doesn't do too badly with smaller amounts, like 15 or 20 cents, but even then she wants to show them all in pennies and nickels because those are easier to add.

In the course of all this money-counting, I've also discovered that she doesn't know how to count by tens when the numbers don't end in zero: that is, she knows 20, 30, 40, 50, but if you count 24, 34, 44, she doesn't know that the next number should be 54. I thought that was intuitive, but then a lot of things seem intuitive when you already know them. I guess she and I will have to do some extra practice.

We finished reading Crystal the Snow Fairy tonight, and now we're all out of fairy books. There are scads more -- six in the Weather Fairies series, plus three more series of seven books each -- but they're only available in the UK at the moment. I haven't decided yet whether I want to order them from Amazon UK or wait for them to be published here. In the meantime, we started on Jigsaw Jones and the Case of the Marshmallow Monster. G is loving it so far. It's all about a camping trip, so she went and got her Scooby-Doo sleeping bag and zipped herself up in it to read (and in fact is sleeping in it right now, only on top of her bed).

As for my own reading, I'm trying to get into The House of the Spirits, but it's not working out very well. I had a hard time with Like Water for Chocolate too, although I did end up liking it, so perhaps magical realism just isn't the genre for me. I get paid tomorrow; maybe I'll go to the bookstore and look for something new.

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