Sunday, May 22, 2011
Balancing Act by Ellen Stoll Walsh
We really, really enjoy books by Ellen Stoll Walsh. In Balancing Act, the little mice make a teeter-totter (we call it a seesaw) and have fun balancing. More and more friends come along and they all have to figure out how to balance on the teeter-totter. As usual, we love the cut paper illustrations; someday we have to do an art project in that style to go along with her books.
This book was a great excuse to pull out our Learning Resources Primary Bucket Balance and our Monkey Math game.
We have a set of ten weighted numbers that we often use with the bucket balance, but we also use liquids or little toys in the buckets and make guesses about how much or what we can add to make them balance. In the above photo, R is trying to balance Squinkies toys - do your kids have those? R loves them, but seriously, why do kids love little pieces of plastic junk so much?
Monkey Math is a fun game with a monkey scale and banana numbers. To get the scale to balance, you have to use simple addition when placing the bananas on the monkey's arms. If the scale does not balance, the monkey's eyes look silly - C and R think this is pretty funny. This game is also great for teaching greater than and less than.
I think I was originally inspired to do this by a post at Joyful Learner, but it seems to have disappeared, or at least I can't find it!