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Thursday, March 12, 2009

5 Reasons to Try Doubles

                                                                Double the Trouble

Finger Patterns/Doubles Review
A number of readers asked me to explain why doubles and finger patterns are important. Exposing your child to finger patterns and early counting is a crucial developmental step. Current research and theory suggests that "Children's number competence is supported by their daily experiences in the world." (Saxe, et all., 1997)  Doing these simple and fun activities with your child will encourage an early awareness to math that includes counting, finger patterns and a new vocabulary.

Doubles are a huge concept.  I don't expect my four year old to fully understand it but I am giving him the chance to practice, understand and have fun with doubles before he enters school.  Asking a child to fire away a double four can be confusing.  The correct response is to fire away a two and a two on each hand.  Remember the number you ask them to fire away is the TOTAL, not what they show on each hand.

Five Reasons to Try Doubles
1.  Doubles are everywhere.  We have doubles built into our bodies.  Why not show your child what a double looks like?  I have two feet, two sets of five fingers and two sets of five toes.
2.  Doubles open the door for more advanced strategies.  Doubles are the same as counting by twos. Counting by twos is groundwork for multiplying by two.
3.  Children of all ages can talk about doubles.  Young children can fire away a double from two to ten while older children can go past ten and do higher doubles mentally or on paper (6+6, 7+7, etc.)
4.  Kids love using the word double.  My son loves to say it when requesting his favorite food or treat!  
5.  Doubles encourage children to see numbers as a set or a group and move away from seeing numbers as going one by one.

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