Combinations of TEN (LEGO)

After all that bubble blowing with his LEGO wand, Jenson continued to make more magic this afternoon!

He had been sat outside on our swing bench, quietly flicking through our Unofficial Guide to Learning with LEGO when he came inside with his fingers paused over a page: Combinations of Ten. It is basically a maths exercise that introduces the concept of addition. It also encourages other skills such as counting and writing numbers to ten. I was a bit surprised by the request but went along with it. 

We started with a blank piece of A4 paper and drew a grid out. This task mostly fell to me as Jenson watched. Next he had to choose ten LEGO mini figures. Despite his vast collection, he has his favourites that normally reside in various places all over our house. Once he had rounded all the characters up we sat back down.

The next job was to line them all up in a row. This he accomplished after about the third time of trying because they kept falling backwards like dominoes! 

Jenson then had to write out all the combinations of ten. He was a little bit rusty with some of the numbers, especially 2 and 7, but we got there in the end. 

Next came the counting and adding up. Jenson started off with all of the mini figures in one column and slowly moved a character into the other column as he did the maths. So by moving one mini figure across it left nine behind. It helped Jenson to understand that 1 + 9 = 10. 

He repeated this for all the combinations, with Jenson counting up the total figures in each column every time and writing the answer in the box.

He had really got the hang of it by the end. Without any prompt from me, he even wrote 0 in the column where all the mini figures had been and where there was now none. 

I was totally impressed by Jenson's interest in this activity. Not only did he do it, but he did it really well. He instantly got the hang of what was being asked of him. He was engaged, switched on and 100% focused. Again, it was self initiated learning born out of his own desire to want to learn. We practiced his adding up all the way to the shops that evening and shall continue to carry on practicing as and when I remember!