I recently started the production of several simple math flash card videos for Damien.
The purpose in these videos is to teach the memorization of the basic arithmetic facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) for numbers 0-12.
They are in some ways unlike the traditional Doman math program, because in the Doman program arithmetic is introduced by random, never repeating equations. For example, one day showing 3+4=7 and several others, the next day 20+31=51, and so on. The baby is seeing all kinds of new equations and so he doesn’t get bored, and learns through seeing what “adding” means.
I will admit that this type of random presentation has it’s benefits, and my first son did learn what “adding” and “subtracting” and “multiplying” and “dividing” meant just by seeing these random equations. It was quite phenomenal.
However, I have learned that the memorization of the basic facts is still vitally important. Even though my first son knew what those words meant, and could answer questions when he was little (for example, what is 93÷3?), he still had to have the basics verbally memorized. The issue with the Doman math was that he could always point out and “see” the answers but he could never verbalize them.
So with Damien I am creating these math videos. There will be around 40 total when I am done, I think I calculated, to go through the four basic operations with numbers 0-12.
- Each video is very brief, just over a minute long.
- They are quickly paced, for the purpose that the child simply absorbs the information rather than studying each screen.
- The equations are put to “song”. I know it’s not the most creative rendition but it can be sung.
- Each equation is repeated twice: the first time with objects, the second time with numerals.
- Each video features two different objects to keep things interesting and engaging: these first three videos contain various balls. Other objects for future videos will include toys, household objects, foods, animals, and so on.
- The equation is repeated in opposite order: for instance, the first time “4+2=6”, the second time “2+4=6”. This is to teach the concept that (with addition and multiplication), the order doesn’t matter (commutative property).
- Each slide is clear and distinctive so concepts are easily understood. For example, I do not simply put up the equation 9+3=12 on the screen and read it. The screen starts off with just a “9” and I say “nine”, then the “+” symbol comes up and I say “plus”, then the “3” symbol comes up and I say “three”, and so on. This not only teaches the concepts individually so they are clearly understood, but also teaches left-to-right progression in reading the equation.
- Each video is followed by a brief bit of math-related encyclopedic knowledge. These first three videos contain shapes at the end.
- I am planning to create printable supplements to go along with these videos. For example a printable card with “5+3=” and then the child can use matching to place the correct answer at the end of the card, “8”. I would like to make these in both numerals and objects.
So far Damien really enjoys the ones I have made. He will ask me for “math!” and then make his preference known which video he wants to see by saying either “soccer ball!” or “football!” and so on.
The videos are meant to be repeated over and over again (not all at the same time, just over the course of many weeks or months) so that firm memorization can happen.
In order to prevent boredom from the videos getting old, I would like to have many videos rotating at once (between the 40 or so total videos) so it will all seem “new” and “interesting” (rather than watching the same exact video every single day).
They are not meant to be a stand-alone math product, and it is helpful to bring math to life in real life by counting objects, doing addition and subtraction with objects, fingers, and so on, singing the songs instead of always watching them (and encouraging baby to sing along), and so on.
Will definitely share more resources to go with these videos, and the rest of the videos (as I make them) on this blog.
Here are the first three videos (+1’s, +2’s, +3’s):
Damien is currently 1 year, 9 months (21 months) old