Gifted - Math Questions - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 02-29-2008, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone here have a child that tested high on non-verbal tests and acheives well in math? What indicators did you have that math comes easily to them in the early grades? K-3?

Thanks in advance!
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#2 of 6 Old 02-29-2008, 04:01 PM
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My kids haven't been tested, but I'm interested in this thread because my kids both seem to excel at math, and I'm not quite sure what to do with them!

Things that make me think my kids are good at math:
-Had one-to-one correspondence for numbers early by age 2 to 3 - and not just a few, but large numbers (like able to count out 32 objects accurately).
-Understood the concept (if not the facts) of multiplication by age 4 or so (saying things like "three 3s are 9, right mom?" or "we have to wait 30 minutes! That's 3 10s! I can't wait that long!")
-He's had a good understanding of time, e.g., that hours are divided into minutes, minutes into seconds and each of these are 60 unit measures since he's been about 3-4. When he was 4, I drove into the parking garage where went to daycare. We were supposed to be there by 9 am. The clock in the car read "8:49". Ds announced "We have 11 minutes to get there." (ironically, he still can't tell time with an analog clock!)
-He was able to play board games with accurate counting out of moves from about 3. He could play Monopoly Jr and accurately handle the money aspect from about 4.
-He's always been very good at recognizing patterns

Now he's in 1st grade and his teacher has him doing some 'challenge math'. I need to find out more about it. He's always the first to finish his math work in class. He LIKES to do math problems. He tries to help out the other kids at his table.

Interestingly, he gets the concepts more easily than the details. He's not very careful with details, so his homework/class work isn't always accurate. I need to figure out how to handle that.

Dd has a similar trajectory, if not more accelerated in some areas.
-She's been able to play games where she needs to count out spaces from about 2 1/2.
-She's been able to link the spots on a die (singular of dice) with a number since she was 3. She'll roll a die and say "3" or "5" and always be right.
-When I look at the PBS kids web site where they have the developmental trajectories, dd is doing at 3 1/2 a lot of things that they say 6-7 year olds should be doing with regard to number knowledge (1-1 correspondence for numbers up to 20 (she can do up to 45+), if you ask her what number comes before/after 25 or 32, she can answer, she can count by 10s to 100 (though she tends to say "ten-ty" for 100, it shows me she's got the pattern!), she recognizes simple patterns).
-Her operations on numbers (adding, subtracting) aren't as advanced (probably more a 4-5 year old level), but we haven't worked on it (she doesn't' seem interested yet). We played games with ds at this age to work on these.
-She's very good with puzzles (does 40-50 piece puzzles when she cares to.)

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
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#3 of 6 Old 02-29-2008, 07:47 PM
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Like the PP my girls haven't been tested. Both seem quite good at math though. When my older dd was 4, she walked up our stairs (we have a 3 story house) to the top, counting every step. At the top she said, 32 stairs. So, 8 times 4 is 32. So 8 times 2 is 16. Neat.

She grasps concepts quickly also. I explained to her about squaring #'s and cubing them and she instantly understood it and could do it with other #'s. She's good w/word problems and geometry too.

My younger dd also seems to have a strong aptitude for math. When she was 4 or 5, she was counting by 2's one day. Then she said to me and dh, "you know, it really should go 2, 4, 8, 16, 32, 64. That's better than 2, 4, 6, 8. At six she understands multiplication, division and fractions. More in her head than on paper though. If you ask her what 1/3 of 900 is she can tell you quickly, but I don't think she'd know what the answer was if you gave her 900/3 on a piece of paper. Her teachers tell me she's a lot of fun in math and it's quite a challenge keeping her challenged.

And both get things in their heads. That for me is the biggest indicator of understanding math and having a good sense of #s.
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#4 of 6 Old 02-29-2008, 08:09 PM
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I knew my older dd was good at math when she announced at age 5 that 46 was 2/3 of 69. We couldn't figure out where it came from, but for a little while she could tell you 2/3 of any number with digits divisible by 3. Her early development was a lot like what Lynn describes, including playing Monopoly Jr at age 4.

She's 7 now and working formally with multiplication. She understands the concept very clearly, but I want her to memorize her math facts and learn the algorithm to multiply large numbers. She prefers to work in her head exclusively, and can add or subtract 4 digit numbers in her head perfectly. She has an intuitive grasp of percentages too.

We haven't had out kids tested.

My younger daughter is advanced in math, but has a less driven personality than her sister, and we're less excited about it, so I don't have any great stories. Why does that make me feel guilty?

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#5 of 6 Old 02-29-2008, 08:29 PM
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Didn't read the other posts....

Mine was doing addition and subtraction math facts in his head, understood fractions and told time to five minutes when he was four. He taught himself multiplication when he was six and was able to add and subtract with renaming/regrouping up to the 10,000s at that time as well. He taught himself square roots when he was seven. Now he's eight and I frankly have no idea what he knows or doesn't know. I do know he does most math in his head and rarely writes his work down. He seems to just pick things up through the molecules in the air. Right now he seems more focused on reading than math so maybe the math has slowed down and that's why I'm not noticing. The multiplication was a biggie though because for about a week before he was a complete grump (something we've noticed just before he makes a developmental leap) and his teacher asked what was going on. I said that we'd noticed he did that stuff just before a leap and she joked, "Oh, he's probably working out multiplication." Sure enough, within a couple of days he said at dinner, "Mom? Is 3 times 4 12?...then is 5 times 6 30?..." and so on.

eta; oh, and he is one of those people who can look at a group of things--dots, whatever, in an array and almost immediately give you a precise count.
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#6 of 6 Old 03-02-2008, 07:55 PM
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My 4 year old is gifted in math. It has been very obvious to years that he has a gift in this area.

He has a severe speech delay. At about 2 years old, he correctly put number cards 1-20 in the correct order and could pick the right number out (1-20) before he was 2. Before he could talk, he could add numbers and subtract numbers by tellng us the answers on his fingers. He was 2.5 at the time. As soon as he had the words to catch up to his mind, he was counting to 100 and beyond by 3.5. I am positive that he would have done it earlier if he could have talked.

He's 4.5 now. He connects everything with numbers. He is constantly talking about how old people are, the difference in people's ages, how many minutes till we do something. Every book he sees, he has to find out how many pages are in it.

He can add and subtract in his head. Such as 45+9 or 76-7. He can add three single numbers in his head 4+4+3 with only a few seconds pause till he gives the answer. He can add 40+70 or 80-20 in his head. On paper, he can figure out 458+432. He is starting to learn how to carry numbers.

He can read and identify numbes up to 9999.

He can add money, not just dollars but if you give him 3 quarters, 1 dime, 2 nickles and 3 pennies, he will figure out how much money it is. He was doing the money at Monopoly Junior when he was 3.

He has taught himself multiplication. When he would ask me what 4+4+4, he started talking about multiplication. He can now figure out all of the smaller numbers by adding them and constantly asks me the bigger numbers. He has memorized alot of them at this point. The interesting thing is that he totally gets the concept of multiplication, not just memorizing the facts. For example, I had 3 12 packs of soda in the shopping cart. He said "I want to know how many cans you just bought. So it would be 12 times 3..... That would be 12 plus 12 plus 12.....

He is starting to work into division. I haven't told him the term division yet, but he told me the other day that if there were 20 boxes, we would each get 10.

He can very accurately count up to 100 of an object. He correctly counted 57 nobs on a chair a few weeks ago. He can also do dot to dots with 200 numbers. And can do 200 piece puzzles by himself.

He understands negative numbers and likes to add and subtract negative numbers. He also understands fractions and is starting to try to add them together.

He is constantly making up word problems about life and figuring out the answer. It is all about the numbers in his life.....

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