My recent adventures introducing Polly Plus to a homeschool co-operative….


IMG_20130520_120029Acting out the book takes awhile to set up, but it’s worth it. A forest and river are easy to duplicate in any room if you have an active imagination.  I am forever amazed at the versatility of a couple of twigs and some old colored sheets. I was ready with props and added a sun, I don’t know why, I saw one in my daughter’s room and know that it plays a role in the books.

Dressed in yellow, I was ready to introduce the book. I asked for two actors for Polly and King David. Then I asked if anyone wanted to be the sun. (They had the easy job of following Polly)

The room was set up so the scenes from the book were  staged, jewels and all. I read the book while the children acted out the play. Children are natural actors and the first reading went very smoothly. We did it three more times, until everyone who wanted a turn got one. The children did not seem to tire of watching other Polly’s work it out. Some boys were happy to be Polly, and some were called “Paul-y” 🙂

After the drama activity, we gathered in a circle. We talked about the personality of Polly. She is particular and neat. She is precise. She likes collecting jewels methodically. Sometimes I ask what children would like more of, but this time, it was obvious that this group of children wanted more movement, so we went outside.IMG_20130520_112341

The children paired up and took turns leaving two groups of jewels for their “Polly” to find. Each pair had a chalkboard to work out the equation. They took turns a few times, then it was time to go.

The next day we went for a walk in the woods. We talked about the plus sign that Polly wears. The children looked for the sign in nature and created plus signs in the woods. We then split into two groups, one scattered  jewels in the woods under or around the plus signs. Then the Polly group went and collected the jewels. We brought chalkboards on the walk, but you can use anything -notebooks, wipe off boards, a stick in the sand…

It was great to be outside with math and I was really happy to get this small group started joyfully on their addition journey!IMG_20130531_141457



After children understand  the concept of addition, they are ready for other activities.

Older children might work with more jewels. Younger children should focus on the numbers up to ten and master those number partnerships then work with  one or two sacks.

It is best to practice addition in the manner that best suits your child’s temperament. Active children can play outside games and engage in acting. Hands on children can practice addition with the jewel, sack and treasure chest manipulatives. Children who love worksheets can download specific Arithmetic Village worksheets.  Social children can work together co-operatively and independent learners can play on their own.

Arithmetic Village is intended to be open ended and versatile! Please share your experiences with us all so we can learn what works for everyone.