Wednesday, 6 May 2015


After school I sat with Alastair while we practiced his 4 times table.  He is 7 years old and is in Primary 3.  

It was interesting ....  I thought he would recite off "4 ones are 4 .... 4 twos are 8..." etc but he ran through the numbers "4-8-16-24-32-36-40-44-48" and that was limit for him at this point in learning.

After trying a few fun drills, I suggested the 2 times table.  He knew that easily but when I asked him to "double" the number e.g. "double the recipe" or "double the amount of wood for the fire" he had not come across that word.  Well, why should he?  It's all part of the learning curve...

  Grandpa's birthday cake

On Mull, Alastair made a first ascent of this columnar basalt route at the ferry landing which goes to Ulva.

 John's shot of Alastair in Glasgow

This little exercise reminded me of the time I used to "talk" to Donald B who had a stroke leaving him with aphasia - inability to speak.  As is often obrserved, patients with aphasia can sing but not speak.  Furthermore, I notice that they can chant as well and one of things that Donald could say was "2 twos are 4 ... 4 fours are 16" and so on.  (Other things I used to get him to say were phrases that I thought he was likely to know (and, indeed, was able to say) namely "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John", "e=mc squared" and "a e i o u".

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