After setting up the prop above, I casually ask him the following questions:
- which is the longest item? How long is that item?
- which is the shortest item? How many square units is the shortest item?
- the longest items is ______________ squares longer than the shortest item?
He got the answers quicker that when the questions are posed on paper - although I must say, he did require some prompting still. But the basic idea is to make things "real" and less abstract for your children. My experience with my little Daniyal shows that it does help the little ones quite a bit when we could 'concretize' the questions for them. Want some practice? Try out setting up the props and vary the items and questions. ;)