Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Games We Play

Before having children of my own, I remember asking my nephew what his favorite subject was.

"Sweet Math" was his reply and my sister explained that she used M&M's, raisins, or other sweets to introduce math to her children. "Sweet math" is now a favorite at our house as well, in large part because the children get to eat their manipulates at the end of the lesson.

Manipulatives are a great way to introduce math in a concrete way when young minds may not yet be ready for the abstractness of numbers on paper. Manipulates and math games are also a fun way to reinforce math facts and, if you have a younger child, to involve them as well. Here are a few of our favorite games:
Race to a Hundred is a game found in the teacher's manual from Math-U-See. Using playing cards in which the face cards have been removed, the first player draws a card, say a three, picks up the corresponding block and sticks it onto the hundred square. Taking turns, the players race to reach a hundred by covering the entire 100 square.
Max playing a slightly modified version of Math-U-See's Build a Wall. I give him a set amount of time to see how high he can build a wall, using two bars in each row. Here I have given him the 9 bar to start with as his foundation and he has used combinations such as 4+5, 6+3, 7+2, 8+1. When he is done, he writes down the corresponding equations.

We'd love to hear about your favorite math games as well!

1 comment:

Jeanne said...

We don't play maths games...but Jemimah loves eating the manipulatives!!