Sunday, February 24, 2013

Hands on Learning: Math

Now I have to admit that this is even a challenge for me. Math is not my forte and I tend to stick to traditional methods. But I accepted the challenge & here's what I found.

Preschoolers and Kindergarteners:

Again this is easiest. Clearly counting and number recognition can be done through play. Use blocks, manipulatives, number magnets, etc.

Play number recognition hopscotch. Instead of playing hopscotch the regular way, have your children jump to the number you call out. To up the ante, turn it into addition or subtraction hopscotch. For older children, multiplication or division hopscotch. The possibilities are endless!

SNATCH! As mention in previous blogs, SNATCH can be used for anything. Number recognition, computation facts, fractions....

Use m&m's or another special treat to do addition and subtraction. Give them 10 m&m's, tell them to 'take away' or subtract 4 (they get to eat them to subtract) and what is left? I'm sure this will motivate the biggest hater of math!

Teach money skills by setting up your own store. Or take them out to a real store. Practicing with real money is the best way to teach them this! Maybe start giving them an allowance. They will appreciate the value of money more when it is their own and they have to choose. "Do I really want this dollar store bear right now or do I want to save for that Barbie?"

Telling Time: Make a cardboard clock with a digital clock below it (see directions in Teaching Tips on the website). Practice by the hour at first, then the half hour, 15 minutes and 10 minutes and then single minutes.

Place value: Put out labels on the floor - hundreds, tens, ones. Give 3 children a number and have them stand by each label (or just put the numbers by the label if you do not have a group). Ask what number is this? What is in the hundreds place? Tens? What is we switch it around? What is the smallest number possible using these 3 numbers? The largest? What happens if we add a decimal point?

Estimation: Play the famous 'How many in the Jar' game. Estimate how many children are needed (laying down toe to head) to measure the length of the room?  Estimate the height of the ceiling. Now give them the actual dimensions and see how close they came with their estimations.

Probability: You could sit at a table and roll dice and/or flip coins & this would be fun. But how about making giant dice out of appliance boxes & rolling those around the room?

Again this is just a drop in the bucket. There are so many ways to make Math fun! Even for me!!!