Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Math on my Mind

Math and I never were friends. In fact, math scared me. I wrote about my math feelings a couple months ago. I don't want my kids to feel the same way I felt about math. I want my kids to feel comfortable and maybe even a little excited to do math. So I've been trying to change things up a little in our house.

Right now my kids need to get their basic math facts down. We've been using games and flashcards to try to help.

I read about this math game idea in a book several years ago and finally got around to implementing it this year. All you need is an egg carton and two erasers (buttons, dried noodles, beans etc.)
Number the spaces in the carton. Place two erasers in the carton and shut the lid. Next shake the carton and open up. Then have your student add the two numbers or multiply the numbers where the erasers landed. I make my kids write the number sentence on paper or a dry erase board. Since this is different from our normal math stuff, the kids enjoy playing the game.


One of my kids was learning how to read large numbers and having some difficulty remembering the place value names. I used different colors to help differentiate between hundreds, thousands, millions. I made them into pockets and then wrote numbers on index cards. Each evening after dinner, the kids mix the numbers up and each have a turn reading the numbers. They've enjoyed practicing this way.

The last thing we've added to the math mix is a new game for the Nintendo DS. I guess when it's on the DS it just doesn't seem like work. I came across the Personal Math Trainer game and bought it knowing that I'd be able to get my kids to practice their facts via this route more than traditional flashcards. So far so good! The three older kids rotate which day they practice their facts on the DS. I usually give them a 15min. time limit but often find them still working past that. This isn't a fancy video game, but rather a tool to practice basic math facts using different drills.

So that's what's working for us right now. I'm still deciding which direction to go with our math curriculum for next year. If you have an math curriculum reviews or opinions, I'm open to hearing (umm reading) them.



Blogger Ticia said...

Those are fun activities. I'll have to remember for when we get to math facts more.

March 4, 2010 at 8:58 AM  
Blogger Teaching Tiny Tots said...

Great math ideas! We have used muffin tins for math concepts but I really like the egg carton idea.

Here is our muffin math...would be great with the egg carton to sort and store the colored pasta!

March 8, 2010 at 4:25 PM  
Blogger Ginger said...

I love these ideas...especially the place value activity. I do a bunch of ziploc games (containable games) and I think that would be a good one to put on/in a bag and/or file folder. I guess you saw in my post that we use it. But I also like the looks of Math U See too. I just like that Saxon seems to be a little more spiral in the daily work.

p.s. I love your blog!

March 24, 2010 at 3:15 PM  

Post a Comment

Thanks for letting me know you were here! :) I appreciate you taking the time to write. If you have any questions, I'll try to answer it in the comments section here or via email if it is listed in your profile.

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home