What you do in your house is worth as much as if you did it up in heaven for our Lord God. We should accustom ourselves to think of our position and work as sacred and well-pleasing to God, not on account of the position and work, but on account of the word and faith from which the obedience and the work flow. ~ Martin Luther

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Math Games

I have really really wanted to post more of our home educating stuff lately, in fact, I have even toyed with the idea of making a separate blog about it to keep it all...organized. But if I rarely get a chance to post the things ANYWAY, why start ANOTHER blog?!

My intentions are good. We do a lot of neat stuff during our days and I would like to record it (and very soon will be required to). I have to work on that. If I can get to the point of recording things well, maybe THEN I can consider a separate space/blog devoted just for it.

Until then, all you non-home educators are going to just have to muffle through these homeschooling posts somehow! ;-)


Two math games from the last few weeks:

No reading required. Can be played alone or with two players starting at opposite ends of board. Can accomodate several different skill levels.

Objective: to get your guy/gal to the other side first, using math concepts such as counting, adding, subtracting, multiplication and division (depending on age group).

Andrew plays the game with one die and counts that number. For him it is about number recognition, counting, following instructions, and taking turns.

Corynn plays a more difficult version. She rolls two dice and subtracts the lower number from the higher and moves THAT amount. (Can also be used for addition-though the object should be to go across the board and back again, in that case, since the number of spaces moved will be much higher.) The object for her is to practice working out math skills like subtraction and addition in her HEAD, making the concepts more abstract. It also gets her nose out of her mathbook and gets her learning without realizing it, always a good thing.

An even older option would be to move the number of spaces rolled after answering correctly multiplication/division problem flashcards.

If different skill-levels play at the same time, they ought to play the same "way" i.e. Corynn move the number shown on ONE dice. We learned this the hard way, after Andrew had made it across the board before Corynn even got a quarter of the way through it just because her subtraction answers were so much smaller than his rolls! :-)

I used my circle punch to punch a bunch of circles and made a road across two sheets of black construction paper attached to one another. Then, I made some "obstacles" and some "opportunities". The children helped illustrate these.

Obstacle One: Stone wall (Go back ONE)
Opportunity One: Good Weather! (Move ahead ONE)
Obstacle Two: WATERLOGGED (Move back TWO spaces!)
Opportunity Two: Find Food! (Move forward THREE spaces)
Obstacle Three: QUICKSAND (Move back THREE spaces)

They also made themselves game piece "people" from a wooden bead glued to a button.

(It is good to allow the children to participate in the creating process too---you know they want to, it will give them pride (and more excitement in actually playing it) and by doing so, you are helping to nurture the creative process in their own minds too. Who knows, they might be creating board games on the side afterwards!)

I placed the paper pieces where they ought to be and Corynn glued them all. I wanted to laminate the game but had run out of laminating sheets, so I used up the last of our clear CONTACT paper. Not nearly as pretty as laminated, but it should hold up well enough.

It has already been well-used, and I have never even had the opportunity (yet) to suggest playing it; they have beat me to it.

Objective: practice math concepts like halves, quarters, eighths as well as introducing FRACTIONS through play.

While bookwork was being done one morning, I decided pizza making would be fun for the children and could be educational too. I traced a small dinner plate on tan construction paper (twice since both Andrew and Corynn made their own), a slightly smaller and less perfect circle out of red (for sauce) and slightly smaller and jagged circle out of white (for mozzerella). The children shouted out their favorite toppings and I cut up a bunch.

After bookwork (which went by incredibly fast that morning for SOME reason, hehehe) I gave the children both glue sticks and told them to have at it. My goodness these children love glue. They made their own pizzas, just how they liked them.

Then, we cut them up into equal portions (eighths) while discussing it. We laminated all the pieces.

Then, we played pizza party.

"How much pizza would you like?"

"Oh, two-eighths please." Wait! That is a QUARTER of the pizza!

"Could you cut the pizza in half, please?"

"I would like 7/8s of the pizza please..." "NO WAY!" ;-)

They had fun during the creative process, the learning process and the playing process. And now they have PIZZA for their play kitchen too! ;-)


Bonnie said...

You are brilliant. Your are still brilliant when you are pregnant. I am neither, so I am swiping your ideas.
Yay! I'm so excited to try these!

...they call me mommy... said...

ADORABLE! Great ideas! I'm so excited to see your homeschool posts! I'm actually *planning* on doing the same thing with some of our learning...putting more of it on the old blog!

Thanks for sharing!


Riahli said...

Awesome ideas, thanks for sharing! :)

Terri said...

Very clever! My children loved doing board games and making their own when I was homeschooling.

Julia said...

Such cute ideas! May I feature this post on my blog: www.teachingforeternity.blogspot.com

Please leave me a comment to let me know if it is ok or not. I will need to use some of your pictures and will link to your blog. Thanks so much for your consideration!


Anonymous said...

Hi Rebecca,
What wonderful maths lessons you have!

Have a wonderful weekend,
Jillian ♥

Jemit said...

I love these ideas.. I'll be checking back more often to see other ideas you have!
Thanks Rebecca