Do you enjoy math? I hope so! If not, browsing the articles linked in this post just may change your mind.
Welcome to the 85th edition of the Math Teachers At Play math education blog carnival—a smorgasbord of links to bloggers all around the internet who have great ideas for learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to pre-college.
Finally, the first two books of my math games series are finished and loaded up on Amazon.com (and the other Amazons worldwide). To celebrate, I’m offering an introductory sale price this weekend: US$2.99 per book, now through Monday.[Sorry, expired.]
Math Your Kids WANT To Do
Are you tired of flashcards and repetitive worksheets? Now your children can practice their math skills by playing games.
Math games pump up mental muscle, reduce the fear of failure, and develop a positive attitude toward mathematics. Through playful interaction, games strengthen a child’s intuitive understanding of numbers and build problem-solving strategies. Mastering a math game can be hard work, but kids do it willingly because it is fun.
Math Concepts: addition to thirty-one, thinking ahead. Players: best for two. Equipment: one deck of math cards.
How to Play
Lay out the ace to six of each suit in a row, face-up and not overlapping, one suit above another. You will have one column of four aces, a column of four twos, and so on—six columns in all.
The first player flips a card upside down and says its number value. Then the second player turns down a card, adds it to the first player’s number, and says the sum.
Players alternate, each time turning down one card, mentally adding its value to the running total, and saying the new sum out loud. The player who exactly reaches thirty-one, or who forces the next player to go over that sum, wins the game.
Math Concepts: counting up to five, thinking ahead. Players: two or more. Equipment: none.
How to Play
Each player starts with both hands as fists, palm down, pointer fingers extended to show one point for each hand. On your turn, use one of your fingers to tap one hand:
If you tap an opponent’s hand, that person must extend as many extra fingers on that hand (in addition to the points already there) as you have showing on the hand that tapped. Your own fingers don’t change.
If you force your opponent to extend all the fingers and thumb on one hand, that makes a “dead hand” that must be put behind the player’s back, out of the game.
If you tap your own hand, you can “split” fingers from one hand to the other. For instance, if you have three points on one hand and only one on the other, you may tap hands to rearrange them, putting out two fingers on each hand. Splits do not have to end up even, but each hand must end up with at least one point (and less than five, of course).
You may even revive a dead hand if you have enough fingers on your other hand to split. A dead hand has lost all its points, so it starts at zero. When you tap it, you can share out the points from your other hand as you wish.
Six years ago, my homeschool co-op classes had fun creating this April calendar to hand out at our end-of-semester party. Looking at my regular calendar today, I noticed that April this year starts on Wednesday, just like it did back then. I wonder when’s the next time that will happen?
A math calendar is not as easy to read as a traditional calendar — it is more like a puzzle. The expression in each square simplifies to that day’s date, so your family can treat each day like a mini-review quiz: “Do you remember how to calculate this?”
The calendar my students made is appropriate for middle school and beyond, but you can make a math calendar with puzzles for any age or skill level. Better yet, encourage the kids to make puzzles of their own.