Math Game Monday: Fraction Train

Many parents remember struggling to learn math. We hope to provide a better experience for our children.

And one of the best ways for children to enjoy learning is through hands-on play.

Upper-elementary and middle school students will master a variety of fraction concepts with this fun domino game.

“Fraction Train” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Multiplication & Fractions: Math Games for Tough Topics, which is available as an ebook at my publisher’s store (where you get all formats for one low price, and I earn higher no-middleman royalties) or through other online retailers, or by special request through your local library. Read more about my playful math books here.

Fraction Train

Math Concepts: proper and improper fractions, comparing and ordering fractions.

Players: any number.

Equipment: one set of double-six or double-nine dominoes.

Continue reading Math Game Monday: Fraction Train

Parents: Math Is Figure-Out-Able

I love listening to podcasts during my morning walk with the dogs. One of my favorites over the past year has been Pam Harris and Kim Montague’s Math is Figure-Out-Able podcast.

Figure-out-able. What a great word!

Figure-out-able sums up what I mean when I tell parents that math is “applied common sense.” Kids can use the things they know to figure out things they don’t yet know.

And figuring things out like that is fun, like a mental game where we play with the ideas of numbers, shapes, and patterns.

Usually, the podcast targets teachers, and the hosts try to show how they can help students learn to mathematize — to think mathematically. Over the past few weeks, however, Pam and Kim have been talking directly to parents about how to help their children learn math.

Continue reading Parents: Math Is Figure-Out-Able

Math Game Monday: Push the Penny

This game offers young children a chance to practice counting and early addition skills while racing to beat their parents.

“Push the Penny” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Math You Can Play Combo: Number Games for Young Learners, which is available as an ebook at my publisher’s store (where you get all formats for one low price, and I earn higher no-middleman royalties) or through other online retailers, or by special request through your local library. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

Math Game Monday: The Partitions Game

This game features the Cuisenaire rods, but you may play with any math manipulative based on length: Montessori bead chains, Mortensen or Math-U-See blocks, etc. Or draw pictures on graph paper.

“The Partitions Game” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from Let’s Play Math: How Families Can Learn Math Together—and Enjoy It, which is available as an ebook at my publisher’s store (where you get all formats for one low price, and I earn higher no-middleman royalties) or through other online retailers, or by special request through your local library. Read more about my playful math books here.

The Math Game Monday posts will be available for one week only. If you missed this one, explore the links in the sidebar. There are more than forty free games scattered around the blog. Have fun playing math with your kids!

Playful Math Education Carnival 147

Welcome to the 147th edition of the Playful Math Education Blog Carnival — a smorgasbord of delectable tidbits of mathy fun. It’s like a free online magazine devoted to learning, teaching, and playing around with math from preschool to high school.

Bookmark this post, so you can take your time browsing. There’s so much playful math to enjoy!

By tradition, we start the carnival with a puzzle in honor of our 147th edition. But if you’d rather jump straight to our featured blog posts, click here to see the Table of Contents.

Continue reading Playful Math Education Carnival 147

Podcast: Real Math and Family Fun

Christy Thomas interviewed me for her Keep Calm and Mother On podcast. We had a wonderful chat. I think you’ll enjoy it:

Real Math and Family Fun with Denise Gaskins

“School math sometimes is more stress-inducing. Real math is more freeing and more joyful, and just more interesting.

    “Real mathematics is basically applied common sense.

      “Real mathematics is noticing patterns, seeing connections, figuring things out.

        “These are all things that you can do. You do them in other areas of your life. Real mathematics draws on those same abilities and focuses those abilities on numbers, shapes, and patterns.

          “Real mathematics is about solving puzzles. It’s about creative reasoning. These are the things you want your child to understand.”

          —Denise Gaskins, Real Math and Family Fun

          Go Listen to the Interview

          CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Bruno Nascimento via Unsplash.com.

          Podcast: Math as a Nature Walk

          Pam Barnhill interviewed me for the Your Morning Basket podcast. We had a great talk. I think you’ll enjoy it:

          YMB #94 Math in Morning Time: A Conversation with Denise Gaskins

          “Let me give you this new vision. I want you to think of math as a nature walk.

            “There’s this whole world of interesting things. More things, more concepts, more ideas than you and your children would ever have time to explore. And everywhere you look, there’s something cool to discover.

              “If you explore this world with your children, you’re not behind. Wherever you are, you’re not behind because there is no behind. There’s only, “We’re going this direction.” Or, “Let’s move that way.” Or, “Hey, look what I found over here!”

                “And as long as your children are thinking and wondering, and making sense of the math they find, they’re going to learn. They’re going to grow.

                  “So what you want to do is, you want to embrace this adventure of loving God with all your mind and approach math with an attitude of playful exploration.

                    “And you know, you’ll be surprised how much fun thinking hard can be.”

                    —Denise Gaskins, Math in Morning Time

                    Go Listen to the Interview

                    CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Jessica Rockowitz via Unsplash.com.

                    Playful Math Carnival 146 via Find the Factors

                    Check out the latest carnival of playful math:

                    Each monthly Playful Math Education Blog Carnival brings you a great new collection of puzzles, math conversations, teaching tips, and all sorts of mathy fun. It’s like a free online magazine of mathematical adventures, helpful and inspiring no matter when you read them.

                    Iva put together this huge and amazing collection of mathematical games, activities, art projects, hands-on fun, math storybooks, poetry, and more.

                    Click Here to Read the Carnival Blog

                    Help Us Keep the Carnival Going

                    The Playful Math Blog Carnival wants you!

                    The carnival is a joint effort. We depend on our volunteer hosts to collect blog posts and write the carnival each month.

                    Putting together a blog carnival can be a lot of work, but it’s a great opportunity to share the work of bloggers you admire and to discover new math-friends online. I love that part of being a host!

                    Classroom teachers, homeschoolers, college professors, unschoolers, or anyone who likes to play around with math — if you would like to take a turn hosting the carnival, please speak up.

                    Notice, Wonder, Create

                    Many homeschooling parents dream of a mathematical magic bullet — a game, app, or book that will help their children learn math and enjoy it.

                    As in life, so also in math, there is no magic solution.

                    Do you want your children to learn math and enjoy it? Teach them to be Math Makers.

                    When they create their own math, students build deep, personal connections to math concepts. They think about the relationships between numbers, shapes, and patterns. Math becomes personal.

                    Toys, hobbies, favorite stories — all can be fodder for math creation.

                    Where Do Math Makers Get Ideas?

                    Let the child choose something to think about.

                    Make an “I Notice” list. How does that item relate to math? What patterns or shapes can you see?

                    Or how would the story characters use numbers in their daily lives? Would they cook, or go shopping? Might they build something? Would they decorate it with a design? What would they count or measure?

                    Make an “I Wonder” list. How many different ways might you turn the things you noticed into questions? What else might you ask?

                    Then turn one of your noticings or wonderings into a math story, poem, puzzle, drawing, or game. Create your own math. Share your creation with family and friends.

                    Now Get Published

                    Join the Student Math Makers team. We’d love to add your math creation to our collection and share it with viewers all around the world!

                    Download a Math Makers Invitation and Submission Form below:

                    CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by MI PHAM via Unsplash.com.

                    Math Makers: Write a Poem

                    Last week, I mentioned my new project, the Student Math Makers Gallery where children and teens can share their original math creations with the world.

                    So this week, I’m offering inspiration to get your children’s creative juices flowing.

                    Let’s Write Math Poetry

                    April is National Poetry Month, and it’s also Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month.

                    What better way to celebrate than writing math poetry?

                    • Write a poem about a math concept or idea, using your favorite style of verse.
                    • Or write a poem about any subject, using a mathematical constraint.
                    • Or both: write a poem about math, constrained by math.

                    Here are some examples…

                    Continue reading Math Makers: Write a Poem