Morning Coffee – 4 Oct 2019

Morning Coffee image

One of the best ways we can help our children learn mathematics (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Friday morning coffee:

  • In the spirit of cracking eggs to make omelets, Michael Pershan cracks open some of the ideas around Equations and Equivalence and relational thinking.

“My experience is that when I have vague hope that children will learn something from an activity that is related to the mathematics I want them to learn, they usually don’t.”

—David Wees
Hands on or minds on?

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

Math Game: Place Value Fish

Math Concepts: addition, subtraction, place value to six or seven digits.
Players: two or more.
Equipment: pencil and paper.

Set-Up

Each player needs a sheet of blank or lined paper, and a pencil.

At the top of your page, write a 6-digit number. All the digits must be different, and none of them can be zero.

How to Play

On your turn, you go fishing for points. Ask one other player, “Give me your _____’s.” The blank is for the single-digit number of your choice.

The other player answers, “You get _____.” This blank is for the value of that digit in the other player’s number.

For example, suppose you asked for 5’s. If the other player has a 5 in the tens place of his number, you get 50 points. But if 5 was in the ten-thousands place, you would get 50,000. And if there is no 5 at all, you get zero.

You add those points to your number. The other player subtracts the points from his number.

Then it’s the next player’s turn to go fishing.

Notice These Rules

Your number may change with each turn (except when you get zero). Always use your most recent number to add or subtract the fishing points.

If you have more than one of the digit asked for (like the player on the left above, who has two 7’s), you may choose which one to give away. That is, you can give the other player 70 points and not even mention the 7,000.

Endgame

Keep taking turns until every player gets five chances to fish for points. After five rounds, whoever has the highest score wins the game.

UNLESS the winner made an arithmetic error.

Be sure to check each other’s math, because any player who makes a mistake automatically loses the game.

Share the Fun

If you try this math game with your kids, I’d love to hear how it goes. Please drop a comment below.

And tell us about your favorite math game, so we can all play that, too. 😀

CREDITS: This game comes from Michael Schiro’s book Mega-Fun Math Games: 70 Quick-and-Easy Games to Build Math Skills. Feature photo (top) by Ruben Ortega via Unsplash.

Morning Coffee – 30 Sept 2019

Morning Coffee image

One of the best ways we can help our children learn mathematics (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Monday morning coffee:

  • Kathy Iwanicki’s students explore an unsolved math puzzle: the Hailstone Sequence. I think my co-op class might enjoy this activity, too.
  • If you want to understand how number concepts develop through the school years, Graham Fletcher’s Progression Videos are a great place to start. Watch, re-watch, and learn.

“Learning occurs when we get something wrong and have to correct it. This is analogous to the much better known fact that when we subject our bodies to physical strain, say by walking, jogging, or lifting weights, the muscles we strain become stronger — we gain greater fitness.

“Indeed, the learning is better if the correction occurs some time after the error is made. Stewing for a while in frustration at being wrong, and not seeing how to fix it, turns out to be a good thing. Cracking your ego is an unavoidable part of learning.”

—Keith Devlin
On making omelets and learning math

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee – 27 Sept 2019

Morning Coffee image

One of the best ways we can help our children learn mathematics (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Friday morning coffee:

  • Do you have early learners? Christina Tondevold explains the building blocks of Number Sense for Pre-K to 2nd grade children.
  • If it’s time to teach your kids about the order of operations, consider using David Butler’s graphic version The Operation Tower. But don’t let yourself be drawn into those “gotcha!” memes on social media. As Dave Peterson points out (using trig functions), Order of Operations flows from basic common sense. If you need parentheses to make your meaning clear, then use them.

“What do we need to know in order to accomplish the goal? Well, start asking questions. And remember, one unasked question could put the entire enterprise in jeopardy…”

—Joe Schwartz
Houston, 1964

“It’s a little weird, isn’t it, that prime means first, and yet the first number isn’t prime?”

—Ben Orlin
Why Isn’t 1 a Prime Number?

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

Playing with Math at Find the Factors Blog

Check out the new playful math blog carnival at Find the Factors blog. Iva Sallay put together a great collection of number puzzles, math games, teaching tips, and more:

It’s like a free online magazine of mathematical adventures.

Enjoy!

Click here to go read the carnival blog

Do You Want More Ways to Play with Math?

Past carnivals are still full of mathy treasure. See them all on Pinterest:

And if you’re a blogger, be sure to submit your blog post for next month’s carnival!

Mathematics: An Acrostic

What Is Your Child’s Experience of Math?

If your children made an acrostic for the word “Mathematics,” what would they include?

Would they think of adjectives like artistic, mysterious, or sublime?

Or would they focus on words like answers, maddening, and stress?

I love taking a playful approach to mathematics. Puzzles, games and art projects lay down a foundation of wonder and enjoyment. This creates a strong, positive base to support our kids through the inevitable difficulties of learning an abstract subject like math.

There are many rich math resources these days! So different from back when I started homeschooling. If you need ideas to help you transform your child’s experience of math, check out my Free Math on the Internet pages.

Internet Math Resources

In fact, I have a huge folder of even more bookmarks and links that I hope to add to my resource pages, whenever I find the time…

Does your family have a favorite way to play with math?

CREDITS: Water background photo by Ishan via Unsplash.