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.
This game is a great way to build mental math and strategic thinking skills with students of all ages.
“Jenna Laib’s Skip-Counting Game” is free on this website for one week only. It’s an excerpt from 312 Things To Do with a Math Journal, which is available for a limited-time preorder through the Playful Math Journaling Kickstarter. Discover how to help your children enjoy learning math through the richly creative exploration of numbers, shapes, and patterns.
Jenna Laib’s Skip-Counting Game
Math Concepts: addition, skip-counting, multiplication, mental math, strategic thinking.
Players: two or more.
Equipment: none. Pencil and paper (or whiteboard and markers) are optional
Continue reading Math Game Monday: Jenna’s Skip-Counting Game
If you haven’t seen the meme going around, this is a palindrome week because the dates (written American style and with the year shortened to ’19) are the same when reversed.
Here’s a math puzzle for palindrome week — or any time you want to play with math:
- Print a 100 chart.
- Choose a color code.
What do you think: Will all numbers eventually turn into palindromes?
You can find all sorts of hundred charts on my Free Math Printable Files page.
Read about the history of palindromes on Nrich Math’s Palindromes page.
Find out more about the Palindromic Number Conjecture in Mark Chubb’s article An Unsolved Problem your Students Should Attempt.
Or play with Manan Shah’s advanced palindromic number questions.
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.
Continue reading Math Game: Thirty-One
Education Unboxed has posted some playful addition games for young learners. And there’s much more on their website. Be sure to click around and explore!
Six is Having a Party! – Math Facts with Cuisenaire Rods
Continue reading Addition Games with Cuisenaire Rods
Photo by Luis Argerich via flickr. In this Homeschooling Math with Profound Understanding (PUFM) Series, we are studying Elementary Mathematics for Teachers and applying its lessons to home education.
The basic idea of addition is that we are combining similar things. Once again, we meet the counting models from lesson 1.1: sets, measurement, and the numberline. As homeschooling parents, we need to keep our eyes open for a chance to use all of these models — to point them out in the “real world” or to weave them into oral story problems — so our children gain a well-rounded understanding of math.
Addition arises in the set model when we combine two sets, and in the measurement model when we combine objects and measure their total length, weight, etc.
One can also model addition as “steps on the number line”. In this number line model the two summands play different roles: the first specifies our starting point and the second specifies how many steps to take.
— Thomas H. Parker & Scott J. Baldridge
Elementary Mathematics for Teachers
Continue reading PUFM 1.3 Addition
Kitten and I covered triangular numbers a couple months ago in our Competition Math for Middle School book, but I think it’s time to revisit the topic. I like the method James Tanton gives in this new video:
Continue reading Triangular Numbers: Sum from 1 to N
[Photo by stevendepolo.]
Math concepts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, powers and roots, factorial, mental math, multi-step thinking
Number of players: any number
Equipment: deck of math cards, pencils and scratch paper, timer (optional)
All players must agree on a Target Number for the game. Try to choose a number that has several factors, which means there will be a variety of ways to make it. Traditionally, I start my math club students with a target of 24.
Shuffle the deck, and deal four cards face down to each player. (For larger target numbers, such as 48 or 100, deal five or six cards to each player.) The players must leave the cards face down until everyone is ready. Set the remainder of the deck to one side.
Continue reading Game: Target Number (or 24)
[Photo by woodleywonderworks.]
The question came from a homeschool forum, though I’ve reworded it to avoid plagiarism:
My student is just starting first grade, but I’ve been looking ahead and wondering: How will we do big addition problems without using pencil and paper? I think it must have something to do with number bonds. For instance, how would you solve a problem like 27 + 35 mentally?
The purpose of number bonds is that students will be comfortable taking numbers apart and putting them back together in their heads. As they learn to work with numbers this way, students grow in understanding — some call it “number sense” — and develop a confidence about math that I often find lacking in children who simply follow the steps of an algorithm.
[“Algorithm” means a set of instructions for doing something, like a recipe. In this case, it means the standard, pencil and paper method for adding numbers: Write one number above the other, then start by adding the ones column and work towards the higher place values, carrying or “renaming” as needed.]
For the calculation you mention, I can think of three ways to take the numbers apart and put them back together. You can choose whichever method you like, or perhaps you might come up with another one yourself…
Continue reading Mental Math: Addition
[Photo by angela7dreams.]
A forum friend posted about her daughter’s adventure in learning the math facts:
“She loves stories and drawing, so I came up with the Math Friends book. She made a little book, and we talked about different numbers that are buddies.”
Continue reading Cute Math Facts for Visual Thinkers
[Photo by Photo Mojo.]
Yahtzee and other board games provide a modicum of math fact practice. But for intensive, thought-provoking math drill, I can’t think of any game that would beat Contig.
Math concepts: addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, order of operations, mental math
Number of players: 2 – 4
Equipment: Contig game board, three 6-sided dice, pencil and scratch paper for keeping score, and bingo chips or wide-tip markers to mark game squares
Place the game board and dice between players, and give each player a marker or pile of chips. (Markers do not need to be different colors.) Write the players’ names at the top of the scratch paper to make a score sheet.
Continue reading Contig Game: Master Your Math Facts