Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Math Games

Dale has been working his way through Singapore Math 1A since we started school a few weeks ago.

Mostly this has involved beginning addition and subtraction. Since he has had a firm grasp those concepts for a while now, we are really concentrating on memorizing the basic facts: What numbers pair up to make 9? 10? 7?

I can imagine we will get to the point of dedicated memorizing and flashcards and all that, but for now the majority of our learning these facts is in using them.

In addition to (pun intended) the workbook and various worksheets from online, we are playing lots of math games using simple materials we already have, like dice, dominoes, Legos, and a set of 10 cards.

My problem is I tend to think up one of these games and then forget about it, instead of using it over and over!
Here are a few that I actually remember. :)

With a pair of dice: Choose a number you want to practice the facts for. Anything 6-10 works well. Player 1 rolls his die. Player 2 turns his to the corresponding number to add up to your chosen number. For example: "What goes together to make 7?" Player one rolls a 4. Player two turns his die to show a 3. Next turn.

With Legos:

Using 10 (or more or less, depending on which number you are practicing facts for) blocks of the same size, stack them up into a tower. We like the 1-dot bricks, but the 2 or 4 would work also. Each player makes a tower, then each player turns away from the other(s) and removes a number of bricks from his tower. Players take turns looking at how many blocks were removed (while the remainder of the tower is hidden in a fist) and then figuring out how many remain in the tower. For example: "Let's make a tower of 10 blocks." Player one turns away, removes 2 bricks, and lays them on the table for Player two to count. Player two then 'guesses' (or hopefullyfigures) that there are 8 bricks left in the tower hidden in Player one's hands.

We've played different variations on this Lego game, but I can't remember them! I should probably ask Dale.... I bet he knows!

And finally, the sets of 10-cards. I cut a stack of colored index cards in half, and wrote one number on each half, from 0 to 10. I made a second set of a different color.

For the first game we used them as playing cards, with each player getting one color. We chose which number facts we wanted to practice and took turns playing cards to make that number. For example: "Let's see what goes together to make 9." Player one looks at the cards in his hand and plays a 6. Player two would then play a 3. Play continues until all possible cards are used.

Today's game was a more straightforward way to practice. Dale had made a 'stairway' of 10 legos, so we decided to use our cards to show all the ways to make 10. When we finished 10 we took away a lego and lined up the cards again to show all the pairs that make 9, then 8 and so on.

Dale loves the variety and the fact that I am playing games with him. I love that he is learning his math facts the way he will actually need them.... by using them!
And Alan... well, he loves just being in on the action!

1 comment:

Kristin said...

Haha, oh Alan. I wish you had taught ME math when I was younger. :(