Friday, September 10, 2010

Some ideas for supporting Math learning at home

I wanted to post this, just a a precursor to the work we are going to be doing with numeracy in the first unit this year. It is a number of ideas that someone forwarded me about helping kids with number awareness at home; often doing these type of activities in your daily routine can be more useful than piles of homework!Hope some of it is useful.

Everyday situations:

• Weighing, measuring capacity and timing when cooking. Converting a recipe for 4 people to one for 6 people.

• Being involved with measuring and calculating how much curtain fabric is needed, how much wood for shelves, how many wall or floor tiles are needed, how much carpet etc.

• Talking about time, e.g. How long is it until lunch time? The journey takes 2½ hours, when will we arrive? We need to be there at 2.00 pm, when do we need to leave home? Many children will still need practice with reading clock times, particularly minutes past and minutes to the hour.

• Handling amounts of money when shopping, working out total costs, working out change, checking receipts. Working out prices of sale items, e.g. 20% off. Managing pocket money and saving for things.

• Working out distances and directions from maps.

• Discussing and comparing house prices from newspaper house sales pages.

• Working out how much gas will be used on a journey, working out average speed for a trip, costing holidays, etc.

Play activities/games:

• Card games such as cribbage, etc.

• Any games involving calculating scores, e.g. scrabble, darts, bowling.

• Beat the calculator. In pairs, one with a calculator, one without, each works out the answer to a calculation aiming for the one without the calculator to say the answer first.

• Games involving strategic thinking/logic, e.g. checkers, chess, mastermind.

Mental activities:

• Practising and developing knowledge of addition and subtraction facts within 20 (7+8, 13-5 etc.) and multiplication and division facts to 10 x 10 (6x7, 35/5 etc.) Make it into a game if possible, e.g. have a set of cards numbered 1-10, pick a number such as 4, say 4 times the number on the card as each is turned over, keep all the cards you get right. Beat the calculator as above. On a journey, adult passenger times response, try to beat your own time.

• Ask ‘progressive’ calculations, e.g. 7 + 6, 17 + 6, 27 + 6, 47 + 6, 147 + 6; 5 x 2, 50 x 2, 500 x 2, 500 x 20.

• Working out 2-digit additions and subtractions, multiplying and dividing 2-digit numbers by 1 digit numbers mentally. Talk about how to make it easier, e.g. for 28 + 15, call it 30 add 13 and that’s easy; for 16 x 4, double 16, then double 32.

• Open- ended activities, e.g. The answer’s 25, what’s the question? How can you use combinations of 3 and 6 to make different numbers? (Use each number as many times as you like with addition, subtraction, multiplication or division.)

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