Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Mixing It up for Math

It dawned on me recently that I've not blogged much at all about what we do for math. This year for Kindergarten everday life has yielded endless opportunities for counting, comparing, and measuring - much like the kind of math Ruth Beechick describes in her Three R's.
We also use a hodgepodge of other things:
-A couple of months ago I introduced Superman to the gnomes over at Serendipity where Elizabeth Foss and a friend have written a magical tale of Gnomes and Numbers. There is quite a bit of material to be had there, complete with pictures you can download to go with the stories. We don't use this everday, but Superman can't wait for the days when we do follow the gnomes on their adventures.
-A friend from the FIAR boards recommended Peggy Kaye's Games for Math to me back in the fall. Somehow it got filed away, and I just pulled it out recently. We've played several of these games now (even Giggly Girl has joined in for most of them), and they are well-received and lots of fun (even for me). You can visit Peggy Kaye's website to download a sampling of her terrific reading and math games, including Number Bow, one of our favorites.
-Just the other day I broke down and purchased a set of pattern blocks. I've had these on my wish list for awhile, but I wasn't sure if we would really use them that much. Now I'm wondering why I didn't buy these sooner. The first day I poured these out on the table and just let everyone dive in. Withing a few minutes they were making all kinds of things - boats, dragons, rockets, and more. Even Sweet Pea was joining in the fun. I also downloaded these picture cards and printed them out. We tried these out for the first time tonight, and they were a hit. And of course, we'll use the blocks for patterning activities too!
-We also have fun with several other manipulatives - the hundreds chart, Funtastic Frogs, all kinds of counters (marbles, plastic chips, popsicle sticks, shells, beans, teddy bear counters - you name it!), learning clocks, and our window thermometer. (Reading the temperature is a favorite around here!)
-The number one all-time favorite math manipulative/activity for all of our children is MONEY! What is it about kids and real money? They enjoy playing with it, saving it in their "treasure boxes", learning the names of the coins and their values. And Superman enjoys counting and making change. Using nickels and dimes is his favorite way to practice counting by 5's and 10's. Playing with coins has also sparked in him a huge interest in learning about the U.S. Presidents, so much so that we began a unit on this subject last week. (Don't you love it when one interest leads to another?)
-And finally, something that I want to add to our math is reading more living math books. We've read some, but I've never truly planned a math lesson around a living book. Cindy over at On Our Journey Westward has written some great living math lessons with lots of tips and book suggestions. I really want to sit down and read all of her math posts!

I'm in the beginning stages of planning for next year, so if you have any great math ideas, I'd love to hear them.
Have a great weekend!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for such a sweet comment on my blog. You are doing an AWESOME job with living math!! Isn't it neat to see the excitement in your children when you pull out something fun? :)

    I'm looking forward to reading through more of your blog!



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