Fun ideas for Math?


Fun ideas for Math?

Unread post by cbollin »

madlib1210 wrote:I am new to hsing and am on Day 18 of MFW 1st grade. So far we are loving it. DD6 LOVES the Complete Book of Math and enjoys the Math Reading selections. But she is starting to complain about the number of the day activities and asks why we have to do the same thing each day.

She is also just automatically answering the questions w/out thinking, because she knows the answer is going to be the number of the day (for example when we add the bean or penny to our bean or money jar she automatically says the answer w/out counting). I appreciate any ideas you all have for how to work through this.

Blessings in Christ,
Number of the Day has many activities to allow for a wide variety of things to do with it besides counting beans in a cup and calling out an answer by rote (that part might be able to be skipped by your child, but not necessarily the whole category of things to do with Number of the Day.. make sense?) I do think there is value in the counting of objects so that your young child can visualize numbers larger than 10.

You might want to look back on the section of the manual that has some
extra activities to do with the Number of the Day. I have an older manual, but the pages are p. 9-11 for some of that.

There are ideas in there for expanding the story problems around the number of the day, and for doing equations that include the number of the day in the equation but not necessarily the answer. So if number of the day is 11, you make an equation such as 7 + ??? = 11. So, the number of the day is part of the equation but not the answer.

Also, there is a suggestion in the tm to use the opportunity to teach about greater than and less than for the children who are ready to move on.

Last edited by cbollin on Wed Aug 22, 2007 12:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread post by RachelT »

Hi Robin! We are on day 5 of 1st grade. Last year we did similar number activities in MFWK.

One thing that we combine with these activities is calendar math each day. I have a magnetic calendar that we change the number on each day. I've also found some songs about the days of the week, months, etc. Last year we did the calendar and 100 chart together. This year I found great ideas on a website for a math calendar binder. We are doing some of those activities. I also write a message on our white board that incorporates the calendar math and we sometimes sing a song and I call this our "morning meeting". It's from my former teaching days.

The great site about calendar math is called Mrs. Meacham's calendar math. There are photos of examples, files to print, and fun songs at the bottom.

Anyway, I would say to vary what you are doing with the number. Maybe instead of doing all 6 steps of the math activities on page 9-10 of the TM EVERY day, just rotate them. Do the number cup things (we put colored craft sticks in a plastic peanut butter jar and bundle them in 10's) and the 100 chart every day, but then one day focus on a few oral story problems with manipulatives, the next day do the number of the day sheet, then the next day do coin activities. In other words, choose what you think looks important for each day and then select another activity to go along with it and move on. My ds likes routine, but can also say that he is "bored" if we always do things the exact same way every day. I think in time you will find this easier.

I hope you find ways to spice up your math!
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Unread post by madlib1210 »

Thanks so much for all the advice. I like the idea of doing the calendar, bean counting, and 100 chart (we need lots of practice skip counting and such) each day and then rotating in the other activities.

It is so hard for me being new to homeschooling to know what to change up and what to do exactly as written. I get worried that she will miss out on something. Thanks for giving me the confidence to tweak the curriculum.

Blessings in Christ,
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Unread post by kellybell »

Sounds good! There's a lot to be said about repetition (for example, it works) but it can get boring.

Lots of times when we are dealing with "boring" activities (often, we are really dealing with character things!) we spice things up. Perhaps we do it first in the day. Or last in the day. Or in our pajamas before breakfast. Or (a favorite) with a special doll or stuffed animal (with the student "teaching" her companion).

One thing that works wonders for us are chocolate chips (M&Ms work well too but they are bigger so it's easier to overdose on them). After each cheerfully done activity, maybe you can dole out a chocolate chip.

Don't be afraid to spice things up with math. One book I love (and have touted on this board before) is Peggy Kaye's Games for Math. You may not love it, so check the library before you plunk down money. It's aimed at K through 3rd graders and it has a lot of games to reinforce counting, adding, place value. They are simple games and easy to learn.

One game they have is where you get four (or three) cups and label them 1, 10, 100, and 1000. Each player takes turns throwing nine bingo chips (or large beads, whatever) into the cups and then you calculate the score. If you have four in the 1000 cup, two in the 100 cup, none in the 10 cup and three in the 1 cup you get 4,203 points. Very simple, pretty fun.

So, add some games.
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Unread post by lyntley »

another good one is Family Math for young children. They usually have it at the library too. These kinds of books are great for helping you to think outside the workbook and come up with ways to incorporate math throughout the day.
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Unread post by henryteachers »

Another idea, which we did last year--
my daughter was feeling the same way, so we stopped. Came back to it and did 10 numbers on one day for the 100 chart. Then we choose to do counting beans, money, place value, and fill in sheet for one of the numbers. We didn't finish up to 100, so we're coming back to it again this year for 2nd grade to make sure she has the concepts down.

Ideas for making Singapore math more "fun"

Unread post by cbollin »

thejohnstonshouse wrote:I am hoping someone might be willing to share some ideas with me. I have 4 children (9, 7, 5, and 4). This is our 3rd year with MFW and we love it. Our biggest challenge these days is math. I am using Singapore with the three oldest (3B, 2B, and Kindergarten mathematics for my 1st grader). They can do the work, but I am tired of fighting a math war everyday and am hoping for some ideas to keep the challenging nature of Singapore going, but introduce a little more fun into their "math life". I am starting K with my 4 year old next month so I will be teaching three MFW years (K, 1st, and RTR) and I would like to make the day flow along more happily so that I can keep up with all their lessons. I need something they will enjoy and look forward to in order to break up the usual textbook/workbook days of Singapore. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.

I have some ideas. Look forward to others. May God give you the wisdom to apply the answers that fit for your family and the grace to ignore the ones that don't. Everyone has a wide variety of opinions. No one is trying to offend anyone.

I'd say set aside Singapore for at least a week and just do the fun math games in the MFW 1st grade book for all of the kids. I got the impression that you already have 1st grade manual. another source of games: Do you allow your children to play online games? My kids enjoy the games on PBS Kids website called Cyber Chase. Preview for suitability in your family. We all have different opinions on those things. We enjoy the games and the show where the kids have to solve stuff using math and it's fun for us.

Instead of doing both "fun extras" and "workbook" on the same day, it's ok to have a break and let their minds absorb the lessons. I guess that I don't agree that you have to "keep the challenging nature of Singapore going" during this time of adding fun. I would break from the Singapore for a week or two and just do fun. Then slowly add the Singapore back into their math day.

At their ages, their brains just might need a break from the pace of Singapore. I know when I take my exercise classes, there are times I have to slow down the pace in class. I am still challenged and I don't lose any skills the next week if I go at "low impact". It lets me catch my breath and finish. So, that's where I'm coming from.
I think given their ages -- slow down and -- just have fun and have a break from Singapore for one or two weeks. They aren't going to lose skills and they just might need a week to catch their breath so it isn't hated. all kids in all math programs get to that point -- so... a vacation from structured books can be helpful.

and, if you want to challenge them in math --- may I suggest something like doing a Math A Thon so that they have a really good purpose to doing Math for a week or so? Sometimes we add challenge academically, sometimes we go at a slower pace and add in the challenge of raising money to help others.

St. Jude Hospital operates the mathathon dot org site
My girls took a week off and did the math a thon instead of Singapore and Saxon workbooks.
It was nice break for them and we raised a few hundred dollars to help St. Jude and our local homeschool co-op raised over $3000.

So, maybe that could be a fun challenge without the strong academic pace of Singapore with young children. Challenge them to use their current math skills in a way as community service to help others. And if you do math a thon, please please please --- choose a level that is not too hard. The idea is to finish -- not to advanced skills. I'm just saying what the sponsors say on that. I agree. No need to make them in 5th grade questions on math a thon if they are in book 3 in Singapore. Let your kids enjoy it.

just an idea. that's all. might not be the right fit for your children, but that's what I do with my kids and maybe something in there applies to you. maybe it doesn't.

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Re: Ideas for making Singapore math more "fun"

Unread post by Julie in MN »

I used to have Friday fun math, or at least whenever we had 5-day weeks.

We'd play math facts games -- you can never have enough math facts IMO. The Singapore home instructor guides do a lot with dice and a deck of cards, and multiplying them together etc. You could have a different set of dice for each child, depending on the facts they each are working on, and still play together. I also think time spent on fraction games or manipulatives was helpful to ds, since it really cemented the idea that "not quite the same" isn't going to work with fractions.

I also had a math book basket, with anything I had around the house that had to do with numbers -- money, geometry, puzzles, etc.

Banking is another possibility. I know we've opened bank accounts as part of math for our kids, and keeping track of them can be educational. Some banks even provide materials for expanding the lessons.

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Re: Ideas for making Singapore math more "fun"

Unread post by Poohbee »

We are doing Singapore 2B. We do math 5 days a week, but we only do Singapore 4 of those days. The other day I reserve for "fun" math--games, hands-on, etc. We use pattern blocks, math sense blocks (like cuisenaire rods), geoboards, board games, card games, dice games, computer games, etc. We usually have our fun math day on Wednesday, so it breaks up the week and gives my dds something to look forward to. I especially like things that work on multiple levels. We play Candyland Math. My eldest dd has to correctly answer a math fact in order to move. My younger dd can either just move or sometimes has to answer a number identification question in order to move. We use Chutes and Ladders, too, and use 3 dice to practice adding 3 numbers. My younger dd gets to spin the spinner twice.

There are lots of fun things to do with math. I hope you are able to find something that works well for your family!
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Re: Ideas for making Singapore math more "fun"

Unread post by hsmom »

The other ideas are great, but I was wondering if you had used another math before? We've done Singapore for as long as my oldest remembers, but just mentioning the row after row of problems that he might encounter if we used a different math was enough to minimize the math complaints. The review exercises can be long, but most singapore math lessons are much shorter than I've seen in some of the other programs I've looked at.
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Re: Ideas for making Singapore math more "fun"

Unread post by tiffany »

My kids thought Singapore was a BIG improvement over what they had used before when we switched. It should generally be more fun and less time consuming than other programs. When you're dealing with tough concepts like long division for example, I'm not sure anything can make that fun.

Changing the time of day might help. Try first thing in the morning or right after lunch, when their minds are fresh.
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Fun Math supplements for ECC

Unread post by chatmom »

Math Games and activities from around the world
More math games and activities from around the world

Both are by Claudia Zaslavsky

Next year is my daughter's "fun" math year - where we go off the beaten path for a bit and explore math using games and activites, shying away from formal "programs". I did this with my older daughter - it seemed to be a good thing. She really likes math and maxes out the standardized tests.