Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Math~Fun For the Littles

I found a way to make math fun for my littles.  Here's some ideas for items to teach grouping, counting, sorting, adding, subtracting, fractions, telling time, measurements:

Silverware~I dumped all mine on the kitchen table (no sharps) for my child to sort into "kinds."
Leggos~Have  your child sort into colors.
Small blocks~Sort into colors or shapes.
Cowboys and Indians~sort into people groups or even into poses.
Beans~sort out and count beans. Make piles of 10 or 5 or 2...count as you go...
Rocks~count and sort according to color or shape. SMALL rocks lol!

Paper plates: One whole place uncut~represents ONE.
                      One plate divided into two halfs.  I put the number 1/2 on each side.
                      One plate divided in four quarters. I put the number 1/4 on each part.
                      One plate divided in 3 thirds. I put the number 1/3 on each part.
I worked to each that the two 1/2's together being 1/2 plus 1/2 = 2/2 =1  I showed this! I did this will all the "fractions" (paper plates). We kept these in a zipperbag to bring out...
We made sets of larger numbers of items.  I took 10 beans.  I separated out 2 away.  This made "2 out of ten" or 2/10ths.  This is a concrete way to teach fractions on a very simple level.

Telling Time and Clock Face 

I used a paper plate again to make a clock face with 12:00 and 6:00 in correct position.  I put the 3:00 and 9:00 in place also.  I used a brad and a construction paper arrows (one short and one long for the minute hand).  I put the corresponding numbers, 1,2,4,5,7,8,10.11 where they belonged..and we counted each number by fives... We played ALOT with our clock... Make up simple word problems:
"Johnny needs to go to bed because it's 2:00.  Show 2:00 on the clock face." AND teach how to write time correctly too...

I also eventually put the minute dashes around the clock between the numbers! We got THAT specific after the "skip counting" of fives was accomplished and understanding that a WHOLE hour is 60 minutes...

Addition Fun:
Add 3 forks to five spoons.  They equal___________.  We played and played.
Subtraction fun the same way:
Four pencils take away one equals _________.

You can make up your own games and have fun "playing with Math!"

I gave my children ALL kinds of rulers, yardsticks, measuring tapes! Some were collapsable, some fabric, some wood, plastic...anykind I could find to make measuring fun! AND then we measured anything and everything we could find. I sent my kids to measure things and even gave them lists.  Whenever I needed something measured, it was a child who did it ;-)) it was fun! Today, they both know all about measurements~linear ones...but not only these!

When my son was young and also when I was teaching liquid measures...I went into the kitchen. I got out the measuring cups, spoons, canning jars~pints, quarts, 1/2, and gallon sized ones...cups, bowls... I got water and said, measure away! It was amazing how much fun it was to figure out that 2 cups =1 pint, and that 2 pints=1quart and so on...3tp=1tbs and 2 tbs-1oz...I was also able to teach metrics this way too... 1oz=30cc. 240cc-8 oz. 500cc=1pint 1,000cc=1qt or 1 liter...  2 liters =2 qts...whoohoo! SEE how easy math is one it's touchable!

I hope this is helpful...with your very young child, sorting by kinds and counting will be most helpful at first...then teaching addition first...then subtraction.  I used Abeka curriculum when they were K and first grades as well as these methods. As a matter of fact, we used Abeka in math until they were in 7th grade math.  It was awesome along with all of our games.  I also used a singing skip counting CD...that was Bible based. You can find it HERE !

Have fun with math~with your little and on up!

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