What can you do instead of flash cards to practice multiplication facts with your kids? Multiplication and division fluency is a cornerstone of developing a strong mathematical foundation. The middle and high school students I tutor often struggle with the time and effort it takes to retrieve a calculation fact they were assumed to have … Continue reading Ditch The Flash Cards
I can't say that I've ever been very intrigued by tessellations. I needed a good activity to do with pre-school-aged children, though, and tessellations combine patterns and crafts...always a winner with the three to four year old set. As usual, anytime I dismiss something as not-so-interesting, I ultimately discover how mistaken I was. It's great … Continue reading It’s Great to Tessellate!
"But you can just use your credit card, Mom." This is the response from the kids every time I tell them we are not buying what they want because it costs too much. This scenario has played out so often that I have realized two things. First, my response isn't really communicating what I mean, … Continue reading Ask for a Receipt
Or "How Math Talk is Like the Sex Talk." Did that get your attention? Hope so. but remember, this is a blog about teaching kids math, so... Only answer the question they ask. Parents joke about this rule as it applies to kids' questions about human reproduction, but it applies to almost any subject. Even … Continue reading Only Answer the Question They Ask
It's good to have quick and easy mathy moments at your fingertips for young children. Especially the kind that look like fun games. Today the 5-year-old was being...well...a 5-year-old. He was just home from school and his 8-year-old brother didn't want to play with him. So he lay on the floor and cried. I asked … Continue reading A Quick Colorful Game
I was recently asked to tutor a high school student who was struggling with natural logarithms and the number e. My first reaction was, "Oh. Crud. I don't remember that stuff very well." My second thought was, "Not an issue! My schedule is packed, and I'm not even available to tutor!" My third and more thoughtful reaction … Continue reading Helping Your Kids Do “School” Math
"Pam. We're having a mathy moment over here. You'd better write about it." Thus spoke my husband. And he was right. He and the 5-year-old were spending quality time with the measuring tape. The measuring tape (the kind that a builder uses, that self-retracts) is a brilliant, simple, and effective way to get mathy with your … Continue reading Measuring Up!
If you have Magna-Tiles hanging around your house, you no doubt have seen a lot of cubes built. Maybe you've even made a few yourself. In my house, these cubes become Hot Wheels garages and airplane hangars. Today they became a spatial reasoning and visualization tool. Take 6 square tiles and lie them down in … Continue reading Cubism
"Hey, Pam. The 5-year-old says you told him that there is no 15 when you count by 5's." Huh? It was 7:00pm, and the kids were brushing their teeth before bed. This is a time when the most interesting conversations tend to pop up. My husband was assisting the 5-year-old when this one happened. "Show … Continue reading Nighttime Math Talk #4
I've said it before. I will say it again. Games and puzzles are really and truly the best way to have mathy moments with your kids. First and foremost, they allow you to spend time with each other. Then there's the math part, which can be sneaky, right? I mean, you and your kid are … Continue reading Play Yahtzee Now