So, You’re Suddenly a Math Teacher…

Right about now we’re all realizing how truly skilled our schoolteachers are. Even I am eating a little humble pi. (We could all use some humor today, even if it’s a lowly pun.) Yes, I think I am a good teacher…but I am a good HIGH SCHOOL teacher. I like having a group of kids come to me for one or two hours and then I like it when they leave. But an elementary school teacher…wow. They have the training and skills to organize a group of children for 8 hours. We’ve got a renewed appreciation for that now, don’t we?

So let’s agree. We will not likely recreate the classroom magic, but we WILL create our own family magic. Today I’m calling it prairie magic…much distance between neighbors; much closeness within the family. Lots of self-sufficiency and figuring things out together. A great deal of patience wouldn’t hurt, either.

The following activities are really meant to bring you and your child together, foster play, and hopefully teach a little math. They are mainly geared toward the 4 through 11 year old crowd but can be applicable to most any age. They are not curriculum replacements (although there are some activities meant to help kids master their basic math calculation facts), and most will not be very helpful if you need your kid to be occupied so you can focus on your own work.  But, I do believe these activities will plant the seeds of curiosity that will grow into a love of math and serve your child well when they return to the classroom again. Enjoy.

A few good initial reads if teaching math – or anything – is daunting:

    1. I am Not a Math Person
    2. Allowing Time for the Gears to Turn
    3. Helping Your Kids Do “School” Math
    4. Only Answer the Question They Ask
    5. I am not good at math, Mom
    6. I Observe, I Wonder

Games and toys that won’t feel like math but really are:

  1. War!
  2. Board Games, Not Bored Games
  3. Play Yahtzee Now
  4. More War!
  5. Wanna Play Checkers?
  6. Of Engineering, Beyblades, and Exposure – or noticing gender differences in the toys we play with
  7. Measuring Up! 
  8. A Quick Colorful Game
  9. Puzzling Things
  10. Keep Score

Activities that specifically practice addition or multiplication facts:

  1. Remembering 10
  2. Colors and Markers and Math!
  3. Ditch the Flashcards
  4. More Multiplication Mastery
  5. 24 – The Game, not the TV Show

Screen-oriented activities:

  1. Screens and Exponents 
  2. Be Logical, Part 1
  3. Be Logical, Part 2 (online worksheets, rather than video)
  4. Math Facts Without Drills (boring name, but great games!)

No doubt there are better ways to organize these posts. Perhaps once you get a feel for them, you’ll enjoy exploring more. This is just a quick selection of what’s on the site. Or maybe this is just not your cup of tea. No hard feelings. The Internet is teeming with ideas.  Choose what works for you, take a deep breath, and go get mathy.

Photo credit: m_shipp22 on VisualHunt / CC BY


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