"In math the technique we use is logic. We only want to use sheer logical reasoning. Not experiments, not physical evidence, not blind faith or hope or democracy or violence. Just logic. So what are the things we study? We study anything that obeys the rules of logic." -Eugenia Cheng, How to Bake Pi The … Continue reading Be Logical, Part 2
Do you have a lawyer in your house? No, not the kind that actually has a degree, earns a salary, and is an adult. I'm talking about the free-lance, unschooled, and relentless child legal expert who calls you out on every breach of fairness or word choice. I have one. He's 9. One day, if … Continue reading Be Logical, Part 1
Here's another way to reinforce multiplication concepts with your elementary school kids. You just need a hundreds table and some markers. You can present it like a puzzle. Or you can be fancy and tell your kids that they're going to make the Sieve of Eratosthenes. Yes, that will get their attention. Here's the quickie … Continue reading More Multiplication Mastery
It's the type of question young children are always asked: "How many animals do you see?" "How many cars are there?" "How many children are in your class?" "How many sheep are in this picture?" These are good questions. They usually have a clear and correct answer. That's nice. What if they didn't? What if, … Continue reading How Many?
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
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
"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