It's April Vacation here in Massachusetts. Parents all over the state are excitedly or frantically looking for activities for their kids. Lots of us are heading to the local library for...well...books. And maybe a DVD or two. Or four. The other day, I took the kids to the Amesbury Pubic Library. What I thought would … Continue reading Gettin’ Mathy at the Library
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
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
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
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
I remember working very intensely in engineering school, and doing well, but thinking if only I had grown up playing with trucks and mechanical things I would have had a more natural understanding of what I was doing. No doubt I'm exaggerating that memory, because I did like playing with my father's Erector Set and … Continue reading Of Engineering, Beyblades, and Exposure – or noticing gender differences in the toys we play with
Usually when my family goes on vacation, I pack lots of games and activities. I often think I'll use this "downtime" to slip in some math or something else equally "educationally important." So I bring card games, board games, art supplies, and whatever else I can think of. All with the goal of enrichment. There's … Continue reading Vacation Math
If you haven't already, break into your child's piggy bank. It's a great way to get mathy. Okay. Don't really break the bank. And certainly not without permission. But you can easily fill a few quiet moments with your young child playing with money, and in doing so, set the foundations for understanding many mathy … Continue reading Money Math
It was a quiet rainy morning with the 4-year-old. His brother was at school, he was playing quietly by himself (this is true!), and I was sneaking downstairs to tidy the house. Yes. I was really excited about tidying the house. This is what has become of me. I look forward to quiet moments so … Continue reading Wanna Play Checkers?