Monday, June 22, 2009

Yay for Math!

Harrison has a new favorite game.

I’ve been trolling homeschooling blogs for activities to do with the kids this summer since I’m not interested in them (the boy, especially) becoming drooling, TV addicted sloths. I’ve got a folder of printouts, arranged by category (crafts, games, outdoor activities—yeah, I’m a dork; what of it?) and I intend to pick out one or two new games/activities to do each week. Harrison has already looked through the folder a few times and seems really excited about (most of) the stuff I’ve picked for him.

Our first foray began today with a math exchange game from LaPaz Home Learning. In her words:

“I made up two game boards out of construction paper. You take turns rolling a single die, and put that many of the first shape on the board. When you get ten of that shape you exchange them for one of the second shape. When you get ten of the second shape you exchange for the third shape and win the game. Like I said, simple, simple, and there are a million variations, all based on the “race for 100″ concept. I used pattern blocks, but you could use beans, coins, counters, number tiles, golden beads, etc. We will likely work through all of those variations eventually, (making new game boards for each or using 100 boards) but I wanted to start out with something non-numerical to isolate the “exchanging” concept.”

I went ahead and jumped right in with numbers. It only took a few turns of play for Harrison to get the idea of exchanging and then the race was on! I also used coins, so that Harrison could get used to the idea of 10 pennies equaling one dime and 10 dimes equaling one dollar. I don’t know if he’s got that concept yet—we only played two games before naptime—but he definitely got the idea that we were counting to 100 (a feat he accomplished on his own a few nights ago). He beat me on both games we played and I didn’t even have to ‘let him win.’ :)

I’ve got game boards made up to count to 100 and 1,000. I’m going to glue both boards to a sheet of construction paper and laminate it. I think I’ll make a few extras—maybe four or five—to keep around for when other kids are visiting. Depending on the age of the kids involved, they can have fun counting to either number.

I’m often computer ignorant and I just don’t have the patience or time to figure out how to upload an Excel document to the interweb, so if you’re interested in having my game boards, email me and I’ll be happy to send them to you. That I can do. :) (I’ll try to figure it out later when I don’t have a baby in the next room fussing because her naptime is over…)

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