Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Seven Simple Ways to Mix-up your Math Routine

Every subject deserves some creativity from time to time, and that includes math! We use Christian Light Education for math, but we like to mix-it-up to keep things interesting. Here are 7 simple ways to change up your math routine at any level.

1. Play-Doh isn't just for preschoolers. Whether your kiddos are just learning numbers or memorizing multiplication, you can use modeling dough to your advantage. Have the kids form their equations out of Play-doh. From 1-2-3's, to long division, you'd be surprised how changing up the practice from paper to dough can bring a smile to their face.

2. Grocery Cart Math. This slim volume from Jayne Hansen at Christianbook.com is affordable and a fantastic resource to supplement your child's math curriculum. Your child will learn how to compare brand prices, weight measurements and more. A cereal box is a rectangular prism, an orange is a sphere, a can of corn is a cylinder and more. Find it here: Grocery Cart Math

3. Change up your math manipulatives. The same old math facts, while important, can get monotonous. Change up what you're using for hands-on manipulatives. Old keys, beans, toothpicks, colored paperclips, poker chips, pennies, buttons, beads.... we have small boxes stacked up with all of these things on a shelf for days when we just need to change up the same old problems to perk interest. Unlocking Math Moments.

4. Math Games. Monopoly, Pizza Fractions, Dominoes, Multiplication Bingo, etc. etc. There are endless board games and online math games you can choose from. Find a favorite, and use it as a reward to motivate their lessons or as an icebreaker for the morning math lessons.

5. Don't be afraid to make visuals. Do whatever it takes to bring the concept off the page! Here are two popular posts of mine, with the Crocodile Rule, and Popsicle Place Values.

6. Borrow ideas! Check Pinterest and homeschool blogs every so often for more creative ways to bring math to life. The ideas that are out there are amazing! Here is the flower clock we built in my daughter's room to help her learn time, thanks to the sharing of great minds on Pinterest.

7. Math in everyday life. Since we have backyard chickens, we use eggs in our math often. The kids love collecting, counting and adding up our eggs. They work with how many makes 1 dozen, 2 dozen, 3 dozen, etc. They get great practice in how many left are needed, as well as counting in sets of 3's, 6's and so forth. Chickens sure do come in handy with homeschooling!

What are your favorite ways to mix-up the math routine? Add them up in the comments!

"Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." -Psalm 90:12

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