Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Some Math Freebies..

SuperBear, the Principle, & I had a little chat. Okay, so really SuperBear and I had a chat, and we brought the Principle in on it after we were done. It's not that we didn't respect the Principles opinion, it's just that the poor principle has been up to his eyeballs (or more) with work this week. We won't complain in a time when so many are without, nor will we complain because next week we go on vacation! So anyway, there was SuperBear and I in the school room having a chat. I mentioned to SB (oh the irony in such initials!) that while I loved our new methods of math, I was slightly worried about my how little we had to show for it other then heads full of numbers and knowledge. He agreed. Why? His little paw print was eager to stamp upon something. He missed leaving his notes and he wondered ever so much what we'd been up to. It's been a few weeks since he had anything to note, prod, stamp, or smile over. So, while nursing an extremely sore back today I whipped up a few math papers. Don't groan, they aren't workbook papers. Rather they are papers for the games we play often and the things we do.

The Game Log has to be one of my favorite sheets. We play a LOT of games for math. Our collection is constantly growing as well, and most of them are homemade type games. I don't want to turn them into tiresome worksheet style games. That completely defeats the purpose of what we're doing. Yet, I needed a way to keep track of what we're doing. Enter the Game Log. I can simply jot down what we played when and we can keep a running list in the boys math notebooks. I also made a second one where we can record the name of the game and the date, and then the boys can jot down their notes or anything they wish about the game. I like that idea for the first time we play a new game. For times when I want them to consider what we're playing and why. I think it will be equally handy for games we've played often for them to jot down patterns, theories, strategies, and the likes about it. Really nifty thing is I can use either page for game planning too!

This might seem odd, but we've discussed various terms and words in math and needed a vocabulary page for it! The boys have remembered each one, but I thought it might be fun to jot them down anyway. Not sure how they'll feel about that, all though Morgan probably won't care. For instance, the other day we discussed the word digit (for Jayden's sake) and we discussed the word strategy. Tomorrow we'll write those words down on our new Math Vocabulary Pages. They can always go back and look them up in their notebooks should they forget the term when they run across it later.

We play our Piggy Bank Math Game a lot! The boys love it, and it's an awesome way to get them adding, subtracting, counting coins, and exchanging coins as well. They've even roped other family members into playing this one with them several times. We've used our journals a few times to jot down the things we do, but normally we just use our calculator and exchange coins as we go along. This has been a lot of fun for the boys, but I want to teach them while they are young to show their work. Plus, I think showing their work for this game will be a great start in decimal work. So, I opted to make a Piggy Bank Show Your Work Math paper. This means that next time we play they'll write down on their sheet the various money amounts. Morgan will especially like this, Jayden may or may not. He's not big on writing, so we'll see. I also made another sheet with larger squares with no amount written in it. This way as we start adding larger dollar amounts or if we choose to make up amounts we can still show our work.

This is a new game that comes from the book, A Collection Of Math Lessons, that I mentioned a while back. I really, really love this book. Have I mentioned that before? Anyway, this particular game pulled to me because Jayden hasn't worked much with double digit numbers, and Morgan, on occasion, can still mix them up. Even when he doesn't mix them up he often lacks the confidence in himself to be sure he's saying it right way around. This game works on that, and it also gets them thinking. The idea is that you think of any number between 10 - 98. You must not use numbers like 11, 22, 33, 44, etc. So we had a little discussion about like number double-digits. It amazed me how quickly Jayden piped up with the succession of numbers that we couldn't use. Once that was out of the way, I wrote a number down on a small piece of paper. I folded it up and put it in my pocket. The boys then guessed numbers. Under the area that says Start I wrote the numbers they said. Under digit I wrote either 0, 1, or 2 depending on how many of the digits they said were in the number I thought up. The same applies for place. This continues until the number is guessed. We had a lot of fun with this game and when the Principle saw what we were up to he jumped in with a few numbers himself. While the need of a paper for this game is NOT necessary, we played on normal lined paper, I'm choosing to use one for the sake of record keeping. That's it. I'm sure this game will be played a LOT on our camping trips, but I doubt each time we'll use Digit-Place math paper.

The Place Value Game also comes from, A Collection Of Math Lessons. It was a simplistic and fun way to teach place value and we played it for the first time while scarfing down spaghetti and watching our dice dodge the cups of apple juice on the table. While the ladies in the book did not make a "worksheet" for the game when they played it, I did. Morgan has only briefly learned about place value, and not enough to fully know it. I wanted them to have a good visual of it, and not get frustrated at setting up the game board. So I made up a game sheet quite quickly and printed a copy out for each of us. (This is also when we discussed strategy.) The sheet allows for 6 rounds of play, and everyone was begging to keep going when our paper was full. In fact, there was much sulking when I said we really should put it away and move onto something else! The game is quite simplistic, but so very appealing and there's never EVER a guarantee as to who will win until it's over.

To play you simple need 1 die. You roll the dice 5 times. Each time it's rolled you must put a number in one of the 5 available boxes. Only one number can be rejected, so once you reject a number that's it. You must use the rest. While no one was permitted to pick on another player for their choice of play, we did all wonder at Jayden's method of simply putting the numbers in the boxes from Thousand to Reject as they were rolled. Yet he managed to win a few games with his method, just as the rest of us each one a few round with our method. At the end of each round we had each player read out their number by saying 6,451. No one had to say what they rejected, but we heard a lot of, "Wish I hadn't rejected.." At first the boys needed prompts to remember to say Thousands, Hundreds.. but by the end they had it down pat. I've made up a large handful of these papers to stick in their notebooks. I truly can't recommend that book enough!

All the math papers are available by clicking on the pictures or the titles. Feel free to use them as you wish, all though I'd advise against paper airplanes while waiting in check-out lines at the grocery (Ask Morgan why...) We just ask that you don't post the pdfs directly on your twitter or facbook account, or on your blogs or websites.


Julie said...

Thanks Kendra! The worksheets are great and you do an excellent job of explaining "how" you teach math.

Morgan said...

You rock! I need lessons from you in making printables!

Kylie said...

Awesome, we will definitely be using these. Thanks. Might just have to add that book to my wish list too,

aly in va said...

what a helpful post. Thanks so much for putting everything together.

Anonymous said...

Hello, I would like to show you great site with many free online math games for kids.
For Place Value Games: place value games for 3rd grade
for the main site: maths games

Alice said...

Thanks for sharing this!
We're covering larger place value at home right now and my boy loves math games.

Thanusree Dev said...

Thanks for the nice idea. Most of us consider math as a tough subject to study. But there is different way to study it in an easy way. Math games are the best option. By playing these games we can study math automatically.

CatOz said...

Is the aim to get the highest number? I'm a little confused.

Kendra said...

It depends CatOz, you choose which you want. We play for highest & lowest at times just depending on what I want them to focus on. I believe the original rules stated to go for the highest number. :)