March 09, 2018
Teaching math to kids should be as easy as 1-2-3. Several simple strategies can be used to make math learning a fun experience for the kids inside and outside the classroom and beyond paper and pencil. Aside from making math a daily activity that uses everyday objects, it would be best to introduce and play math games. Through this, math can become an enjoyable activity and not an educational drill that they have to go through.
A scavenger hunt does not escape the kids' radar, but this one's for learning math. For this activity, you will need two piles of cards. One pile had numbers 1 to 10 and the other pile includes pictures of objects found in the classroom.
Each child needs to draw a card from the piles of number card and object card. Then, they need to find the right number of objects in the classroom. For example, a card bears number 5 and the other card shows car. It means the kid needs to find five car toys and bring them to you.
Egg hunt counting game
Plastic eggs; a bucket, pail or basket and number cards are all you need to play this game. Spread the eggs out. Let each kid pick a number and hold a bucket. Then, let them put the right number of plastic eggs in their bucket.
Hundreds chart game
For this game, you will need a large sheet of contact paper, colored papers, permanent marker and double-sided tape. Make a 10 x 10 grid on the contact paper. Peel off the paper and tape it on a smooth surface with the sticky side out. Write the numbers 1 to 100 at each grid. Then, make a hundred circles using the colored papers. Write the numbers 1 to 100 at each circle.
You can play the chart game as is. Alternatively, you may start with a math scavenger hunt. Hide the numbers around the room for the kids to find. Let the kids stick the number they found to the matching number on the hundreds chart.
Once the chart is complete, you can use it for other purposes, not just number identification and counting. You can also use this to teach patterns, skip counting, tens and ones and odd and even numbers.
Lego math activities
Legos are a staple in classrooms and at home. Playing with them allows a kid's imagination to run free. These beloved blocks can be used for teaching math as well. Some ideas include counting, creating patterns, looking for similarities (size and colors), grouping in relative size orders and even problem-solving.
You can lay all the needed blocks on the table. Ask a question answerable using the Lego blocks.
Felt manipulatives activities
Math is also about appreciating shapes and forms. And what better way to introduce the concept than using felt manipulatives. This whale felt manipulative that comes with numbers, math symbols and ten red and yellow fishes so the kids may better understand the meaning behind the numbers and their relations. Develop a daily routine with your child where you place together a number of fishes on the pocket chart between 1 and 10 or more.
Let your child count by pointing at each fish and place the final result by attaching the correct number. This will help your child connecting the meaning behind the numbers. Your child will benefit more by being involved. Manipulating and placing the fishes will help children develop their fine motor skills.
Things you can do with pocket charts are endless. And of course, you can use them for teaching various math concepts such as number operations (relationships between numbers), patterns (recognizing order relations) and measurements (understanding quantities and comparing things). Visual relations like shapes and how to identify, describe and construct them can also be taught through pocket charts.
Spatial recognition game
You may use this tree pocket chart in teaching positions and spatial recognition. Just place the laminated apple, bird or cat in the desired positions (top, middle or bottom) and let the kids recognize and describe the object you are using. Then, ask them ‘Where is the apple?’ or ‘Can you tell me where the bird is?’ Alternatively, a more participative game can be performed. Call one of the students and ask, “Can you put the apple on top of the tree?” and so on. This ensures you that you are teaching and using the concepts of top, middle and bottom in various ways.
Using the same pocket chart as above, you can teach the kids a visual way to count in order. You will need several laminated apples. Ask the kids, “How many apples fell down the tree?”
Or using this bus pocket chart you can ask them “How many children have boarded the bus?” with laminated pictures of children.
When teaching kids the concept of shapes and sizes, the bus pocket chart can also help. Put the shape names on each of the windows of the bus. Lay down all the objects of different shapes on the table or floor. Ask the students to get one and put it in the correct window below the matching shape like.
Number line run game
Math games can be done outdoors too. Draw a line down the playground or sidewalk with chalk. Mark off the numbers from 0 to 20 or even up to 50. Let the kids play, walking the line and counting the numbers. Then, start the game by calling out a number that they should run to. It practices number recognition and identification.
Once they can quickly pinpoint which number is being called out, start to work on addition, subtraction or a combination of both. Let the kids walk the right number of steps until they reach the correct answer up or down the number line.
Life-sized math board game
For preschoolers who are in the stage of recognizing numbers, this DIY board game can help. You will need paper plates, markers and big dice (that you can also DIY). Write the numbers 1 to 20 on each paper plate. Spread them on the ground, making sure that there's enough space between each paper plate. You can put them on the ground from 1 to 20; create a path from 1 to 5, 6 to 10 and so on. Alternatively, you can place the plates unarranged on the ground.
Using the dice that each kid takes turn rolling, ask the kids to move themselves around the board finding the number that they get on the dice.
Aside from identifying numbers, the giant math board game can be used in teaching the preschoolers to add and follow directions.
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