Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Math games and multiplication

The other day I had a brain wave, I decided to do Bingo with a difference with the kids. Instead of using the spinner to call numbers, I had the children roll two, twelve sided dice. The person who rolled the dice had to add, subtract and multiply the numbers. This meant that for each dice roll, we ended up calling three numbers.

Initially I worried that I was pushing the limits because we haven't yet done any formal multiplication, but my worries were allayed when the kids merely started doing some mental addition. I am so happy to see that Ben and Shira love numbers, just like I did as a child.

Shira rolled first and she got a 7 and an 8. Luckily the kids have this habit of thinking out loud, so I heard how she worked out the answer. She said:
4 is half of 8, and 2 is half of 4. I know what two 7's are,. That's 14, so 4 times 7 is 28. Now I just double that and I have 56.

You should have seen the big smile I had on my face throughout the entire game. My kids showed me that they aren't scared of numbers and are happy to attempt new things. They LOVED playing Bingo this way and now want to play it this way all the time.

This success prompted me to start teaching them their times tables. I haven't looked at Prof B yet to see how he teaches times tables, but I figured that it wouldn't hurt to jump ahead of our math curriculum and teach something using my own methods.

I first taught them the ten times table because they already know place value. Then we did the 2's because they know the adding of twins. Fives made sense because once you know the tens you just halve the numbers and because the kids love skip counting in 5's.

Next it made sense to teach the 9's and the 11's. If you know the ten times tables, you either subtract or add and you have the answer. The kids as happy as clams to have these new tools. It's going to make playing Mythamatical Battles so much easier. Up till now I've been giving the kids a cheat sheet, now they can practice mental multiplication.

On another note, did you see how untidy the area behind the kids was in the above picture? I finally became fed up with it and reorganized it.

I moved the chest upstairs (I have no current use for it, but my late father made it for me when I was born. It's solid mahogony with all tongue and groove joints. It's one of my few links with him so I can't bear to not have it) and I bought Sterilite drawers on casters. Now we can move things to sweep that area.

I also labeled each drawer and woe betide the child who doesn't put things back into their right drawer. I was fed up with not being able to find things because the kids just tossed stuff willy nilly into the drawers.

1 comment:

Sassy said...

so organized lol