## Wednesday, October 2, 2013

### Math is a Four Letter Word

Angie @ Kids Matter
I will start this by being completely honest. Math is not my favorite subject! I have never truly enjoyed addition, subtraction or multiplication. Don’t even get me started on my dislike for algebra or trigonometry! Some people excel at math, others struggle. I have always struggled. As my son gets older, I see his dislike for math already beginning to rear its head. I do not want my disdain for a subject to cause him to feel the same way, so I have started trying to sneak some math activities into our daily lives. Once we have completed the activity, we talk about how math helps us out each day. Here are some great math activities I do with my child:
1)      Let them cook with you! I always let my son do the measuring of ingredients. He loves to “help” and it’s his responsibility to keep track of the ingredients.
2)      If he wants a toy, we make a chart that shows how much the toy costs. He then has to count his money and figure out if he has enough to buy it. If he does not have enough money, he continues to color in the chart each day for any additional money he receives, until he reaches his goal. (This is also how he learned about sales tax.)
3)      Before going to the grocery, we look through the coupons and add up the total we will save by using coupons.  If he keeps up with the coupons, I let him have the amount that was “saved” by using them.
4)      If we have a special day that we are waiting for, he marks the days on the calendar and tells me how many days are left until the special date. He also does this if he loses privileges for a set amount of time.
5)      When we play board or card games, he always has to count out the cards and/or game pieces to the players.
6)      If we are running races on the sidewalk, he uses chalk to make tic marks under each person’s name to show how many races we each won.  (This is how he learned about skip counting by 5’s.)
7)      Since we love Lego in our house, we use them frequently for math. A favorite activity is to weigh with Lego blocks. Supplies needed: clothes hanger, two pieces of yarn, door with a door knob, and Lego. One of your Lego will need to be a piece that you can tie yarn to. Now, tie a piece of yarn to each end of the hanger and put the hanger around the door knob. Next, you will tie one of those pieces of yarn to the Lego. Look around and decide what you want to weigh. (We started with shoes and super hero masks.) Tie one item to the 2nd piece of yarn. The “hanger scale” will tilt towards the heavy item so you will need to keep attaching Lego pieces to balance the scale. We keep a written record of how many Lego each item weighs.  We then try to compare them, by holding them, to see if the one we thought was heaviest by hand really is.
All of these activities are easy and inexpensive to do, but can make a lasting impact on a child’s interpretation of math. You are your child’s first teacher and you are the one that guides his thoughts on learning and life. Be sure you are doing things that make learning fun!