Everyone Loves Exploring - Whether your
ideal place to explore is a deep dark jungle, a long, sandy
deserted beach or a marketplace in a distant, exotic land,
we all have an idyllic place that we could spend hours and
hours exploring and making wonderful discoveries.
Children are certainly keen explorers too, perhaps even
keener than adults. Children still have a natural curiosity
and an unending desire to explore and discover. So let's
look at how that natural curiosity can be used to advance
math skills.
We know that children love to explore and discover so how
can we harness this to help them with math. The answer is
simple - let them explore and discover in math. Give them
numbers to play with, let them explore patterns, let them
discover properties of numbers and shapes and measurements.
Best of all, when they learn this way they also develop a
real understanding of these concepts because they haven't
just been told that this is the way it is, they have
discovered it for themselves.
Math games are a great way to explore in math. When children
play with numbers they learn about numbers. They discover
patterns. They discover properties of numbers. They discover
relationships between numbers. They discover number
concepts.
Best of all, when they learn this way they also develop a
real understanding of these concepts because they haven't
just been told that this is the way it is, they have
discovered it for themselves.
Let's do some exploring of our own now and look at a few
games we can use to explore math concepts.
Higher or Lower is a great game for exploring number order
and place value.
To begin select the upper and lower number limits, e.g.
between 10 and 100.
One player selects a number and records it on a piece of
paper.
The other player/s guesses what they think the number might
be. For each guess the first player tells if the chosen
number is higher or lower. Play continues until the number
is guessed. A more challenging game would be to explore
larger numbers or decimal numbers. This game is always a
favorite no matter what age group I am teaching. I just
adjust the size of the numbers to the ability of the
students.
Grab and Group is a great way to explore division. Players
take turns to grab a group of items (marbles, toothpicks,
counters or even pens). They then attempt to make groups of
2's with no remainders, then 3's, 4's, 5's and 6's. Players
score points for each of the groups they can make, e.g. a
player who grabs 9 can only make 3's so they score 3 points.
A player who grabs 12 would score 2+3+4+6=15 points as they
could make groups of 2's, 3's, 4's and 6's. This game is
also easily adjusted to the abilities of the students.
Younger students will manipulate the items to see if the
number is divisible by the given number. Older children will
simply count the items then mentally calculate what the
number is divisible by.
You can also have children explore properties of numbers by
posing a question for them to answer.
- How many prime numbers are there between two given
numbers, e.g. 1 and 100 or 200 and 300?
- How many times do you write the digit 7 when you write all
of the numbers between two given numbers, e.g. 1 and 100 or
500 and 700?
For more games to get your kids or your students exploring
math you could try a number version of Hangman using a
complete computation.
Tic Tac Toe can also be played in number versions, e.g. use
the numbers 1-9 to fill the grid. The first player to create
a line that totals 15 is the winner.
There are many other math games that are ideal for exploring
in math. Playing games in math offers so much more than just
a bit of fun. These games also help to develop a deep
understanding of math concepts and a positive attitude
towards a sometimes unpopular subject. Don't be surprised
when you even hear, 'Gee that was fun! Can we do it again?'
I know that you are
interested in making math fun and easy for the children in your
life so -
Here are some other
resources that you may be interested in -
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Secret Code Math
Kids love playing
with codes and now they practicing basic math skills is as much
fun as solving secret codes.
Kids will be
motivated to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication,
division, basic facts, comparing numbers and rounding off
numbers.
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The Math Riddle Book
This is Math
practice that kids love. It combines Riddles (Which kids always
enjoy) and math practice.
Each sheet
motivates kids to practice a basic math computation by rewarding
them with a riddle.
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Fun
With Figures Brilliant Mental Math Short Cuts That Will Amaze
Everyone!
Discover the
amazing techniques from Ancient India that will have you
figuring in your head, faster than most adults can with a
calculator....
Vedic Math is sure
to intrigue you and the children in your life!
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