Playing Math This Week – Nov 7-13, 2011

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Learn about odd and even numbers this week on the Rocks and Roll Day. No need to stay Earth-bound either. To the infinity… and beyond!

Math games can be played any time anywhere. Here are some ideas for each day of the week. These games do not require any advance prep either. Give them a try this week and feel free to change them to make more interesting for your kids.

November 7 – Feline Festival Day

Remember iconic numbers? See how many you can find on a cat. Hint – one tail, two eyes (or ears), three kittens are the usual size of the first litter, four paws, five claws… This might be enough for younger children, but see if you can find more numbers with the older kids. You can either take pictures of your cat (if you have one) or find pictures online for your Feline Iconic Numbers book. And how about building cat-themed real multiplication tables?

November 8 – Rocks and Roll Day

Go on a rock hunt, then see if you can tell how many rocks you found without counting them. This process of quickly and accurately estimating a number of items in a set is called subitizing. Hint – if your child doesn’t have much practice with subitizing, arrange rocks in patterns like dots on domino tiles and keep the number low at first (5 or fewer).

November 9 – Smokey Bear Day

This is a perfect day to draw a whole forest. Show your child how to draw trees by repeating a simple “v” shape (see our star tree above). As you admire the results, introduce a new word – fractal (a complex shape that is created by repeating other shapes). You can also play with Fractal Trees online.

November 10 – Math Madness Day

How can you limit yourself to just one game on a day like this?! If you are trying to start a new tradition of playing one math game a day with your child, this is a perfect day. Whatever you choose to do, enjoy it!

November 11 – Veterans Day

Take a look at some of the camouflage patterns. Then try to create your own by drawing interlocking, but not overlapping curved shapes, then coloring them in. Camouflage patterns are great examples of tessellations. Can you create (or spot) other tessellations?

November 12 – Dollars and Sense Day

Just counting money could get pretty boring after a while. How about playing a “money functional machine” game in which you create a mystery ATM out of a cardboard box. Your child puts a coin into it and gets a different coin (or several coins) back. You come up with a function, a set rule according to which your machine operates. Your child has to guess the rule. Once he guesses correctly, switch your roles and let him operate the machine. A rule can be as simple as “a machine that turns all coins into pennies” or a machine that “doubles the number of coins put into it”.

November 13 – Wampum Day

It’s a craft; it’s a math model – make your own counting rope as seen on the Love2Learn2Day. It can be handy in demonstrating and practicing addition, subtraction, and more.

So what games are you playing this week?

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