Thursday, September 19, 2013

I Love To Do Addition Game

"Let's do math now so we can have some fun." That's not a sentence that passed my 7 year old's lips last year, but it was spoken by her today. I give Denise Gaskin and her book Let's Play Math credit for the change. Following Denise's advice I have laid aside the work book and instituted some games to teach and practice math concepts and facts. We are learning and having fun.

Our math time has consisted of us playing lots of games, many with cuisenaire rods. One day this week Anna wanted to make up a new game for us to play, and she titled the game "I Love to Do Addition".

At her suggestion we've been using eraser pencil toppers as player tokens, even though we don't really need player tokens to play the game. She assigns each of us a token and gives each of us a cuisenaire rod that matches the colour of the token we have. Our eraser pencil toppers are blue, yellow, and orange so we each end up with either a nine, five or ten rod. That makes it pretty easy to practice adding nines, fives, and tens.

To play the game each player takes turns making up an addition problems for the other player. One of the addends in the addition problem has to be the number that is represented by the players rod. For example, if I have a blue token I get a blue rod, which represents the number 9. Anna makes up additions problems for me that always has 9 as one of the addends. If Anna has a yellow token she gets a yellow rod, which represents the number five, and I have to make up addition problems for her that always has the number 5 as one of the addends. We take turns giving each other problems and figuring out the answers using the cuisenaire rods.

While we are playing I record the addition equations on a sheet of paper just to give Anna a visual of what we are doing. I don't make a big deal of pointing it out to her I just do it in plain view so she can see it.

I noticed today that she is really getting adding by tens and adding by nines and often doesn't have to use the rods to figure out the answer. She really has learned a lot through this game that she made up, and she's having a ball playing it.

Thanks, Denise Gaskin, for helping me realize I need to put some fun back into our math time.

Math is the theme for the Homeschool Weekly Photo Challenge this week so I'm linking the post there. Do you have a math inspired photo to share?



Lisa Marie said...

Oh awesome! I love when kids have fun learning. It feels like ninja schooling hehe. Thanks for joining in! :)

Denise said...

What a wonderful way to play with numbers! I like the low-key way you work the notation into the game, by "keeping score" (though it's not really a score) yourself, without asking her to write anything. That gives the written math the flavor of "grown-up stuff," which is always enticing (at least to my kids).