First Signs of Fall

B 'sanks' you for all your happy birthday wishes! She's been treated royally the past few days, and is still looking forward to a bowling party this weekend. The fun never ends around here!
The girls are settling nicely into some homework routines that I hope-hope-hope we can maintain. El has always dreaded math, and it's like pulling teeth to get her to study. We were lucky to find a Family Math program when she was in Grade 2, and as a family, we learned that math was fun and wonderful. It helps us during times like these. There are so many ways to get an answer and learn math, and math is so much bigger than 2 plus 2. One of our favourite games is a card game that can be adapted a gazillion ways. This was the general premise:
All you need is a pack of cards, paper and pencils. I think we called it 'Double Up'. On a piece of paper, write the numbers 1 to 12 and finish the equations for each times 2. Like this:
1 x 2 = 2
2 x 2 = 4
3 x 2 = 6
4 x 2 = 8
5 x 2 = 10
6 x 2 = 12
7 x 2 = 14
8 x 2 = 16
9 x 2 = 18
10 x 2 = 20
11 x 2 = 22
12 x 2 = 24
This is your child's cheat sheet. Taking the pack of cards (aces are 1's, jacks are 11's, and queens are 12's, and remove the kings and jokers), flip up each card and have your child double it. If they need to look down at the cheat sheet, it's completely okay! Eventually they don't need to refer to their list as they have memorized it. It's become rote. Have them time themselves and try to beat their records. Have them guess how long it will take to go through the deck once - that's estimation! When they guess the wrong number - ask them how they got that number. Sometimes, they're honest and tell you they picked it out of thin air, but usually they've given it some thought, and you can follow their thought process. And that's math! Guessing and estimating and measuring. Once 'double up' becomes easy-peasy, you can 'double up plus one' meaning multiply the card by two and add one. Or 'double up and minus one'. Just have them write up a new list if necessary. Tonight we did two versions at the same time - the littlest took the number on the card and added two, and the oldest squared the number on the card. They had fun trying to beat each other's response. And each time a 2 was flipped, their answer was the same! :)
I wish I could remember all the Family Math games. I know we took an early years version of the program about a year and a half ago with just B, and she had a blast. We went on 'math walks' where we searched our environments for numbers and shapes. We read math stories filled with repetition, patterns, and comparisons. We studied spatial measurement by filling up different sizes of containers and making notes. We sorted buttons and rocks by sizes and shapes and colours, and we counted and we estimated . . . It was a fun way to spend our Saturday afternoons!
After our homework and games, we went out for a walk along the river. We found our first pretty red leaf on the ground, and some flowers to make a tiny bouquet. B kept yelling (she was listening to music with her earphones at the same time and had absolutely no perspective regarding her loudness), "It's a sign of fall! It's a sign of fall!" Man, she was excited. Me, too.
And to ring in the first signs of fall, I bought an enormous pot of lavendar mums for the front porch because lavendar and bright curry yellow just match, right?


Katherine said...

NO WAY - I was going to post about this same thing! Liam has some not-so-fun homework, but the really fun stuff is from a book called "Everyday Mathematics." Stuff like baking cookies to talk about fractions, sorting buttons, timing everything, math walks (we went on one last night), measuring everything, making graphs with stacks of stuff (like rocks)! So much fun!


Montreal Mama said...

I'm so leaving math homework for my husband to do with the kids. That and the french homework! I'll do the rest.

I love that card. I heart cherries!