Mad About Math

Students are working on numeral recognition, sequencing, counting and matching this term.  We have been using number activities, such as puzzles, dominoes, cards and magnets to help us develop and strengthen these skills.  Some students have been playing various math games such as Higher Card and Match 10 to develop and strengthen these skills.  Our math games can also be played at home using a simple deck of playing cards.  Playing games teaches children patience, how to take turns.  It helps children develop a sustained focus on an activity and teaches them good sportsmanship and how to manage disappointment when losing.  In class we always shake hands after games, congratulate winners and thank our friends for playing.

The rules for the number games we have been playing in class are as follows:

Higher Card

Remove all face cards from the deck.  Distribute an even number of cards to whoever is playing.  Students flip over one card each and the highest card takes all of the other cards.  Ties are resolved by flipping again.  Sometime I like to keep a number line on hand for students to refer to when checking which number is higher.

Match Ten

Create a template of numbers 1-10.  Place a pack of cards face down in the centre of the table.  Taking turns, students select a card from the pile and place it on their number.  They win when they cover all of the nubmers.  If a person does not need a card, because they have it already, then that card is discarded.  The next person can either draw a new card or take the top card in the discard pile.  One draw per person, per turn.

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Here we are playing with our friends:

Other ways to work on numeral recognition and counting with your child include looking at numbers all around you, in the store, at home, as you walk or ride to school.  On school bus trips, I have encouraged students to seek out the numbers from 0 to 9 as they drive along.  This is a great cooperative game.

Reading books with numbers are also a great way to re-enforce counting and number sequence predicting skills.  I love to ask, “What do you think will be next?” to see if children are catching on to the patterns of counting.  Some books we have been reading in class include, Olive Wadsworth’s classic book, Over in the Meadow, and Dr. Seuss’ Ten Apples Up on Top.  Also getting students to count just about anything and everything they see and do will help develop one-to-one matchikng and an understanding that the last number they count is the quantity of items they have.

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