Math 1: Play with Pulleys
Run a piece of sting about 1 foot (30 cm) long through the hole in the spool and tie the ends of the string together.
- Slide the spool and the string onto the broom handle. Rest the handle across the two chairs with the spool hanging between.
- Put one pail on the floor and tie the end of the piece of ribbon to its handle.
- Slide the other end of the ribbon over the spool and tie it to the handle of the other pail, which should dangle in the air.
- Add a few pennies to the hanging pail. What happens to the pail on the ground?
- Return the pail to the ground and add a handful of pennies or marbles. Pull the handle of the hanging pail toward the ground. What happens to the pail filled with weights?
Discuss: Where can you see a pulley in the school ground? Why is the pulley at the top of the flagpole? What other toys can we make with a pulley?
As you added pennies to the hanging pail, it started to lift up the pail on the ground. A single fixed pulley lets you pull in one direction to move a thing in the other direction. This is handy: it means you don’t have to climb up a flagpole to raise the flag. Instead, you can stand safely on the ground and pull on the rope as the flag rises to the top!
Quiz: Draw a cycle which runs on pulleys.
Math 2: Wheels and Axles
- Have your child place the two chairs back-to-back, with about 1′ of space between them.
- Ask him to rest the handle of the broom across the two level slats.
- Tie a 1′ piece of string to the handle of the bucket.
- Have him tape the free end of the string to the center of the broom stick.
- Pour some pennies or marbles into the bucket to slightly increase the weight.
- Ask him to turn the broom handle with his hand to begin raising the bucket high into the air, then turn the handle the other way to lower the bucket.
- Tape the ruler parallel on top of the broom, near the broom handle. The ruler should overlap so it’s slightly beyond the broom handle.
- Now, have him turn the broom handle again using the ruler to lift the pail. What was different?
- Ask him if the ruler made it easier, or more difficult to lift the pail. The ruler, which symbolizes the “wheel,” helps to turn the handle, or “axle,” with less exertion.
Discuss: What happens to the effort when we add the pennies to the bucket? Why is it easier to lower the bucket than to raise the bucket? Why did it become easier to lift the pail with the ruler attached to the axle?
Explain to him that his hand would have to move farther using the ruler, but he exerted less force to make the bucket lift. This shows that the larger the wheel, the easier it is to lift a heavy load, which helps conserve energy and makes work go faster.
Quiz: In a village, where is a pulley and rope used?
Math 3: Understanding Volume
- Have your child fill the bowl halfway with water and mark the water level with the marker.
- Ask her to make a fist and put it in the bowl of water. Mark the new water level to indicate how much the water has risen. The space between the first and second mark represents the volume of your child’s hand.
- Have all the members of the family put their fists in the bowl of water, marking the water each time. Whoever displaces the most water has the biggest fist!
Discuss: What is the relation between height of student and fist volume? Does closing the fist
or leaving it open, change the volume? Do objects of equal volume have equal weight?
Quiz: How can you use this method to find out which of the two irregular shaped stones is heavier?
Math 4: Play the Shape Twister Game
- Set the stage. Explain that this is a fun game using colors and shapes, while following a set of directions that can be a little tricky. Let your child know you consider this a challenge—but one that she can also do well.
- Make the game. Have your child use crayons or markers to draw 2 of each of the following shapes: square, rectangle, triangle, diamond, circle, & star. Make them fairly large—at least 6-8” across, and use plenty of different colors of paper. Then lay them in rows on the floor.
- Make directions. Ask your child to create a list of directions. Either you or he can write them on a sheet of lined paper. Examples: “Place your right hand on the ____ .” “Place your left hand on the _____ .” “Place your right foot on the ______ .” “Place your left foot on the ______ .” “Move your right hand and place it on the _____ .”
- Make a spinner. Help your child use crayons and construction paper to create a paper spinner showing each of the colored shapes they have created. Draw a circle on white paper, and divide it into sections using a pencil. Have your child color each section with one color crayon. Have your child draw a picture on each colored section to match the shapes they created. Then cut out an arrow from another piece of construction paper, cut it to fit the spinner circle, and fasten it at the center with the paper fastener.
- Play! Help your child play the game by reading a direction from their list. Then spin the spinner to determine which colored shape they will land on. Continue until they have identified all of the colors and shapes. This is a great game to play with older siblings as well. After all, you’re never too old to have fun…and learn math while you’re doing it.
Discuss: Which shape do you see the most around you? What shapes are our rooms? Why?
Quiz: What is your favourite color? Why is it your favourite?
Math 5:Group It! A Skip Counting Activity
- Have your child gather as many pairs of shoes from the household as he can. Ask him to line them up in pairs on the floor. With your child, count by 2s to find the total number of shoes. Then count each shoe again, counting by 1s. Ask your child if it’s quicker and easier to count by 2s or to count by 1s. Finish by counting again by 2s—the more practice the better. Roll out some paper and trace the shoes in pairs. Let your child color the pairs.
- Pour some paint in a sturdy paper or plastic plate. If it’s too thick, don’t hesitate to add some water to dilute it. Have your child put her hands, palms down, in the paint and make handprints on a sheet of paper. Ask her to press down all four of her fingers and her thumb. In this part of the activity, your child is making groups of five. Have her make as many handprints as she wants (at least 10). Count by 5s to find the total number of fingers and thumbs shown.
- Place a group of pennies on the table. Ask your child if it’s faster to count the pennies by 1s, 2s, 5s, or 10s. Have him place the pennies in stacks of 10. Help him count the pennies by 10s to find the total number. Simple? Yes. But a great introduction to skip counting, an important first grade skill. So keep the paint and pennies handy. And look for everyday excuses to count in groups!
Discuss: Examples of objects that you see in groups in real life? Which of the group sizes makes life easiest for us? Why?
Quiz: 10 groups of 2 Rupee coins will equal to how many Rupees?
Math 6: Play the Number Line Game!
- Shuffle the number cards and place them face down in a stack. Have your child pick up the first card.
- After she’s looked at the card, ask her to name the number that comes before it. Then have her name the number that comes after it. If your child hesitates, you can rephrase the question by asking which number is 1 less (or 1 more) than the card she is holding.
- Using the number line, have your child check to see if she has named the numbers correctly. If so, she keeps the card. She can start a “winnings” pile to keep all of the cards she’s won.
- Continue in the same manner until your child has looked at all of the cards. Ask her to count the cards in her “winnings” pile.
All done? Record the number of cards your child has won so that the next time you play the Number Line game she can try to beat her score!
Discuss: What was the biggest card you picked up? The smallest? Where will 0 come on the number line?
Quiz: Draw a histogram of winnings.
Math 7: Weight Wonders: Big and Light…Heavy and Small?
- Set it up. Start by telling your child that you will be doing some science together. You’ll begin by looking at some regular things and making guesses (hypotheses) about which one is heavier. Check your young scientist’s knowledge: how will we know which items are heavier than others? (Expect the answer, “I’ll hold them,” and don’t be surprised if your kid adds, “Duh.”) Do continue, however: remind your child that to be absolutely accurate, he’ll also need to weigh the items. Depending on your scale, you may even want to introduce the concept of weighing in either pounds and ounces, or in grams. Now help your child make an “observation” chart on his lined paper. Write “Heavy or Light” on the top, and then fold the paper in half lengthwise. He’ll use the chart to write the names of objects, or a picture of them if he prefers, and to record which is heavy or light.
- Gather the items. Assemble all of the chosen objects on a table or countertop. Ask your child to name or point to two objects. Move those objects so they are next to each other and separate from the other objects. It’s important for you to do this step, as your child will get a chance to handle the objects later in the activity.
- Make predictions. Ask your child just to look at both objects she selected. Look at their height, length, shape, and any other distinctive features. Ask her to tell you, just from looking at them, which object she thinks is heavier.
- Evaluate. Once your child has guessed, ask her to pick up the objects. Ideally one in each hand works the best, but if an object is too heavy, it may be picked up individually. Ask your child if she wants to change her guess or keep it the same.
- Weigh in. Using a kitchen or bathroom scale (whichever is more appropriate) weigh the two objects. Was your child right? If not, can she figure out why their guess was wrong? Talk about how the scale measures the mass (weight) of an object, but some things may have lots of volume (size) with very little mass. Write the weight of each object below its name or picture on the observation chart.
- Repeat. Place those objects aside and ask your child to pick two more to compare.
Repeat these steps as long as your child is interested in the activity…and don’t hesitate to pull it out as you explore new things, whether it’s seashells from the beach or pinecones from the forest. The world is crammed with exciting reminders that when it comes to volume and mass, what you see is not always what you get…and that’s a very cool thing indeed.
Discuss: How does a weighing scale work? Can we find out which is the heaviest of all the objects we weighed? The lightest?
Quiz: Why are some big objects light and some small objects heavy?
Math 8: Make a Clock!
- Start by making a small hole in the centre (With a plate, you can use scissors. With a frisbee, you’ll need to use a drill). Let your child know he’s going to make his very own clock and that the frisbee or paper plate will serve as the clock face. If you have an analog watch or clock somewhere in the house, bring it to the table to use as a model.
- Ask your child to place one sticker at the top of the “clock face” and one directly opposite, on the bottom. With the marker, have him write the number 12 on the top sticker and the number 6 on the bottom sticker. Now ask him to place one sticker on each side, halfway in between the top and bottom. He should write 3 on the right-hand sticker, and 9 on the left-hand sticker. Then, referring your analog clock as a model, ask him to fill in the other numbers on the clock using the stickers and his marker.
- Now it’s time for the clock hands! Using the poster board, cut two arrows—a longer one for the minute hand, and a shorter one for the hour hand. Pierce the ends of the arrows with the paper fastener, slide it through the hole in the centre of your clock face, and secure it at the back.
- Pick a day of the week and, with your child’s help, create a list of his activities. This might include soccer practice, a violin lesson, going to school, a play date, a shopping trip with grandma…or just time spent eating a snack. Next to each entry, write the time the activity begins, rounding to the nearest half hour.
- Make it concrete! Help your child identify the hour hand and the minute hand on the clock face. Remind her that the hour hand shows the hour and the minute hand shows the minutes. Now, make sure she knows which hand of the clock is longer (the minute hand) and which hand of the clock is shorter (the hour hand). Pick an activity and find its time on the clock. Start with the activities that begin on the hour and then move to the activities that are on the half hour.
- If your child is having trouble, move the hands around the clock, naming each hour as you go. Then give your kid a go at it. Not quite there yet? Don’t worry. Telling time always becomes easier with practice…and time of course!
Discuss: How do you think a clock works? Show us the time you get up in the morning. The time you go to sleep. Who gets up the earliest? Who goes to sleep the earliest?
Quiz: From what time to what time do you watch TV at home? So how many hours in a week are you in front of the TV?
Math 9: Slap It!: An Odds and Evens Card Game
- The dealer shuffles the cards and then deals them out, face down, to each player in rotation, until all the cards have been passed out. (It doesn’t matter if one player gets an extra card or two!) Players arrange their cards, without looking at them, into a neat pile in front of them.
- The object of the game is to win as many cards as possible, by being the first to slap each odd number as it lands in the center.
- Beginning with the dealer, each player lifts the top card off of his pile and places it face up in the center, making sure to turn up the card so it’s facing away from him, so he doesn’t see it any sooner than anyone else.
- When the card put down is odd, the first player to slap his hand down on it takes it, as well as all the cards beneath it. The player winning these cards turns them face down, places them under his pile of cards, and shuffles his deck to form a new, larger pile. He then places the pile in front of him as before.
- If more than one player slaps a card, the one whose hand is directly on top of it wins the pile. If a player slaps at any card in the center that is not odd, he must give one card, face down, to the player of that card. When a player runs out of cards, he stays in the game until the next odd card is turned. He can slap at that card in an effort to get a new pile. If he fails to win that next pile, he is out of the game.
Play continues until one player has won all the cards. That player is the winner!
Discuss: All even numbers are in the table of 2. What table do all odd numbers come in? We have decided to change the rule of this game. What do you think should be the new rule?
Quiz: How many people should be in the group that plays this game? Why?
Math 10: Seventeen: A Math-Builder Card Game
- Prepare your materials. Start with your deck of cards. You will need all aces (each counts as “1’), and all numbered cards between 2 and 8. Make sure you pull out all nines, tens, jacks, queens, and kings. You can save them for more advanced games later.
- While this game can be played by up to four players, you’ll probably want to start with just two. Shuffle your number cards and put them face down on a table. Then have each player pull out five cards. Take turns putting cards down, one at a time, and counting the total made when you add the pile together.
- “Winning” and “Losing”: The goal is to get as close to 17 as possible. Let’s say, for example, that Player 1 puts down a “7” card, and then Player 2 puts down a “5” card. If Player 1 can add another “5,” she wins the round and gets a score of 17! That’s the clean way to win a round. But she can also win if she goes slightly over—say, to 19—but she must subtract the extra “2” from her score, so she only gets 15 points. The goal of the game (aside from complete Math Facts Mastery, of course!), is to have the largest number of points when the game is done.
Special note: Counting up the final scores usually means adding several digits. This may be a good stretch for some kids, but lots of first graders will find it hard. It’s helpful to have either a calculator, or a parent helper, or both ready.
Discuss: If we added card numbers 9 and 10, would the game become easier or difficult? Why?
Quiz: How can we change a rule of this game to make it different?
Math 11: Measuring Water
- Help your child fill the mixing bowl with water, all the way to the very top.
- Have her place the bowl in the tray.
- Then put one of your pieces of fruit into the water, so that it splashes over the edge and into the tray.
- Pour the water from the tray into the measuring cup. Have her read how many ounces of water is in the measuring cup and explain that the fruit took up space in the bowl and pushed out water to make room. Then explain that the weight of the water splashed out by the fruit is equal to the weight of the fruit. This game is a great way for little minds to expand and gain appreciation for science!
Discuss: Get two potatoes which almost look to be the same weight. Find out which potato weighs more, using this method.
Quiz: Choose the best shape for a measuring cup from shapes below. Why did you choose this shape?
Math 12: Going to the Park? Make a Map!
- First, pick a park that’s not too far from home. (First grade social studies curriculum typically emphasizes getting to know your neighborhood and town!) Then help your child make a simple “birds eye” picture of the area: start with your home, and then help your child draw the roads or paths that your child and your visitor will need to take to get to the park. At the end, be sure to mark the destination clearly, too.
- Help your child write each road’s name as needed for the map.
- Now, using either a separate sheet of paper or working on the side of the map, help your first grader write step by step directions as to how to get to the park. For example, you might say something like, “turn left at the corner of Briar Street onto Bramble Drive. Go straight,” and so on.
- You can do this activity several days before your guest arrives, so that you and your child can take your homemade map with you on a clipboard and see if you can get to the park together. And as you go, help your child estimate distances (if you bike or drive, you may even have an actual odometer) for each step of the instructions. Then have your child write these distances next to each step of the directions.
- Invite your child to color the route, and even make arrows along the map to show the way. When the masterpiece finished and ready, you can consider laminating the map, too.
When your out-of-towner finally arrives, you and your child will have the perfect way to welcome them – and your first grader will have gained some invaluable real-world social studies practice, as well. In case there’s a shadow of a doubt about how important and relevant these skills are, invite her to check out a website like “Map Quest.” Finding out how to get to places is always exciting and it also gives your child a chance to try out a “grown-up activity.” First grade is a great time to start!
Discuss: Create written instructions to get to Jupiter Hospital based on a Google Map showing the school and the hospital.
Quiz: Written instructions to get to school from your house.
Math 13: Wolfie Wolf! An Outdoor Math Game
- To set up the game, take out your 12 pieces of construction paper. On one side of each piece, write out the name of a number (one, two, three, and so on) in very large, clear block letters. On the back of each paper (held horizontally), write the number itself—again in very large, very clear block letters.
- Taking your numbers with you, stand at one end of an open space, and have the children stand at the far end—far enough to be a sprint away, but not so far that they can’t see your signs.
- From this point forward, you are the “Wolf”, and the children are your innocent “lambs”. Have them start the game by asking you, “Wolfie Wolf, what time is it?”
- Hold up a written number, and have the kids take that number of steps forward. When they’ve stopped, put down your sign and pretend to be inattentive or asleep. They’ll ask again, “Wolfie Wolf, what time is it?” and again you hold up a sign. If they get too close, show a card with the numeral side out—that means they must take that many steps back.
- Keep going for several more “steps,” forward and back, until your little lambies seem to be lulled. Then when they ask “what time is it?” give them a surprise. Shout, “Time for Dinner!” and take off chasing them! If you “catch” a child first, she can be “Wolfie” next time. If she gets to your home base first, she wins—and you’re still the Wolfie!
What’s Going On: For experienced readers and mathematicians, it’s easy to forget how many kinds of pathways kids need to use in order to understand words and numbers. Activities like “Wolfie” allow kids to put sight and sound together with “kinesthetic” learning—knowledge that comes through physical experience. It’s powerful learning . and powerful fun at the same time!
Discuss: Why do lambs eat only grass – and wolves eat only lamb?
Quiz: Which of these comes from animals?
- Cooking Oil
Math 14: Go, Seeds, Go
- Go on a seed scavenger hunt with your child. In your backyard, look high and low on trees, shrubs, in flowerbeds, on the ground, and elsewhere in the garden to find a variety of seeds. Good seeds to look for would be: dandelion seeds, milkweed seeds, maples, acorns, and burdock. And before you go inside, be sure to check your outerwear, especially your shoelaces, for hitchhiking seeds.
- Bring the collection into the house and spread the seeds out on a piece of newspaper to dry. Depending on the variety of seeds and the time of year, this may take anywhere from a few hours to a few days.
- When dry, examine the seeds carefully and think about how each seed gets to where it’s going. Some seeds such as acorns simply fall from trees. Others like as dandelions and milkweed seeds have fluffy material that work like parachutes to carry them on the wind. Maple seeds also have parts that look like wings; their leafy flaps flutter in the wind and give them lift so they can travel as they fall from the tree. Other seeds such as acorns and sunflower seeds are carried around by animals like squirrels, birds, and chipmunks. And still others have special parts that allow them to hitch a ride on our shoelaces and in the fur of animals. Burdock seeds, for example, have hook-like parts that stick to our clothing like Velcro when we brush against them. Be sure to examine the seeds closely and discuss with your child how each might get from place to place, based on the appearance and special parts of the seed.
- Finally, compile your findings in a book. Have your child make a page for each type of seed in her collection. At the top of the page, let her glue the seed to the paper. At the bottom of the page, have her write the name of her seed and its method of travel. For instance, she can write: “Dandelion seeds travel by floating on the wind.” If you’re not sure what kind of seed you’ve collected, let her describe the seed by how it travels.
- Finish writing down the findings, and now your child will have a colorful book of seeds to refer back to!
Discuss: Describe the number of ways a seed can travel.
Quiz: Why do plants produce seeds? When do seeds germinate? Math 15: Make Ladybug Tightrope Racers
- Start by cutting out two ladybug bodies in black (see our printable template), and two red ladybug bodies. Glue a red body onto each black piece, and then stick the dots on the wings to create a ladybug. Cut a pipe cleaner in half, and then, in turn, bend each piece in half and poke the ends up through the ladybug’s head to make antennae.
- Now cut a 3” section of straw, and glue it onto the bottom of the ladybug with strong craft glue.
- While the ladybug racing rig is drying, take out the two pieces of string. Attach each one to a table leg or a chair. Use a yardstick to measure 20 5” intervals (a total of 100 inches), and mark them clearly with a sharpie pen. Once the ladybug is dry, run the string through the straw and attach the other end to a chair or table to make a nice firm tightrope ride.
- Time to play! For most first graders, the first impulse will be to grab the bug and push. But now’s the time for your young scientist to practice a little physical science. Have him stand just behind the bug and blow, using air pressure to send it along the string. How far can the bug go in one breath? Two? Three? Kids can measure exact inches—and practice counting by fives—as they try to be the first to move the ladybug 100 inches down the line.
Discuss: Speed = Distance / Time
Quiz: Ladybugs can fly. Draw a ladybug in flight.
Math 16: Halloween Shadow Pumpkin Symmetry
- Fold the construction paper horizontally (“hamburger” style).
- Place it on table in front of your child so that it’s vertical (9” high, 6” wide) with the fold on the left—like a greeting card. Help her trace half of a pumpkin shape, starting at the fold, going out to the edges and using as much of the paper as possible.
- Have her draw one eye, half a nose (this will touch the fold), and half a mouth, with as many scary teeth as she likes.
- Now help her use the scissors to cut the pumpkin out of the paper and the face shapes out of the pumpkin. This is a good time to explain the concept of symmetry to your kindergartener and why the pumpkin face will be symmetrical when you are done.
- Open it up and you’ll have a symmetrical spooky face!
- Now help your kindergartener glue the pumpkin onto a sturdy sheet of cardboard. Your child can probably cut around the edge of the pumpkin herself, but you should plan to help cut out the eyes, nose, and mouth with an X-acto knife.
- Sandwich the whole spooky pumpkin between two layers of contact paper, or laminate it, and again trim the edges.
- Staple or glue a tongue depressor or popsicle stick onto the back of the pumpkin. If you have a yard with ground lights, you can stick the pumpkin in front of them and let the light shine through to make a Halloween shadow decoration; or play with it indoors by placing it near a light and letting the spooky shadow spread on a wall. You’ll have a great Halloween decoration along with a fun math and art lesson as well.
Discuss: What living things are non symmetrical? What are symmetrical?
Quiz: Finish this worksheet.
Math 17: Popsicle Stick Tic-Tac-Toe
- Help your child glue popsicle sticks into a tic-tac-toe board.
- After the sticks have dried, show your child how to wrap yarn around the four inside corners and then tie off with a knot. This helps the board keep its durability.
- Have your child select two colors of paints for the rocks. Paint six rocks one color and six rocks a different color. Allow them to dry.
- Once the game board and the game pieces are complete, go ahead and play! Each person takes a turn placing their rocks in the tic-tac-toe grid, trying to be the first player to get three of their rocks in a row. In the event that neither player can make the pattern, then it is a draw and you play again.
To make a larger board, have your child help you hold and glue sticks together in a larger grid. You can vary the game by having each player attempt to get four in a row, on a 5×5 or 6×6 grid.
Discuss: Trace back the steps based on a half finished game.
Quiz: Who will win this game? Who do you think started the game?
Math 18: Play Pennies, Dimes, Dollar!
In first and second grade, kids spend a lot of time learning to count and use money. Don’t be surprised if it doesn’t quite “gel” for your child for several years. Our money system really doesn’t make much sense until kids are fully comfortable with quite a few fundamental math concepts, including the 1 to 100 number line and place value (tens, hundreds, and so forth). Here’s a coin counting game for first and second graders that helps move that process along.
- In this game, the winner will be the person who, in six turns, can put together dimes and pennies to total as close to $1.00 as possible.
- Start by making a scorecard for each player. Have her create a column labeled “pennies,” a column labeled “dimes,” and a “value” column.
- Have her place the dimes and pennies in two piles in the middle of the table, between players, so that everyone can reach them.
- Players should take turns rolling the die. Each player will take the exact number of either dimes or pennies as are shown on the die. For example, if the die shows the number “5,” each player might take 5 pennies, or one player might take 5 dimes and the other 5 pennies.
- Players put their dimes in the dime column and their pennies in the penny column, and write the value of the coins they picked up after each turn.
- As the rolls add up, so will the coins. Whenever a player gets ten pennies, she must automatically trade them for one dime, and place the dime in the correct column.
- After six turns, everyone stops and counts up the money. Who got closest to $1.00? That’s the winner!
This game allows kids to explore three primary math concepts in one: by moving pennies into the tens column, your child enacts the idea of “place value”—“ones,” “tens,” “hundreds,” and so on. By counting up to $1.00, your child practices moving around on the number line…with money. Not bad for a simple game; in fact, we recommend you play it over and over again with your young mathematicians and prepare to be delighted by not only the fun, but the learning, you share.
Discuss: Write down the note / coin denominations available. Is there a pattern you can see here?
Quiz: What is the maximum money that you could have collected in this game?
Math 19: Play Ice Cream Addition!
- Print enough copies of the Ice Cream Worksheet so that every player has one.
- Determine who goes first. The first player will roll the dice. On a blank sheet of paper, the player will then write the addition problem out using the numbers he rolled as the addends. If he rolled a 3 and 4, for instance, he would write the problem this way: 3 + 4 = 7.
- The first player will then color the sum on the ice cream cone. In the example 3 + 4 = 7, 7 is the sum and would be colored on the cone.
- The next player rolls the dice to determine his addends, writes the addition problem, and colors in his sum.
- Continue playing with each player taking turns. If someone rolls a sum that is already colored on his sheet, he loses that turn. Try to use the math vocabulary as you play this game and see how quickly you learn these new words.
- The first player to sum up all his problems and color in his entire ice cream cone wins the game! Celebrate by eating some real, delicious ice cream for a treat!
Discuss: What do you like more: an icecream in a cup or cone? Why?
Quiz: If we add up all the numbers on a dice, what is the answer?
Math 20: Addicted to Addition
- Ask your child and her friends to create the game board. Tape together 4 sheets of paper. Use the marker to draw a 2 x 2 grid on each piece of paper. You should now have a 4 x 4 grid to play on.
- Announce that aces = 1.
- Ask one of the players to take out and set aside all of the face cards. Then they can divide the cards they removed into red and black cards. Each player gets either the red or black suits of the separated cards.
- Players each take a turn setting any one of their cards into one of the spaces on the game board.
- Players who create a line of 4 cards in a row in any direction (including diagonally), that adds up to either 10 or 20, wins one point. An example of cards adding up to 10 would be if the cards in a row were 2 + 3 + 2 + 3 = 10.
- Continue playing until a player wins the game by earning 10 points.
Discuss: In how many ways can you win?
Quiz: In the play shown above what two cards, when placed in the first row, will make you win one point?
Math 21: Sum It Up
Try to use as many numbers as possible in your quest to victory! Draw from a deck of cards to determine your number, then mark all of the different numbers that can be used to create sums equal to the number you picked. Your child will need to engage his problem solving skills in order to participate in this addition game. Before you know it, he’ll be ready to tackle subtraction!
- Write the numbers 1-10 on the index cards.
- Lay the index cards on a flat surface, making sure they’re far enough apart from one another so that if there’s any counter spill over, it’s no big deal.
- Shuffle the playing cards and place them face down in a pile.
- For the purposes of this game, aces= 1.
- Players take turns drawing a card. Once a card is drawn, the player should place a counter on the number value of the card.
- Then, they must figure out which numbers can be used to create sums that equal the value of the card. (For example, if a player draws a 7, they could cover up “6”, “1” and “5”, “2” and “4”, and “3.”)
- Now for the catch! Each player has only 10 seconds to say their number and the sums equal to their number aloud and place their counters on the index cards.
- Once there are no more cards left, players should tabulate how many counters they used. The player who’s used the most counters wins.
Once your kid has mastered addition, have him try out some subtraction. Play this game again, but instead of finding numbers for sums, he should mark the numbers that can be used to create differences.
Discuss: Which number can give you the maximum number of counters? Which gives you the minimum?
Quiz: How many counters can get used for 20?
Math 22: Roll the Dice
Practice adding in a whole new way! You’ll need five dice, paper and a pencil in order to get started. Shake those dice and try to roll big numbers. Then add them up and cross your fingers. If your sum is larger than the other players’ sums, you win!
Guide your child through the process at first, and gradually let him take ownership of the game. You’ll see his confidence with addition improve in no time!
- Decide who will go first. The first player should roll all 6 dice. Each player should add up the total from their roll and record it.
- The player with the highest sum from round 1 earns 3 points. The player with the second highest sum earns 2 points. The rest of the players receive 1 point.
- Play continues for 10 rounds, or decide on a time limit.
- After the game is finished, have the players add up their scores.
- The player with the highest sum wins.
Discuss: Draw a histogram of sums got in different turns. Is there a pattern?
Quiz: Each of the 5 dice has a different number. What can be the sum?
Math 23: Elevens Card Game
- Ask your child to shuffle the deck of cards. Let her know that for the purposes of the game aces = 1.
- Have her deal 9 cards face up in a 3 x 3 square. The remaining deck should be face down on the table.
- Have her cover face cards that she dealt by placing fresh cards from the deck face up right on top of them.
- Ask her to look for any combinations of cards that add up to 11. When she recognizes a combination, have her remove those two cards from the deck and replace them with new cards.
- Continue until all cards are used. If there aren’t any cards that create 11, take all 9 cards and shuffle them back into the deck. Then, lay out a new group of 9 cards.
Discuss: Try the same game creating sums of 10 or 12. Try assigning numbers to the face cards and include them in later rounds.
Quiz: What is the maximum sum in the game shown above?
Math 24: Don’t Get Mad, Get Even
- Lay out all of the cards face up, in a horizontal line. For this game, aces= 1.
- Let your child know that he has one minute to pick out and remove the pairs of cards with even sums (for example, 2 + 6 = 8).
- Count and record how many cards remain. One card= 1 point.
- Tell your child that the fewer points he accumulates, the better.
- Shuffle the cards again and lay them out in a line. In this round, encourage your kid to try to remove more cards than he did the last time!
- In the final round, give your kid an unlimited amount of time to try to pair up and remove all of the cards. If he’s successful, tell him he gets to subtract 10 points from his score.
Helpful tip: If you’re playing with more than one player, you might want to use multiple decks of cards.
Discuss: How can we modify this game for subtraction and multiplication?
Quiz: A player is given 4 cards and is able to remove only two. What conclusion can you draw?
Math 25: Homemade Stamps
- Help your child collect the materials for this activity. Stamp bases can be made from wood blocks of various sizes, empty plastic or wood sewing thread spools, and/or wine corks.
- The shapes that will be glued onto the bases can be made from buttons of various shapes, sizes and textures, and also from foam craft pieces. Some foam shapes have sticker backings, but foam shapes that are not stickers can also be used.
- Your turn: use a glue gun to attach one button to the end of a stamp base. Repeat for other buttons that she thinks will make good stamps, using a separate stamp base for each button.
- If your foam shapes have sticker backings, it is very easy for your child to peel off the sticker backing and attach a shape to one stamp base. If the foam shape is not a sticker, use the hot glue gun to attach a foam shape onto a stamp base. With foam initial letters, she can create stamps for her own initials. It is okay for the foam shape (or button from step #3) to be bigger than the stamp base; just use glue under the part of the shape or button that will attach to the stamp base.
- After the glue has dried on the newly-created stamps, let your child play around with them and test them out! Give her ink stamp pads in various colors and paper. Let her dip the stamps in ink and stamp away!
- She may want to give stamps to her friends as gifts to share the fun!
- Need ink to go along with your new stamps? Try this recipe.
Discuss: Where have you seen such stamps being used? What purpose do such stamps serve?
Quiz: Shown is a stamp. What will you get after stamping it on paper?
Math 26: Play Egg Carton Addition
- Use your marker to put a number in the bottom of each egg cup in the carton. (If you have a math beginner, start by cutting your carton in half, so you only have six cups; if you’ve got a kid who’s surging ahead, go ahead and use all twelve!)
- Put a bowl of game tokens (pennies, marbles or beans) in the center of your table or play area and place two pieces into the egg carton.
- Each player takes turns shaking the carton and then writing an addition problem on their paper using the two number sections the pieces landed in. Let’s say, for example, that the two pieces landed in 4 and 6. The addition problem would then be 4+6.
- The person with the highest sum after each player has had a turn would then take a token from the bowl in the center of the table. If a wrong answer is given, a token is returned to the bowl. In case of a tie, each child takes a token.
- Continue playing until each player has collected five tokens. Do this a few times, and be prepared to see steady gains in your young mathematician’s adding confidence!
Discuss: Make a record of additions. Which answer came most often?
Quiz: A game was played with a carton egg. If the person who got the winning token got 10, then what numbers did the two pieces land up on?
Math 27: Pebbles
24 pebbles are given to each team.
Team needs to tell us in how many ways can you form equal sub groups from this.
Groups decide to sketch a shape.
They then decide how many pebbles should be kept on one side.
Group has to calculate total how many pebbles required for filling in the perimeter.
Discuss: Double counting possibility. In hexagon it should be 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 + 3 = 18?
Quiz: How many pebbles would be required if we put 3 pebbles per side in the shape above.
Math 28: Tangram
Ask kids to make tangram components.
Students give outlines of tangram figures to their friends – and they have to arrange the components inside the outlines.
Fill in this outline
Math 29: Making Math Problems
Make students use cardinal numbers to make word problems eg- Adinath is 3rd from 6 students in line from back is?
Making word problems. Students are sent around the school and asked to devise word problems based on what they observe.
Discuss: Is it easier to solve problems or make problems?
Quiz: Following pattern is made using matchsticks
How many matchsticks will be there in the pattern that follows?
Math 30: Road Math
Students count the number of steps taken by class to cover a standard distance. Check if speed changes with change in number of paces per second or increasing the length of a pace
Make a histogram by counting cars and motorcycles on the road.
Quiz: How much time does it take for you to walk from your house to the school? If you walk 60 meters in one minute, then how far is your home from the school?
Math 31: Data Interpretation
Data Interpretation. A bus or train timetable is given to them. What do they understand from the time-table?
|STATION NAME||1’ST LOCAL||2’ND LOCAL||3’RD LOCAL||4’TH LOCAL||5’TH LOCAL||6’TH LOCAL|
Histogram making – Make them make a histogram of student heights, student weights. For example..
Make a graph of teeth vs age – by actually counting across classes.
Quiz: In the graph below, what do you think the red line stands for?
Math 32: Maps
Measuring length in feet & making map of school.
Treasure hunt. Map is given in terms of intersection points: lefts and rights to be taken.
Discuss: How do you think we make bigger maps – like that of India?
Quiz: This is a map of Pimple Nilakh. Locate the school on the map.
Math 33: Zero Hero
See this film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owiplctOx84
Add two numbers, such that the sum has a zero in it.
Objects are given and when a person is not looking, some are taken out – how many did I steal – very basic version of chor-police! Teacher to reinforce the concept of 0 by not stealing anything.
Discuss: Did you know that the Roman number system does not have zero in it. How do you think they do addition with Roman numbers?
Quiz: What is 10 + 10 + 10 … 10 times?
Math 34: Making a Scale
Making scale. Only give them length of 30 cm
Use the scale to calculate the average length of one step of a student
Find how many of your feet will make your height.
Find out how many feet is your leg.
Find out how many feet is your hand.
Discuss: Are these ratios constant across students?
In the scale above top has inches and bottom has cm. How many inches will be there in 30 cm?
Math 35: 3d Counting
Making cones from paper sheets
Counting edges and corners are in 3d objects.
One student describes how many edges and corners his 3d object has. The other student has to guess the shape of the 3d object.
Discuss: The relation between faces, edges and corners of a 3d object.
Quiz: How many edges are there in a cube?
Math 36: Stair case
Go to neighborhood multi storeyed building and count the number of steps in building. No. of steps after 1 floor etc
Measure the height of one step. Using that estimate the height of one floor, and the building.
Discuss: Why is the city growing upwards? What would happen if we increase the height of a stair? The width of the stair? Why do we have ramps in railway stations?
Quiz: To go to the top of a building it takes double the time to go by stairs compared to using a lift. If it takes 5 minutes to climb up the stairs, how much time does it take to use the lift.
Math 37: Ground Math
Ask students to use their bodies to make the following shapes on a ground:
Discuss: A right angled triangle. Ask students to make a 345 right triangle – and show them that the angle between sides 3 and 4 is always a right angle.
Quiz: What is the perimeter of a 345 triangle?
Math 38: Water Math
Estimate the time to fill up a bucket by starting the tap for a short time.
Then actually fill it up.
Discuss: Concepts of flow and volume. How we use our school pump system and underground tank to fill the overhead tank.
Quiz: Our overhead tank holds 15 buckets of water. It takes our pump 1 ½ minute to fill one bucket. How much time will it take for the pump to fill our overhead tank?
Math 39: Om Game
Make the children sit in a circle. Ask a child to start counting from number 1. The child sitting next to him/her continues with number 2 and so on. The child who has to say number 5 or 10 says chup and the next child starts with number 1 again.
Students sit in circles. For every 3rd number you are supposed to say Om, not the number. This can happen for different tables. Just ensure that you don’t have as many students as the table.
Discuss: Was there a pattern in the people who said Om?
Quiz: Which of these numbers will come maximum times in 1-9 tables?
Math 40: Decoration Plan
Streamers have to be put across a room. Calculate how many triangle streamers are required to be made for decorating the room.
Quiz: This paper is used to cut the streamers. How many streamers can you get from one sheet of this paper?
Math 41: Parle G Free
Note: This class will require one student to get a biscuit packet.
A Parle G biscuit packet says 25% free. How many more biscuits would it have compared to the original pack?
Discuss: What is better to buy – a 100 g pack or a 250 g pack of biscuits? Why? How are biscuits made?
Quiz: How many biscuits would be there in a 250 g packet of Parle G?
Math 42: Which is greater?
Teacher called out to individual students to ask them to pick out from two groups, which one had more objects.
Corollary: We can also ask a student who is handed out some chalks, to distribute the chalks in such a way that a specific student ended up with more chalks than the other.
Discuss: How do you think chalk is made?
Reference video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kd1-WFv0nb0
Quiz: 5 students have got the following chalks. Who has the most chalks? Who has the least chalks?
Math 43: Bottle Math
Have bottles with numbers on them. Keep these bottles on the lawn and ask students to run to specifically numbered bottles. Alternately, we can ask students to hit the specifically numbered bottle with a ball.
Discuss: How do plastic bottles get made?
Quiz: I have these bottles which are all half filled.
I have one empty bottle.
I fill the empty bottle up from the water in the half filled bottles.
How many half filled bottles now remain with me?
Math 44: Color Sort
Discuss: How many blue blocks are there? How many red blocks? How many total blocks?
Can we arrange the blocks to form a square shape? Will any blocks remain?
Quiz: Write down numbers from 0 to 9 and write the colors of the balls of those numbers:
Math 45: Place Value
One red disc equals 10 blue discs.
We will write the number 12 like this:
Let your partner choose any number less than 100, you have to show it by using red and blue discs.
Next time, exchange places.
Discuss: Why did we end up choosing 10 as a base of our number system?
Hint: Ten fingers on the hand..
Quiz: Which is the same as 51? Tick all that apply.
50 + 1
50 + 10
10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1
10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 10 + 1
Math 46: Matching Pairs
Split the class into two teams.
Team 1 is given 25 blocks.
Team 2 is given 25 beads.
Both teams are asked to make groups of the items given to them.
What they have to do is to find out if the other team has a group size which is similar to theirs.
You have a sum total of beads. Distribute equal number of beads to everybody in the group. How many would remain?
With beads – make necklaces using a specified number / color.
Give children coloured beads and ask them to string them in a sequence. For example, one blue bead, two red beads and so on.
Discuss: In the first example, what is the maximum group size? The minimum group size? In the last example, how many beads will be required to make a necklace for your mother?
Quiz: This is an abacus. It is being used to teach Jr KG children to count. For which color are the number of beads on the left and the right the same?
Math 47: Counting leaves
Split the class into two teams.
Take them to two small shrubs.
They have to find out which one has more leaves.
Both teams take turns to count the number of leaves on each shrub.
If there is a difference in leaf count, then ask the teams to discuss and arrive at a consensus.
Observation of compound leaves – how many individual leaves in a cluster?
Sorting things into groups is an essential part of learning. By differentiating between objects, children start to think about similarities and differences and how things can be categorised. Show children how to sort leaves and twigs by placing them in two different piles.
Classify plants based on venation – parallel vs reticulate.
Discuss: If there was a difference, explore why it happened. Also, are the bigger leaves at the top or at the bottom. Did you find any leaves which are decaying? What happens to leaves before they fall off?
Quiz: When a seed germinates, how many leaves is it born with?
Math 47: Odd Even
Give random number of blocks to each team.
Tell teams that they have to split them into two groups, such that each group has the same number of blocks.
Find out if there is any team which could not do this.
Let the class explore the reason for this.
Discuss: Concept of even – divisible by 2.
Quiz: What digits do odd numbers end in?
1, 3, 5, 7 and 9.
Math 48: Snakes and Ladders
To start with we can actually make students make card games: Ludo, Snake and Ladder, Scrabble Board
Backward counting. They used a game of reverse snakes and ladder. They started with 100 and the objective was to move back to 1.
Use 2 dice in a snakes and ladder game to reinforce the concept of addition.
We can also use subtraction in ver 2 of this game.
Discuss: What percentage of snakes are poisonous?
Quiz: There is a ladder where every step is numbered by adding 2 to the previous step.
What will be the number of the topmost step of the ladder?
Math 49: Dice Throw
Each student makes a dice using an old cardboard box.
Allow them to create whatever design they want.
Here is an interesting sample.
She throws the dice and writes down the number that comes on the top.
Discuss: Draw a histogram of numbers that come. Is there any pattern?
Quiz: Two dice are thrown together. The total of the two faces is added up and is your score. What is the maximum score that you can get? What is the minimum?
Math 50: Cups and Sticks
Take 10 paper cups.
Number them as 1-10 using a pencil.
In Ver 1, students have to drop in as many coins into the cup as the cup number.
For Ver 2, take 10 ice cream sticks.
Use a permanent market and write addition and subtraction problems on them like 7 + 1, 12 – 4 etc.
In order to do this we can ask students to first create these problems – and then filter out those problems which have an answer less than 10.
After this, students get to exchange their sticks and put them into the appropriate cup.
Sticks can be re-used after teacher confirms that the answer is right.
Discuss: How are paper cups made?
Quiz: These paper cups have been given to you. Sort them in ascending order.
Math 51: Counters for 5
Learning to count change is an important life skill, but it is also a skill that many children have difficulty mastering. One way to assist your child is to build on his knowledge of counting to 100 by ones, fives and 10s.
One red disc equals 10 blue discs.
One green disc equals 5 blue discs
Let your partner choose any number less than 100, you have to show it by using red, green and blue discs. Next time, exchange places.
Discuss: In a given pattern, we have to replace all reds by greens. How many more counters will be required now?
Quiz: What is the number represented by –
Math 51: Banana Fractions
Take a banana and cut it in half. Have your child put it together to show a whole, then one half and two halves. Reinforce how two halves make a whole. To extend the activity, cut the halves into fourths and do the same having your child put it back together to show a half, then a whole. You can then have your child eat a fourth or a half or a whole of the fruit. You can also extend this activity to make a half like this:
Discuss: How do we make Banana shira?
Use all the bananas to make a sheera together. Ensure that the students have got the ingredients from home.
Quiz: How many slices will be there in half of the banana shown below?
Math 52: Hop Skip n Jump
On the driveway or another large paved area (that doesn’t get traffic), write the numbers zero through nine in chalk. Make the numbers large enough for kids to see easily and stand on. Be sure to space them out so the children have plenty of room to race. After the playing field is drawn, gather your kids and their friends (at least two children are needed for this activity). Call out one number at a time and have the kids identify and then race to it. Go slowly enough for all of the kids to find each number. Take any opportunities that arise to teach the little ones a bit more about their numbers, such as the differences between a four and a nine. After a few rounds, allow the kids to take turns calling out numbers. Let them choose from slips of paper that have the numbers written on them, so they are still involved in identifying the numbers even though they are not in the race.
Discuss: Draw as many patterns as possible for this game, before you start.
Quiz: There is a number line shown below.
This line is extended up to 20. Which of the following numbers would be written in pink?
13, 16, 18, 19
Math 53: Cylinder Roll
Objects to be arranged as per – length, thickness, diameter. Can be done in ascending and descending order. We can also do this activity with number cards.
Discuss: Which is the shortest bar? The thinnest? The thickest?
Quiz: Using a piece of paper, make the longest cylinder possible.
Math 54: Locator
Students build a house using sticks and old saris. They practice the concept of In and Out using this ‘toy’ house.
Make kids stand on the ground. Make them use a measuring tape to understand the concept of nearest and farthest.
We use a ladder to demonstrate – up and down.
Discuss: What could be alternate ways of measuring lengths or distances?
Quiz: Estimate the height of the white portion of the ladder. The total height of the ladder is 6 feet.
Math 55: Seeds
Comparing numbers: A picks up some seeds from a jar. B picks up some seeds from the same jar. C tells us who has picked more or less seeds.
Addition: A selects a few seeds. B decided how many addition problems can be created such that number of seeds used by A is the answer.
Evolved question, what if it was x + y + z = k type of problem?
Subtraction game. A team picks up a random number of seeds. Then they play a chor-police kind of game. One of them steals some seeds. The police team member has to tell the chor how much he / she stole. Teacher to reinforce concept of zero, by not stealing anything.
Distribution game. Seeds are taken out by a team. Team size should change with iterations. Seeds are equally distributed – and remainders are checked. Again the teacher can reinforce the concept of zero – as there will be some times when no seeds are left behind. Teacher can engage in discussion as to why this happens.
Pattern making. Give seeds to groups – and ask them to make patterns using these seeds.
Distinguish fruits – peel and non–peel, with seeds and without seed..
Discuss: Why are seeds usually not edible?
Quiz: Which of the fruits below has got the most seeds?
Math 56: Sticks
Making groups of sticks of 10 – this will help make them understand the decimal base. It will make them more comfortable with 2 digit numbers. Using sticks / seeds, make students come up with math additions which add up to 10. (Reinforce the concept of 0).
Teach carry over, using sticks
Making students familiar with the + sign. Use 2 sticks to create this sign. We could use sticks of equal size and ask students to create problems like |||| + ||| = |||||||
Make visual patterns, using 2 sticks, 3 sticks, 4 sticks.
(Hint: We can also use matchsticks for this exercise. Students can carry a box from home and take it back after class.)
Discuss: What is the function of a stem in a plant? How do creepers survive without stems?
Quiz: How many matchsticks are required to measure the width of your chair?
Math 56: Missing Stuff
Find the missing number. 12346789. Use number cards for this. Better still, get 1 student to take away a card. Other student has to find out which one. Cards can also be used for before /after.
One student writes an addition problem. Second one checks it and rubs off the sum. The third person has to guess what the rubbed off number was.
Counting the number of students in each class. (especially 1-4 as these are smaller classes in terms of number of students). Ask the teacher how many students are enrolled in the class. Now find out how many are absent today.
Quiz: What is the missing number in this pattern?
2 4 6 8 10 12 14 __ 18 20
Math 57: Shapes
A geometrical shape is described by one team member and drawn by the other team members.
Use nailboard and rubber bands for study of shapes
Use small blocks and a thread to make students discover that squares are the minimum perimeter for a given area.
Quiz: What is the minimum number of blocks required to make a cube?
Teacher Note: Suneeta gave us blocks and asked us to make whatever we wanted with them. I took this opportunity to give out standard blocks and ask participants at least how many would be required to make a cube. What was fun was the approximations of height and breadth.
Math 58: Calendars
Make calendars using blocks
Pattern recognition. Show a calendar to students and ask them what pattern can they see in the numbers.
Discuss: Why do some years have 365 days and leap years 366?
Hint: One rotation around the sun takes 365.25 days approximately.
Quiz: You are celebrating your birthday. You decide to give three bananas to every person in the class. How many bananas would you require?
Math 59: Grids
Playing housie – a recognition of matching
Making rangolis using grid. Mark out grid on table using markers.
Play number game with lines – for example
Quiz: Solve this number game:
Math 60: Math Film
Video to be shown on the story of zero. A preliminary hunt on google showed me this math film: http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/story-of-one/
Make them watch cartoons – Schoolhouse Rock, grammar – 3 is a magic number et al.
Discuss: Have enough pause points in the film to discuss with students what they have understood.
Quiz: What is the biggest number you can make with two 1s and two 0s?
Math 61: Shopkeeper Role Play
Use a weighing balance to illustrate the concept of less, more and equal. On second thoughts, can we get students to make a simple weighing balance. (This can be a class 4 activity)
Role play. One person takes on the role of a shopkeeper and the remaining students have to buy from his shop. We can use real or fake money. One variation is that teachers dress up as helpers – and offer their services. The prices are listed out – and then students negotiate and do transactions with teachers. Would be interesting to see how students allocate money if they are given a sum at the start 🙂 We discussed buying a second hand weighing balance. Also a digital weighing scale for students to measure their weights – or heavy objects.
Discuss: How does a weighing balance work?
Quiz: In Kerala, bananas are sold by the kg. One banana weighs about 100 g. How many bananas can you expect to get in half a kg?
Math 62: Digit Count
Jyoti was teaching 91 to 100. Students were busy writing and then having fun by underlining the written numbers with different crayons. Good chaos with mini fights when a student refused to let go his crayon. Challenged students to tell me how many times did 9 get used in the page. After most students could get that, the next challenge was if we were to write 1-100, then how many times would 1 get used. This required more time. In case of any answer mismatches, asked groups to check the written work of each other, rather than come to me. Eventually, most people got this one right also. (they had to write down all the numbers, some did it in ascending order, others randomly).
Discuss: How many 2/3/4 digit numbers exist?
Quiz: A hotel has 20 rooms. You have to purchase separate numerals for numbering each of the rooms. How many numerals will you end up purchasing?