Sunday, 24 April 2016

Hosting a Math Family Night

Are you looking for ways to increase home-school connections in Mathematics?  A fun way to engage families and friends is to host a family math night.

Successful planning includes assistance from staff members in a school community.  With permission from school administration, the official planning process involves choosing a location or locations within the school to host the event, create an invitation, select age and grade appropriate activities, provide some fun visuals to keep students talking about the event at home.

Locations may include classrooms or common areas such as a library and/or gymnasium.  Ensure that there is enough room to move around the stations or activities.  If weather permits, some events may take place outside.  An invitation should include the location and time.  A one and a half hour time period is recommended.  This will give parents and students an opportunity to visit at least 3 activities.

Activities should be selected based on age or grade.  For example, students at the age of 4 or 5 can go "fishing" for numbers.  Have a kiddie pool set up and magnetic fishing poles.  Attach magnets to numbers.  Place the numbers in the pool.  Have students roll a number cube (dice) or two number cubes to generate a sum.  The students then fish for the numbers.

Additional activities may be found at this fantastic website:

For added incentive, add a punch card and have participants obtain a punch for each station visited. After their punch cards are full, they can collect a small prize.

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Math Tip Monday - Measurement

Hi everyone,

I'm excited to be part of this month's Math Tip Monday, hosted by K's Klassroom Kreations and Theresa's Teaching Tidbits.  This month, the focus in on Measurement.  Early on in childhood, children develop measurement concepts such as capacity, mass, temperature and length.  Through pictures and objects, students can explore measurement concepts further.  I call these "Measurement Math Chats".  

For example, "I Wonder" question can be posed during a math chat.  You can easily incorporate this with a thermometer.  Display the temperature and place some pictures or actual clothing pieces to ask what you would wear based on the temperature.  Other math chats include asking how many cups would a carton of juice fill?  A cup can be on display and a juice carton (empty of course).  I recommend using water to fill the carton and having this as a free exploration station to see if  students were close to their estimations. Using large boxes, students can determine how many small boxes will fit in them.  

When introducing time, I always remove the large hand and have students tell time using the small hand to the hour.  Once students are comfortable with this, I introduce the large hand and talk about minutes to the half hour, 15 minute, 10 and 5 minute intervals.

As a goal, teachers are encouraged to model the language of measurement through math chats. If actual objects cannot be used, pictures can be on display with simple questions such as "What measurement do you see?"  Here's an example:

Playing Hockey
Here are some sample questions for the sport of hockey: 

1) How long does it take to play a hockey game?
2) What are the dimensions of a hockey arena?
3) If the hockey rink melts, how big will the puddle be?
4) How long will it take me to skate the length of the arena?
5) What size will my skate be?