Saturday, 24 November 2012

Easy Make-at-home Maths Games

I have been trying out some maths games from the book 'Games For Math' by Peggy Kaye. It fits superbly with my 2012 promise to myself to stop procrastinating being a perfectionist and start doing things right now without over planning and missing the moment! This book fits with that because the games can all be made with close to hand household materials, often simply paper and pens, no photocopying, colouring, laminating etc. You could make them pretty and permanent if you wanted to, but I have chosen to just DO them!!

This game is called 'double it'. You pick two number cards and one instruction card and move your piece around the snail board according to the answer. I tweaked it slightly to have various forms of the same instruction such as add/plus and minus/take-away/subtract. It aims to build knowledge of basic number facts. My girls are confident calculating these, currently using a range of techniques to get the answer, some 'in their head' and some on fingers etc. I thought this would help them as they don't always link the words with the actions. As I predicted, minus caused some confusion!

I have one 'happy maths' child and one more reluctant maths child and I think I made the spiral a bit too long for the reluctant maths child. The game lasted about 20 minutes and she was unhappy for at least ten minutes of that, but cheered up at the end as she won. A shorter spiral (and better counters that didn't keep falling over!) would make this more successful! Like many areas of home educating, I am constantly making little changes to help things run more smoothly!

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