Thursday, March 31, 2011

How to Make Math Fun...

I always hated math.
H-A-T-E-D it.
It was boring, I didn't get it, and besides, when was I ever going to use it anyway?
Now that I have decided to be a teacher, it's kinda part of the deal. But I don't want my kids to hate it, and dread doing it. I know they are young still but I want them to enjoy learning, not just do it because I say so.

Thus, my bright idea...

I found an old Candy Land game (sadly, not the original) that actually had all the pieces, for $1.69 at the thrift store the other day. Don't know why they felt the need to emphasize that price 3 times, but I digress...
This version seems to have more color spaces than the one we have, which is newer. And it has more characters.
I took a permanent marker and wrote numbers 0-10 in all the spaces, in random order.

Then on the single color block cards, I drew various numbers of circles-1-10.
On the double block cards, I wrote out addition and subtraction problems, with corresponding dots below each number. I didnt put the answers on them.
So, for each single block with the dots, they have to count them and find that number on the board.
For the double blocks, they have to either add or subtract. Then they will have to move to that numbered square.
I thought maybe they wouldnt be interested in the adding/subtracting at first, but they really had fun with it. They carefully counted out all the dots and I showed them both how to add them together or subtract by covering up the subtracted number of dots.

Oh, on the single cards, some I left blank for zero.
Charlotte won the first game, and they asked to play again, so I think it's a keeper.
This is not my original idea- I saw that someone had put tape over their game and wrote letters on the tape, then the kids would have to say the sound that letter made when they landed on it.
Since this was so cheap, I didn't mind writing on it.
Ethan likes it because it lasts longer than the normal version of the game.
Charlotte likes it because she is really into counting everything now.
Caden likes to move everybody's men around or throw them off the table.
And I like it because I know they are having fun and learning at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea! Now off to find an old candy land game for my first graders!

    Cards are great too. You can have each person flip over two cards and add or subtract them. Whoever has the highest number gets to keep them all. Simple, but they love it!