Thursday, April 23, 2009

On/Off - In/Out - Toss the Chips Math Games

This past week we have been exploring number combinations. We have learned to play three new games. The first one is called On/Off. Each student will have a playing mat, 8 counters, and a paper to record the findings. The student will hold the 8 counters in their hand above the mat. They will open their hand and watch the counters fall to the mat. The student will next count how many land on the mat and how many fell off the mat. They will record their findings on the paper. As the students play the game, they should begin to notice the patterns they see. If they have counted 5 counters on the mat and 3 off, a few different times, they should be able to remember the number combinations without having to count all the counters the next time they get 5 on and 3 off.

The next game is called Counters in a Cup. Again the students start with 8 counters, 1 cup and a paper to record their findings. This time the students are playing with a partner. One student hides their eyes, while the other student places some of the counters under the cup and leaves some of them out of the cup. When the student who has been hiding the counters is ready, the other student opens their eyes and trys to decide how many are in the cup and how many are out of the cup. Both students will record their findings then check their answers by looking under the cup. Again they are looking for number combinations and patterns.

The final game is called Toss the Chips. The students again get a set of counters that are are red on one side and yellow on the other side. They toss them onto a mat. They count how many landed red side up, and how many landed yellow side up. They record their findings on a sheet of paper.

We would like to encourage you to play these games with your child at home. To make counters at home all you need is dried beans, and paint. Paint only one side of the beans. You can also adjust the number of counters for your child. If they need more of a challenge work with 12 or higher. If your child is struggling you might just want to use 6 counters. You want your child to see the connections between each round. They are making combinations. As they learn them they should need to count each number less. For example: If they have 8 counters and they notice 4 are off, then they should realize they have 4 on without counting as they get to know all the combinations of 8.

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