Category Archives: Math

Candy Corn Math

I found a wonderful candy corn math pack over at Royal Balloo. We used part of the packet and I also made a quick candy corn timeline for Kai to use. He was SO EXCITED to be able to use real candy corn with this.

First, I showed him how to use the number line I’d made.

Candy Corn Math

Then, he went to work matching up the doubles puzzle. He only had to use the number line for about half of them.

Candy Corn Math

We did some skip counting. By the end, he was counting up in his head.

Candy Corn Math

This was supposed to be one of those puzzles you cut apart and put back together. I didn’t figure that out till later and Kai liked putting the candy corn on it. He’s got most of his addition facts under five pretty well memorized, just from playing with math so much, and he was pretty pleased that he knew most of the ones on the sheet that were above five, as well.

Candy Corn Math

This was a “sorting activity” where you figured out what the answer was and put the addition fact in the right bowl. He was pretty excited about not having to use the number line much to figure it out.

Candy Corn Math

We also did an addition page and a subtraction page – both with a handful of problems on them, mainly visual. There was also a REALLY neat estimation page that I’m surprised I didn’t a picture of.

By the end of it, he was shouting, “Mommy! I’m so good at math! I didn’t know I was and I thought I wasn’t but I AM GOOD AT MATH!” and did a little victory dance. It’s good. If he thinks he’s not good at something, he tends to avoid it. But he REALLY loved this activity.

To finish off, we played a modified version of a “game” he loves called “Some Went Hiding”. I’m not sure where I picked this up, but we play it with all sorts of things. To play, take any number of small objects (in this case, candy corn, but we have also used pencil erasers, pennies, and plastic monkeys). One person turns away while the other hides a few objects behind their back. When they turn back, the person who turns away then has to figure out how many have been hidden. But, this time… we just ate them!

Too many for Kai, though. When he was nice and sugared out, he got a look, and I knew what was coming, “Can we save the rest?” Sure, kid. Not a problem.  So he ran around the house, all sugared up, while I was pleased to see how his math skills were coming along. I try not to push things, but he does really enjoy some of the fun activities and it’s nice to know how things are going, for sure.

“Place Value Target” Game

I recently found a game to play with Kai that could help him with place value. This is a concept I remember being taught somewhat late-ish in school (not until 2nd or 3rd grade, I think) but it seems like (depending on the program), they teach it earlier these days. Good thing, too, as I think place value is EXTREMELY useful to kids. It teaches them how to read practically any number, just by looking at it. Rather than verbalizing 864 as “eight six four”, place value can teach you to say ” eight hundred sixty-four”. Very useful.

Place Value Target Game

At any rate, this game came from one of Peggy Kaye’s books (I’m fairly certain) and I THINK it was Games for Learning but it could have been another one of hers. We changed it up, every so slightly, because I couldn’t find our paperclips.

This game is fairly simple. You draw a target with three layers. The inside should say, “hundreds”, the middle should say, “tens”, and the outside should say, “ones”. Each person takes their turn tossing nine paperclips (we used stones/counters and I think they were far too heavy to work well) onto the target. Then, you count up how many you have in each circle and record it on your scoresheet. This helps you figure out things like, “Okay – the number one hundred twenty-three has one hundred, two tens, and three ones.” You’re tossing the same amount of items and they can divide the same way, but if they’re in different circles, you’ll get different results. We did several rounds. He won a few, I won a few. The stones weren’t a good choice for this and they caused problems at first (they’d fly too far or bounce). We had good fun, regardless.

Place Value Target Game

I let Kai do the counting and write the numbers. Each time, we just erased the numbers, leaving the place columns and names. Yay for wasting less paper.

We’ll probably do this again sometime, with paperclips!

Game: Shut the Box! (Or: How to Help Your Child Learn Math Facts)

I decided I’d introduce you all to one of the math games we play called “Shut the Box”. We actually use a version called “Double Shutter”. But I also talked about how you can make your own, using a pen, two dice, and index cards.

I went ahead and found a few different versions on Amazon. I use the Amazon Associates (affiliate) program, but the main reason I link there is because that’s usually where I find the best prices and we have a prime account, so when I buy from them, I don’t have to pay shipping. I also wanted to be able to show a few different versions without having to come up with my own pictures.

This version looks really neat:

(As an aside: I’ve found that the quickest way to get my cats’ attention is to try to record a video.)

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Learning About Place Value With Blocks

Kai really loves numbers. It’s not uncommon for him to pick out a math DVD when we got to the library. Likewise, he’s a big fan of number books.

Yesterday, he watched a DVD designed for 4th through 8th graders. Kai’s 4, so I’m not sure he understood a lot of what they were talking about.  One of the topics they touch on was place value. He seemed interested, so I thought I’d try a simple place value activity with him.

Learning About Place Value

We made stacks of 10 blocks each and used a few single blocks. I wrote each number out on a small index card and Kai moved the appropriate number of 10 stacks and single blocks to the right column. We talked about how, for numbers under 100, what is really being said is “X number of 10s plus x numbers of 1s.” (Example: 24 could be said, instead, as “2 tens plus 5 ones.”

Learning About Place Value

We even talked about how single digit numbers could be written as two digit numbers. For example, instead of writing “4”, you could write “04”.

Learning About Place Value

He seemed to grasp the concept right away and was excited to play with it for a while before moving on to other things with his blocks.