Fun is Learning Using Everyday Math!
When I tell my students that they are going to play a game during math today, they usually cheer. Little do they know that hidden beneath the fun of the game are some great learning opportunities. These games are a terrific way for the kindergarten teaching staff to see just how much our students are learning the concepts introduced during whole-group lessons.
Since the start of the school year, the students have been introduced to a number of math games that can easily be adapted for home use. These games include Monster Squeeze, Spin a Number, and one of our most recent introductions, Top It.
The games do an excellent job reinforcing the concepts introduced through the Everyday Math program. Monster Squeeze, for example, demonstrates a child’s awareness of number ordering and number recognition. Spin a Number again is it good way to see if your child is recognizing specific numbers. It’s also a great tool to assess your child’s understanding of one-to-one correspondence. If a six is spun, does your child correctly count forward six spaces?
Seeing the students play Top It allows me to see if the students can differentiate between bigger and smaller numbers. If one student throws down a 6 and another a 13, the child with the 13 should recognize that he/she holds the bigger number and thus wins both cards.
As I stated earlier, many of these games can be adapted for use at home. The children all received athome versions of Monster Squeeze. As for Spin a Number, any board game that you have at home would be a great substitution for the EDM-provided game board templates that are used in the classroom. Good examples include Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders. Finally, Top It can be played using any standard deck of playing cards.
As your child’s math knowledge grows, so too can the difficulty level of the games. For example, when we played Top It in class the other day, the students used decks of cards with the numbers 0-20. Once your child becomes comfortable comparing and ordering larger numbers, you can introduce cards with higher numbers. Likewise, when we played Spin a Number for the first time, the spinner only went up to 10. Subsequent spinners went up to the number 20.
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