or Connect
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › unschoolers and relaxed ones..list your favorite math games/manipulatives...
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

unschoolers and relaxed ones..list your favorite math games/manipulatives...

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
...appropriate for an almost 7 yr old girl who is very visual/hands on. She has an understanding of concepts such as bigger/smaller, can estimate, etc, at times can answer a question like "if you had 10 kitties and 2 ran away how many would you have?" but not consistently, can recognize and write numbers and can get me the appropriate number of objects for that number, etc. I know she learned this through "real life" but I am becoming anxious about "further" math. I know she would be very weak in computational aspects of math with pencil and paper...she simply cannot think in that way.

For gawd's sake, I see "workbooks" in Walmart that are labelled for grade one stating things like adding 45+3 for example...for one thing, she hates any sort of workbook, even just "strewed" around for her to do whenever...my MIL gave her some writing workbooks once the kind with the dotted/solid lines, letters to trace...she was crying that she couldn't make the letters look perfect! I just supplied her with a chalkboard and plenty of paper, she did much better free form and writing on her own terms, like when SHE wanted to make a grocery list or something, or write me a note, adn she still continues to write in this fashion, stress free because there is no pressure.

Is this the kind of "math" grade one'ers are really doing? And do you memorize all those facts...that's what I remember doing at that age with flashcards. I have nothing to compare to as to how kids learn math nowadays...OK I have read stories of how even some Jr high and HS'ers use calculators as they may still not have "memorized" all their facts. True?

I am trying to round up more "resources" to have on hand. We have monopoly Jr (I give her stones to help her make up her dollars if she doesn't have a single bill of that amount), a few card games like War and Go fish, some cooperative strategy type games from Family Pastimes like the Secret Door, etc. We don't play these games consitently though....we are way more into sciency/literature type stuff around here right now.

I am trying to get over my math anxiety and also to try to sit down with her more to play "math type games" with her, but I have to be careful of my motives because this girl can smell coercion and "here let's 'teach' this to you a MILE away . I want to get some things she would find hands on and fun, to help her get a better grasp of what adding/subtracting etc is for when that comes up in a REAL LIFE context, like adding her score in a game, or figuring out money and I show it to her on paper.

Anyone care to share their favorite

-online computer games...she has dabbled in these a bit but probably wouldn't like the "drill and kill" types that are thinly disguised worksheets
-board games, card games, other manipulatives.

Also, math curriculum...any ones that are hands on, use manipulatives, but aren't too workbook-y I would get one of these for her just to "play around with" but of course would not expect her to do "x" amount everyday and then test her. The only one I have seen IRL is Math U see, but it looked intimidating but then again I was looking at a level much higher than the beginning.

One thing I borrowed from the library is Games for Math by Peggy Kaye, just to see it before I would purchase it, and it looks great. I have Family Math for Young Children (Coates/Stenmark) ages 4-8 but it alot about comparisons, estimating, etc and I know she would "know" how to do alot of the stuff in this book....I am more concerned with her starting to develop a better sense of "computing" if that makes sense to anyone.

Any help would be appreciated

Tina, here in Manitoba Canada, trying to swallow my math anxiety
post #2 of 38
i've never used it - but i hear "math u see" is a very hands on approach. you can order a dvd for free to learn about it and read LOTS of reviews from other homeschool moms that have purchased & used it here:

http://www.homeschoolreviews.com/rev...ws.aspx?id=158
post #3 of 38
My son is 7 and hates workbooks too! We tried a formal curriculum last semester and it didn't work. Slowly I've become more relaxed about math. I think it is the subject that freaks me out the most because it's one of the subjects I liked least in school.

There are lots of math books in story form at the library-some we've read recently are, "If Dogs Were Dinosaurs" (about relative size), "A Million Dots" (about large numbers), "The Coin Counting Book," and "Subtraction Action." Here's a website about doing math in a different way--Living Math

We also play Uno, Monopoly, dice games, and our new favorite is popular with homeschoolers, Sum Swamp. And we recently bought the book "Family Math" to try some of those activities.

We don't have the math thing down yet and I still feel nervous not following a curriculum. I just use a scope and sequence to know what to teach in general and then experiment with ways to teach that work for my son. He's not a visual learner and has some visual processing problems. He's not ready for abstract math (numbers that represent objects.) He still does better with pictures of things to count and then add, or with manipulatives. And that's ok. There's no rush. Lillian (on this board) really helped me to relax about this. Here's an article she wrote.

My son has some math facts memorized-mostly the +1s and +2s and "doubles" ( 4+4 or 2+2.) We've worked on math facts up to 10. Our public school's scope and sequence says kids need to learn math facts through 10 in first grade. We're behind according the them, but right on track for my son!
post #4 of 38
Oh, thank you, MomofCutie, for posting a link to that article - it's packed full of some of my favorite resources. And there are more articles on this page: Go Figure! The Fascinating World of Mathematics. Underneath the articles are annotated links to lots of math websites with fun tips and activities. Lillian
post #5 of 38
Aren't math "manipulatives" just things like buttons, coins, blocks, barbie doll shoes, etc, that you use in counting, adding/subtracting, etc? Can't you teach multiplication with 3 rows of four grains of rice each, and stuff like that?
post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Aren't math "manipulatives" just things like buttons, coins, blocks, barbie doll shoes, etc, that you use in counting, adding/subtracting, etc? Can't you teach multiplication with 3 rows of four grains of rice each, and stuff like that?
Well, yeah, but she's asking for favorites . I loved the little plastic colored teddy bear counters, for instance - silly, but they just made me smile. And coins are so perfect! But barbie doll shoes??? Is this something you can buy in bulk, or do you just have a bizillion barefoot barbies at your house?

Pattern blocks are popular too. I know one mom who said they were the one thing that really did get a lot of use at her house when she was homeschooling her three. And cuisenaire rods can be useful too...

- Lillian
post #7 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Aren't math "manipulatives" just things like buttons, coins, blocks, barbie doll shoes, etc, that you use in counting, adding/subtracting, etc? Can't you teach multiplication with 3 rows of four grains of rice each, and stuff like that?
They are also things like pattern blocks, pentominoes, tangrams, fraction circles, geoboards, scales and weights, 3d geometrical shapes, cuisenaire rods, base 10 blocks, play clocks or coins or cash registers, measuring tapes and cups and spoons, 100s charts or boards, DIME blocks. Some of these can be easily substituted or made at home - others not so much. Some are for learning computational skills and others are for more diverse mathmatical concepts.

Tina - there are lots of manipulative and game suggestions in these other threads

For computer games try basics like Reader Rabbit, Jumpstart or Cluefinder, Carmen San Diego math or math blaster. You can often get good deals in the scholastics catalogue on grade level sets. Zoombinis is another great one that develops logic and patterns.

Also if you 'do tv' look into Leapfrog math circus, schoolhouse rock, the reading rainbow math programs, cyberchase or the googol math programs. Look at Livingmath.net for their math reading lists.

As for your question - in Ontario the question 43 +5 for kids in gr 1 is right on target from a curriculum standpoint. It's not that difficult a question if the kids have learned place value which is one of the main things taught in grade 1 here and I'm assuming in most gr 1 classrooms.

It's more important imo that kids get a foundation in understanding how numbers go together and come apart than that they memorize the facts although I think that for many/most people a certain amount of memorization comes just from using and playing with numbers.

Programs like Miquon or Rightstart are manipulative based in the early years and I know Miquon is discovery based. You can do it all without workbooks and drill, as long as you are able to engage and be engaged with your daughter in her discovery.

You might want to look into books for you like Math Power or Math Coach to help you get past your math anxiety and help your daughter experience a rich math environment.
HTH
Karen
post #8 of 38
Barbie doll shoes were just an example I could think of- we don't currently have tons of doll shoes but for a while we did (ya know, after receiving new doll outfits that included shoes, and before they all got lost!)
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Barbie doll shoes were just an example I could think of- we don't currently have tons of doll shoes but for a while we did (ya know, after receiving new doll outfits that included shoes, and before they all got lost!)
Oh, okay - darn. I loved the image of little boxes full of barbie shoes being sold like teddy bear counters.
post #10 of 38
Maybe I should have used Barbie doll heads as an example instead.

BTW Karen- thanks for the explanation. I had no idea manipulatives were that complex. My kids pretty much used everything as a math manipulative- toys, pieces of broken cookies on their plates, etc. I never saw a reason to purchase something special for that purpose- but then I haven't yet HSed a little one, and my 10yo doesn't need much help in math (we spent a total of about 2 hours going over the entire 5th grade curriculum after I pulled her out of school in January.)
post #11 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruthla View Post
Maybe I should have used Barbie doll heads as an example instead.

BTW Karen- thanks for the explanation. I had no idea manipulatives were that complex. My kids pretty much used everything as a math manipulative- toys, pieces of broken cookies on their plates, etc. I never saw a reason to purchase something special for that purpose- but then I haven't yet HSed a little one, and my 10yo doesn't need much help in math (we spent a total of about 2 hours going over the entire 5th grade curriculum after I pulled her out of school in January.)
Some of these manipulatives have a long shelf life - or are meant for older kids. DIME blocks for example at quite complex spatial tools and my husband and I love to play with them and are still challenged by them as adults. Same with pattern blocks and pentominoes which are often played with by all the members of our family.
There's an algebra program which is manipulative based aimed at kids ages 9+ and a series of algebra manipulatives which you can get at most teacher stores which allows you to solve equations with 2 unknowns. Here's a supplier of math manipulatives for older kids. For hands on learners, and reluctant writers, manipulatives like this can be a godsend.

Karen
post #12 of 38
Ooh, those look like fun Karen!

Now, if only I had enough money to buy them...if only I had enough money to pay my bills. sigh.
post #13 of 38
I can't recomend muggins math enough! We have Knockout/Muggins right now and I am going to get Pirates and Plunder/Sink the Ship ASAP. Knockout would be good for your DD I would think.
post #14 of 38
Peggy Kaye's Games for Math is fantastic. Easy games, not a lot of prep or fancy materials and she explains them very clearly. http://www.amazon.com/Games-Math-Peg.../dp/0394755103
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3momkmb View Post
I can't recomend muggins math enough! We have Knockout/Muggins right now and I am going to get Pirates and Plunder/Sink the Ship ASAP. Knockout would be good for your DD I would think.
I'd heard of the name "Muggins," but never any details before. Your post got me to go and look at their website - looks like fun! - Lillian

post #16 of 38
We've been having fun with Number's Up! Volcanic Panic. It's spendy, but I think it's worth it. It fills dh's perceived need for "drill" in a way that dd enjoys, so she chooses to do it. I'm cool with that...

We have cuisinaire rods and miquon math stuff, dd doesn't want anything to do with paper right now, though sometimes she likes to do puzzle books with the rods. We have bear counters, but they just seem to get dumped on the floor around here.

Maya Madness is a pretty fun game. I think the box says 10 and up, but I'm not sure why, it's just up and down on a number line.
post #17 of 38
My favorite "learning to add" game for wee ones is Wake Up Giants. Its a beautifully crafted wooden game that I think I got off the Chinaberry website.

Cuisinier rods, well they are just a fun way to learn fractions. So is cooking.

Chocolate works well for teaching multiplication. Have fun learning them in the car and when you get home you fill up a times chart with mini choco chips and if you get the answer right, you get to enjoy!

Blox is a fantastic online game that deals with spacial elements. Warning, it's addictive. http://www.arcadetown.com/blox/index.asp

I just ordered Blockus board game because I heard from a few friends that it is wonderful http://www.blokus.com/index.htm

Poker Chips are fun to play with and so is real money. Or one of those fake money kits.
post #18 of 38
My pals are here is great for text work. Games such as Monopoly and Monopoly JR as well as the cd roms mentioned earlier are fab. We alos like using Duplo blocks (diff colours are diff units.for ex. blue is ones, red is tens, yellow is 100's and green 1000). Cheap to get at yeard sales too

For simple addition and subtraction we like using dried beans, buttons and for my son, his Hot Wheels cars.
post #19 of 38
wow- I've been bookmarking sites like crazy- you guys are full of ideas!
I also wanted to say to OP- we use Miquon workbooks for ds,who's 7(he likes them...) we're at the end of a 1st grade book,and they're well into mulitplication,and learning about fractions. I say 'learning' b/c of course he learns these things through normal life too, but he is learning to compute the answers on paper,with the use of Cuisinare rods.... Which we love the rods on any old day anyway, b/c they're endless fun all the time -\
I consider Monopoly one of the best tools for letting kids learn about calculating,countig,adding and subtracting...by the time the kids were 6 or 7,they liked to be the banker,which of course meant they had to figure out(with my help) how to count,etc.
Whatever we use, it tends to be sporadic, based on interests first, so sometimes the kids have a burning need to learn some concept,or play some cool games(in which they learn copious amounts of math info )
and then there are times when they don't...which take more patience on my part.
I do like my kids to have at least a basic understanding of the "language of mathematics" so that when they're older, and they need to learn more, it will come more easily to them. I equate it with saying a few words in another language, maybe not comprehensive now, but a passing touch in how it works will greatly simplify any future efforts to learn the more complex language in the future.....like once I knew how vowels were pronounced by learning a bit of spanish,I could then at least sound out every other word i came across, and even understand it, though I hadn't formally learned every nuance of pronunciation...
post #20 of 38
I just wanted to put a plug in for my kids' favorite manipulables-- their fingers! I think sometimes people are reluctant to suggest them because counting on your fingers as an adult is considered a sign of stupidity, but my kids have naturally grown out of using their fingers as they became more comfortable with arithmetic, and in the meantime they were very helpful, and always available (except when they're wearing mittens ).

A great motivator to learn some basic math has been shopping. My kids recently found a toy they HAD to have. I offered them some extra chores around the house as a way to earn money to buy it, and they had a great time counting their accumulated earnings and figuring out how much more they needed.

ZM
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Learning at Home and Beyond
Mothering › Mothering Forums › Childhood and Beyond › Education › Learning at Home and Beyond › unschoolers and relaxed ones..list your favorite math games/manipulatives...