January 22, 2015

Addition Games- Turning Frowns upside Down

I have to preface this post by saying that the day before my son was in tears with double digit math. "I hate it- I can't do it, It's too hard, I hate it..." He would just stare at his paper and refuse to try. Nothing short of extreme, but that's what you get with a spirited, artistic, passionate almost 8 year old boy ;)

When I first introduced double digit math, he "got it" right away. He's always been strong & confident in math, but somewhere along the way of worksheet after worksheet, he just kinda shut down and stopped trying. SO, I knew it was time to step in and make it FUN for him. I had to remind myself that our biggest goal with homeschooling this year is "happy learning". So here we go!!
Above is how you set up the white board, with corresponding cards. I cut notecards in half, and numbered them 0-9 in 3 different colors. (the x on the back of the cards just helps me keep the piles organized) I've thought of a ton of different math games we can play just with these sets of cards and a white board. We started with just double digits, so just the orange & blue boxes but then eventually the tens digit carried over and I decided to talk about triple digit addition (I WASN'T even planning on this since he was so turned OFF about doubles, but it came naturally during the game and then it all just "clicked" for him!!) He was thrilled to carry the one again to make a bigger hundred's number. I was shocked. It just goes to show how when you can get a kid to relax and ENJOY what he's learning, he will accept so much more information. This realization made me so excited!

So back to the game- choose 2 cards for each color and place them on the board. You can do this with just the ones digit, ones and tens (double digit) or even ones, tens & hundreds (triple digits). You can compare numbers, add, subtract, multiply, divide... possibilities are endless! 
Since we are working on addition, we just added the numbers up- remembering to carry the 1's when regrouping is needed.

I actually only wrote 0-5 in the green cards (hundreds digit) to prevent a fourth digit, but I didn't think about another carried 1 creating a number over 999- hehe, this is what happens when you make up a game as you go along-- but he didn't care and thought it was SO cool he added up to 1,030! Since my son needs some sort of competition, we took turns and whoever got the higher sum, got a point. First to 5 wins :)

So we played this game for a few minutes, then once he won (0-5, by the way!) we continued our math time with worksheets. I am using a combination of 3 different math books (trying to figure out which curriculum we like the best- Singapore, Encore & McGraw-Hill) so I staple together 2-3 worksheets and create a "math packet" each day. He loves when we do a MATH RACE-- he does his math packet while I clean the kitchen and whoever wins, gets to pick the next activity. He loves being "timed" in a way, but I don't want him to feel rushed, so this works out really well. Plus, my kitchen has been cleaned on a daily basis for a couple weeks now- which is kinda a world record for me. (please dont tell him but I purposefully let him win most days. 1. because a kitchen is never completely clean and 2. because if he is giving his all {and not complaining} I feel like he deserves to chose our next activity!)

I hope these ideas have helped a bit- I'm a big fan of games with learning! 

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