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A fun way to find numbers all around the house and to put a concrete set of familiar objects with the abstract concept of number
Build “ten bean” sticks with your child to help them understand the number ten and counting by tens.
Ten is a student’s very best friend. These dot cards and the accompanying activities will help students visualize numbers that occur abstractly in a number sentence.
This book is all about sharing with others. That sounds like division, doesn’t it? The activities and “cookies” will help students experience equal sharing.
The understanding of place value is a challenge at all levels. Playing this simple game with a deck of cards helps students verbalize numbers and problem solve to create the greatest or least number possible. Mental math cards layer on the complexity.
Make the learning of vocabulary terms fun by playing one of these games. You can rotate vocabulary cards into these three games before, during, and after a unit your child is studying in math. Playing the games as a family will engage your child and help them learn the words they will need to pass tests.
This collection of 55 terms is key to the understanding of algebraic concepts. The cards include the term, the definition, and an image to help the learner master the language of Algebra with automaticity or using the word without having to think about it. Download the Vocabulary Games for Math file to use with these cards and then have a Family Game Night!
One of the first things your child will need to know before taking Algebra is how to speak Algebra. This activity, The Language of Algebra helps the learner develop a sense of which word is used in a word problem for each operation. This activity asks the learner to divide the words in the categories of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Players can take turns trying to determine which operational goes with each category or play against time. Print an entire set to use as an answer key, then have fun learning to “speak Algebra” at your house!
Does your teen like to text? Are they good at texting? Well, “Texting Time” asks the learner to change equations and expressions into good written English and then figure out how to text it with the fewest symbols possible. This helps your teen connect something from their world to the world of Algebra!
Can you really help your teen understand the factoring of quadratic equations in a way that is hands-on, fun, and engaging? Yes, “Tri Factors” will do just that. You will need to purchase a set of Algebra Tiles, but it costs less than a meal at a fast food restaurant and can be used throughout high school math. In “Tri Factors,” learners create the tiles that form a square and show the concrete factors written on one of the trinomial expression cards. The “light bulbs” of concretely understanding the factoring of quadratic equations will go off for your teen and for you!
What is a function? What is the domain and range for a set of numbers? Functions are typically taught by teaching the learner to memorize abstract steps. This activity makes the understanding of a function concrete and challenges the learner to be first to locate the points on the coordinate plane and determine if it is a line. (This means you get to play, too!)
This RACE uses real-world word problems with equations and variables to help students identify the algebra all around them. Student pairs race to be the first to find the equation and variable that reflect the real-world problem. Challenge Cards are included and ask the players to solve the problem.
Learning about dependent and independent variables can be monotonous! Not with this activity. The game times the learner to see how fast they can identify the independent and dependent variables from the real world and from the math world. You can compete against your teen and try to beat their time. Having a discussion about why each term was placed in each category will be a bonus for them understanding functions.
Children are challenged by word problems. For that matter, we are all challenged by word problems! Simply collect different items from around the house to use as counters. It helps if the counters are different in at least one way so your child can use them to determine the answer to the problem. In this activity, you and your child will read the problem, then use the counters to help them solve the problem. An Answer Key is included so you can check to see if you’re headed in the right direction. The recording sheet will help your child prepare for any tests in school on these concepts. Have fun solving problems instead of dreading them!
Numbers are abstract! You want to develop a number sense in your child so they truly understand what 25 is and how it can be represented. So, this activity uses a REALLY COOL collection of counters. You can use just about anything that fits in your child’s hand as a counter. Buttons and bling are always a favorite. Included in the download is a ten frame, double ten frame, hundreds chart, and expanded notation cards so your child can practice different ways to represent the numbers 1-120. You will FLIP a number card and an ACTION card and help your child create the amount. A recording sheet connects this concrete, hands-on experience with the abstract way a test might require.
How did you learn about multiplication and division? I had a deck of fact cards. Learning your facts that way is pretty abstract and not that much fun. So, let’s KICK IT UP A NOTCH and add bugs that look real and an activity that is more authentic. Your child will turn over a number, then make an array (an even number marching in each row and column) on a “picnic” tablecloth using ants and roaches. Your child is now multiplying by observing the arrays, the rows and columns are the factors, and the total number of bugs is the product. When they create equal groups with the bugs, they are dividing. How cool is that??? Your child will never forget marching ants in arrays at a picnic and that you were the one who let them!
What is expanded notation and how can you make it fun for your child? Simply use Excellently Expanded! This activity includes numbers you will turn over and then use the expanded notation cards to make the number as quickly as possible. You can print out a set for yourself and race against each other or have your child try to beat their completion time. There’s an Answer Key so you both can check and a recording sheet to connect to the school’s assessment. Expanding numbers has never been better!
One of the reasons why high school math is hard is because students don’t have a concrete understanding of fractional concepts. Students need to have many concrete experiences with fractions to develop an in-depth understanding. This activity uses building blocks (Legos) to help your child understand equivalent fractions. Simply turn over a dot card, have them find a block with that number of dots, then turn over a fraction card so they will know what portion they will be making with other blocks. The Easy Equivalency Recording Sheet gives your child a chance to connect their concrete experience with pictures/icons and with abstract, standard forms of fractions. If you let your child “build” something with their Legos at the end, they will never mind finding equivalent fractions again! You might just build something together!
What are algebraic expressions, binomials, trinomials, and polynomials? How do you help your child understand the zero principle, how to combine like terms, and how to simplify expressions? Get a set of Algebra Tiles, then use Poly Pull! You will turn over an expression and see who is first to create the expression using Algebra Tiles. This makes an extremely abstract concept something that is tactile and concrete. They can touch it, move it, and understand it. Algebraic expressions aren’t just numbers and letters written on a page. An Answer Key allows you to check for accuracy. The passport connects to the way the questions will be asked on the state test or EOC exam. Additional challenge cards are included as your child progresses.