Friday, April 28, 2017
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Addition. A collection of dice (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Supplies A pair of dice Chalk Driveway, sidewalk, or other clear spot Instructions Draw 12 circles on driveway, numbering them from 1 to 12. They can be the same size or different sizes, the same shape or different shapes Roll dice Add the dice Hop the number on the two dice, either each one at a time or the sum Start over with each roll Optional: change the way you hop: step, skip, jump backwards, use one foot or two feet, use left foot, then right foot, hold a toy, raise your hands in the air Optional: in a variation of hopscotch, toss... (Read More ...)

Big numbers. A bowl of white granulated sugar. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) How long would it take you to count to one million? Eleven and-a-half days, if you counted at the rate of one number a second. This activity helps you see how much one million of something is. Supplies White, granulated sugar Measuring cup One sheet of black construction paper Instructions Measure out one-quarter cup of sugar Pour it onto the black construction paper What Should Happen? You have just measured out one million granules of sugar. Why Is This Important? Numbers with lots of zeros, like million, billion and... (Read More ...)

Pizza Boxes. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) When former math teacher, David Adler, started writing math storybooks for children, he set out to explain big concepts. Shapes, word problems, fractions, algebra and Roman numerals. In his brand-new, 2013 book, “Millions, Billions & Trillions,” he tackles big numbers. Parents and teachers may care that it “meets the Common Core State Standards for fourth-grade mathematics in Number and Operations in Base Ten.” Grandparents will delight in its whimsical illustrations and real-world-based representation of how much a million, or billion, or trillion... (Read More ...)

If you remember playing Go, Fish! when you were young, you might want to introduce a different version for your grandchildren, using buttons. Button-Red (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Supplies A range of buttons of various sizes, colors and shapes, that each have at least two so they can be paired One large container for the buttons that you cannot see through Small boxes that you cannot see through Instructions Have each of your grandchildren draw out 7 buttons from the no-see-through container and put them in their own no-see-through boxes Draw out your own seven buttons and put them in your own... (Read More ...)

Big numbers. Sahara Desert (Photo credit: Wikipedia) A nine-year-old came up with the name googol when his mathematician uncle, Edward Kasner, asked for help in naming this new number. The name was introduced in Kasner’s 1940 book, “Mathematics and the Imagination.” The search engine company, Google, took its name as a play on the name for the number, googol, because they were designing a search engine that would organize a very large amount of information. How big is a googol? Supplies • Paper • Tape • Pencil, pen or crayon Instructions • Have your grandchild write down... (Read More ...)

Tessellation If you look at a tile floor, you will see that all the edges of tiles sit next to each other, with no gaps. This is tessellation, fitting polygons – shapes with at least three sides – next to each other in a pattern. A football (or soccer ball) icon. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) How would you like to make your own design, and then eat it afterwards? This activity uses an oven, so it requires adult supervision. Materials Mixing bowl Spoon for stirring batter and one for sieving powdered sugar Small sieve Rectangular baking pan (you can use a square one with your favorite brownie recipe,... (Read More ...)

Eat Your Math Homework: Recipes for Hungry Minds, by Ann McCallum, illustrated by Leeza Hernandez, makes complex math concepts as simple as making brownies. A common variety of gorp (trail mix) made out of peanuts, raisins, and M&Ms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Fibonacci series Tesselation Tangrams Probability Eat your way through pizza, brownies, fruit sticks and trail mix and find you’ve also been learning how to use food to introduce math. Ann McCallum, a math teacher and mother of two, has written a number of books making math fun for children. Eat Your Math Homework takes advantage... (Read More ...)

Just in time for Thanksgiving! Not that you’re having spaghetti and meatballs for Thanksgiving, but because you’re likely to have lots of people sitting around the table. Spaghetti with meatballs and tomato sauce (Photo credit: naotakem) Have you ever thought about letting your children figure out the seating arrangement, how many at each table, combining and rearranging card tables that seat four when you overflow the dining room table? That’s what the children’s story book, “Spaghetti and Meatballs for All! A Mathematical  Story” is all about – adding, subtracting, multiplying... (Read More ...)