Algebra in Pictures
Today, let’s do something amazing to see how ordinary formal calculations can be replaced with pictures, or diagrams.Read More
Family life is busy. But wouldn't it be great to fill those few minutes we have of our child's undivided attention - while driving to activities or making dinner - with a fun intellectual activity? We think so too. That's why we've created 'Math on the Go:' a list of three to five math activities that we'll provide every few weeks that you can do as a family.
These activities should be scalable for age and level, so anyone should be able to participate. We encourage parents to try a few of these with your children. There's nothing that sends a message as strongly as a parent taking a vested interest in a subject. Enjoy!
1. Halloween Costume Parade (Pre K-2)
Does your child have a costume day at school? Ask him or her to write down the names of classmates and their costumes. Come up with ways to categorize them. Were the costumes:
- Pretty, scary, funny?
- Store-bought or homemade?
- A story character or a general type, like ghosts or witches?
Ask your child questions about the different categories:
- Which category contains more costumes?
- Did a certain grade have more ghosts or general costumes than another?
- Were there more scary costumes than funny ones? How many more?
- Which category is your costume in?
- Order the categories from largest to smallest.
2. Spooky Treasure Hunt (K-5)
Hide a small prize in a secret location. To guide your child to it, create a series of hints where each hint leads to the next. For example, hand your child a note to look for the coldest place in the house. When your child opens the refrigerator (or freezer door), inside will be a note that says, "lliswodniw moordeb smom" which your child will have to read backwards (or hold up in front of a mirror) to decipher. The next hint can be a map of the house with the location of the next hint marked, and so on.
What's so mathematical about this activity? A lot, actually! Imagination, persistence, and creativity are the most important skills in any mathematician - and this is what your child (and you!) will be developing while seeking the spooky treasure by using their problem-solving skills.
3. How big is your pumpkin? (2-5)
Start by having each family member guess the circumference of your pumpkin. Then, measure the circumference with a tape measurer. You and your child can estimate the circumference of a pumpkin with a tape measurer by wrapping a blank piece of tape around the pumpkin at its widest point. Answer the following questions together:
- Whose estimate is closest?
- What is the difference between the actual circumference and the closest prediction?
- After measuring the circumference of one pumpkin, make estimates and measure several other pumpkins of different sizes.
- Are you getting any better at estimating?
- Are your estimates more accurate for small pumpkins or large ones?
- What is the height of the pumpkin? What is the width? Are they equal? Is it higher or wider?