Tag Archives: games

Math Problems

In school, especially elementary school, math never seemed like much of a big deal. It was just one of those things you had to work through. Worksheets with pictures of money on them, fractions, and lots of counting pictures were the standard. I am not sure things have changed that much. It is hard to get my son, H, excited about math. Recently, C has been complaining that she doesn’t know “hard math” like her older brother, so I started looking around for some of our good math resources to get us started.

One of our favorite books to get in the mood for math is A Million Dots by Andrew Clements. Filled with facts such as, “It would take 464,000 school-lunch cartons of chocolate milk to fill a 20 by 40 foot swimming pool.” Or “The sun has a diameter of 864,948 miles-wide enough to fit 109 earths.” The book also contains one million dots. The dots are tiny and overlay each picture. At the bottom of each page is a tally of the number of dots represented up to that page.

We have two fantastic math games, Magic Cauldron and Potty Professor. I purchased these from the UK company, Orchard Toys. I believe Magic Cauldron is available from domestic sources. Magic Cauldron is an addition and subtraction game, and Potty Professor is its multiplication and division counterpart. Both have these awesome heat sensitive cards that you rub to reveal the answer. Sometimes we do not play the game, but just solve the problems and rub off the answers on the back. There is just something so appealing about rubbing off the answer, then having it “disappear” again. The kids can’t resist this math game.

I found these flip math books by Anna Neilson called I Can Add and I Can Subtract. C prefers some quiet time and self-directed learning, so these are a good choice for her. C likes these because she can study them on her own. Each flip card has a picture representation of the problem and it flips over for the answer in both picture and numeric form.