Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Facts to 5

Ever wonder how to teach your child their math facts? Trust me, you do not need flashcards! There are some wonderful games out there that easily get your child familiar with their numbers. Number manipulation is the prime thing that most of my second graders were lacking. Number manipulation simply means: how numbers work together. Learning your facts are an important piece of number manipulation. The problem with flash cards is they teach memorization, but no number sense. Numbers need to make sense. When a child sees the number 6 they need to know some important things about it: it represents six things, it's called the six, it's bigger than ___ and smaller than___.

Once a child begins to understand their numbers they are ready to begin learning their facts (manipulation of the numbers). I've posted many games on here that are helpful for number manipulation and facts: one more, plus one, minus one, etc. Here are some games we played today that are helping James learn to manipulate the number 5 and ultimately teach him his facts to 5.

Shake Those Beans: we use two sided counters for this game-five of them. You shake them up, dump them out and record your result.We always record the color red first, then the color yellow.
 On this turn he dumped out all yellow. Therefore he recorded a dot paint circle above the number sentence (and yes that's what we call an equation) 0+5. Then we always say, "Wow zero red plus five yellow equals five!"
 On this turn he dumped 3+2
 This turn was 1+4
 And at the end of the game you see he's had lots of opportunities to manipulate the number five. This game can be done with any number. Just change the number sentences below.
 Another game that we love is "What's hiding". We also play this with unifix trains. With this game I would use five counters (or any manipulative). I show him some while the others are hiding under my hand. He has to tell me how many are hiding. We did the number 5 today, but when we began playing this game a few months ago we started with the number 3. This is such a great way to learn facts. Plus, it leads perfectly into addition and subtraction. I just love this game.
 On this turn he could see one counter and had to tell me four were hiding.
 0 were hiding.
I hope these give you some good ideas of things you could do with your kid. Cheerios, matchbox cars, raisins, anything can be used to teach number manipulation. But if you are using flashcards with your preschooler then I can pretty well guarantee you that they are not learning how numbers work. They are just memorizing facts and that's going to hurt them greatly once they really get into addition, subtraction, and thinking like a mathematician.


Wendy Davis said...

I love your blog! You have the best ideas. Thanks for sharing.

Kristy Dixon said...

Oh my goodness this is so great. I love the dot paint graph. We have tons of dot paint. We will try it this week. Thanks for the tips!