Home School Life Journal From Preschool to High School

Home School Life Journal ........... Ceramics by Katie Bergenholtz
"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales

Line Them Up; A Math Game for Beginning Multiplication and Concentration

Each child starts with an equal amount of counters. We used 15 to start. Ask one child to pick a number within a range, say 3-5. Let's say he picked "3." You give each child 3 small cups. We used the 4-ounce cups you use in the bathroom. Have them line up a counter in front of each cup. If it comes out evenly, they can then put them in the cups. When all the counters have been used then you ask them how many groups of how many they have. In this case it is 3 groups of 5. If the number the child picked had been 4, for example, however, they would line up 3 times but the fourth time, there would be only 3 and not enough to put it. Help them to express that they have 4 groups of 3 with 3 left over. You can at some point show them how these are put into a pattern or formula for a division problem. The 4 being the denominator, and 15 being the numerator, 3 being the quotient, with 3 in remainder. I went over this verbally with them, but did not show them on the board yet. They will indicate when they want to know this, and I will show them then.

You have played this game before, I am sure. This time we used half-gallon milk cartons cut in half. Only use the bottom half and turn them upside down. Start by putting counters in pairs of amounts. We used Unifix cubes in pairs of 2, 3, 4 and 5. Each child takes a turn lifting two milk cartons trying to locate identical stacks. The game is played until all stacks have been discovered. You can later change the counters for the cards with numbers on them, or even problems with identical answers.

  • Math Their Way, Robert Baretta

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