If we were to stop and examine the world around us, we would recognize that math is everywhere. Why not present your child with a different image daily or include it in your weekly routine and make connections to math? Here are some examples:
Rainbow Math Sticks is a blog entry from Creative STAR Learning Company. It is just one of many ideas to taking learning outside, which is perfect for the summer. With just a few steps, you can turn sticks into a variety of learning opportunities and have fun in the process!
PBS Kids Cyberchase Math Games
I Know It - This site allows you to try a variety of interactive math games for students K-5 for free since it is still under development. It is easily searched by topic and grade.
National Library of Virtual Manipulatives - This is a National Science Foundation supported project that started in 1999 to develop a library of interactive, web-based virtual manipulatives and tutorials. They do require Java. This link takes you to a long series of activities designed for preK-2nd.
FunBrain for Kids
AdaptedMind - This website provides video explanations and helpful tools to practice. There is a free trial (30 days) you can try to determine if the monthly fee is worth paying.
Greg Tang Math - Play Break Apart and other games to build a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts.
A great way to kill two birds with one stone is to select children's literature with a mathematical theme. There are so many from which to choose these days!
Math for Kids - A list of best children's books with a Math theme.
For the Love of Money
In our world of debit cards and credit cards, there are many of us who rarely carry cash or use it with any kind of regularity. As a result, our students are not always exposed to the extent that we were when were children. This has certainly impacted our math instruction and find ourselves having to assume less and develop more. It is simply a reality. Although this may seem basic, you can be a tremendous help with developing and or refining your child's understanding of money.
Money Facts - The Federal Reserve System offers a variety of free resources to educators that can help students build an understanding of money. Each member bank has different offerings that can be ordered or downloaded for free. My Money is one of the best. It comes with a teacher's guide if you need assistance or you can just download the student workbook!
Coins v. Dollars - The students often confuse the names of the coins and their value. The bills are a bit easier but they struggle with understanding how many coin combinations are equal to the dollar amount. Talking about money as you use it or giving students an opportunity to count it, answer questions, or save it can help if done often enough. If you don't have a spare change jar, you can start one and do periodic counts. It is amazing how quickly that change will add up! Your child can sort, count, graph, and total.
Saving Money - Over the course of the last decade, financial literacy has become a very hot topic for many reasons. A number of states have started to make financial literacy a graduation requirement in hopes that our young people will learn how to avoid some of the problems that caused our recent economic hardships. This process starts young and one user-friendly site is the U.S. Mint.
The Cleveland Federal Reserve offers this booklet and additional resources as a free download. Click here to see what is available on money basics, basic budgeting, and earning money.
Here are a few ways to bring math and geography into your shopping experience. You may even find that incorporating these ideas makes the time go by faster for everyone! You can certainly do your own research with articles like "A" is For Apple: What Kids Can at the Grocery Store by Lauren Lowry from the Hanen Centre, Make Shopping Fun For Kids by the Mudpie Makers, or give these a try:
No Fuss Activities & Ideas
Information on Math APPS
WARNING: This app is highly addicting! My sons and I pass the iPad and are trying desperately to reach 2048. It is rather basic to swipe a 2 tile and double it to 4, match that 4 to another 4, and get 8...you get the picture.