WFMW: Secret Math Weapon
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Works for Me WednesdayWe've all had those days in Homeschoolville. Mom has a cold and her brain isn't quite working right. The second grader is burned out on workbooks and just wants to play Legos all day. The baby is teething. It's raining, or alternately, it's a beautiful day but we Have. To. Do. Math.

Suddenly, Mom finds herself wondering whose idea this whole learning at home thing was, anyway.

My secret weapon for such times? The change jar. We all have one, and if you don't, go look by the washing machine. There should be some choice coinage there (Oh. My. Word! I have watched too many Pauly Shore movies, apparently. Sorry. That just slipped out.)

The change jar is a portable, hands on math lesson expandable through grade 3.

Preschoolers can count the coins, or match pennies to nickels (one to one correspondence)
They can make designs with the different colors and sizes.

Kindergartners can trace the coins for handwriting practice (fine motor skills). They can start matching five pennies with a nickel, ten pennies with a dime, twenty five pennies to a quarter.
They can measure, too. How many pennies long is their hand? How many nickels long is the toaster?

First graders can start shopping. Make a grocery list. Make up prices. Have them find out if you have enough money (addition). Make an extravagant grocery list. Have them choose which item to put back, so you have enough money (subtraction).
Count by fives, count by tens.
Group coins by like amounts.

Second graders can start multiplying. How many nickels to make a quarter? 5x5 = 25. How much is 6 nickels worth? 6x5 = 30. It's a natural progression from skip counting.
They can also help you roll them to take to the bank.

Third graders can start dividing. A candy bar costs 40 cents. If I pay you 10 cents an hour to mow the lawn, how many hours do you have to work?
You can do remainders, too. If a candy bar costs 37 cents, and you work 4 hours to pay for it, how much money do you have left over?
Let's do hands on fractions! A candybar is 40 cents, and is half off. How much?

You can multiply percentages, too. If a candybar costs 40 cents, but is marked down 10% off, how much does it cost? (We love markdowns!) Sales tax is 7%. If a candy bar is marked 50
cents, how much will you have to give the cashier? How many candy bars will have to be sold to pay for that ill advised roundabout in the middle of your neighborhood? Okay, that last question might need to wait for civics class.

Kids love money and the best part is, this math class can travel with you wherever you go!

Visit Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer for more tips!

Labels: , ,

posted by Milehimama @ Mama Says at 10/24/2007 06:30:00 AM | Permalink | |