Friday, June 1, 2012

Mental Math and other summer fun

Hello all! I hope that summer is finding you well and happy! As I am desperately trying to keep my kids in some sort of educational pursuit, I am in search of mental math games. The really good ones we will use for EEL next year. (Yes, frighteningly enough, I am going to help teach IEW/EEL!ha)

Here are a few that I have found and I would LOVE to hear some of your ideas.

Hugs to all and join us for EDGE! I miss everyone! Check out what we are up to @:

Other fun games....

Prime Number Challenge

  • Prime numbers can be divided only by one and themselves.

    Players name ascending prime numbers in turn. When a player answers incorrectly, pass the number to the following player and score one point for the improper answer. The first player to reach a score of 5 is the winner and ends the game. Adjust the final score and time limit for answering according to the age and skill level of the players. For younger players, use other math sets, such as numbers divisible by 3, even numbers, or whatever set they are studying.

Story Problems

  • Situational story problems also lie at the root of basic bath skills. Teachers can use these for mental math. Write on the board or pass out story problems on a piece of paper. Problems might be, "Julie wants to drive the 230 miles to Houston on Saturday. How long will it take her if she drives 60 miles an hour? How much gas will she use if her car gets 30 miles to the gallon?" Students can work quietly on these problems in their heads, and write down the answers for you. Multi-question mental math problems are best because they require more thought to complete, and also because they more closely mimic the way math is used in real life.

Complex Mental Math

  • Much of math as it is used in everyday life is mental math. A person at a store must figure out what 60 percent of $20 equals. A driver must figure out how many hours it will take him to travel 230 miles for a trip. Use complex mental math questions that relate to everyday use. Each morning, write a complex mental math problem on the board. It should be age appropriate: "60 percent of $230" is appropriate for seventh-graders, while "10 percent of 100" is better suited for fourth-graders. When in doubt, pull a math concept and question from that week's math lessons. As students come into the room, they should read the math problem and quietly sit at their desks to think about the answers. You can then have the students shout out answers or write down answers on paper and hand them in, depending on your teaching methods.

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