Friday, January 10, 2014

Mmmm...Cereal: Or Teaching Fractions the Edible Way

Fractions, addition and subtraction are some math topics I am working on with my youngest (Kindergarten).  Fractions in kindergarten, ok, I am sure we did that when I was in Kindergarten.  What can I remember.

So, hmm, how to teach this and make it fun.

Chex style (Gluten free in this house) cereal to the rescue.  Those little guys are great.  Nice little squares to make 4x4 for Whole, 1/2, 1/4 fractions.  2x4 for Whole, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 fractions.

We worked on fractions and then moved into addition and subtraction.  Subtraction he felt was the best since we got to eat the cereal ;-)

So, that worked out well for me.  He was engaged, was a little slow on some of the subtraction and addition at first but he got into it and was answering problems with gusto by the time we finished.

We did homework later in the day when his older brother got home.  After our cereal math earlier in the day I was wondering if he would be up for more homework.  Was he up for it?  He did all and more.

I have found that my being super engaged with the boys, now that I am not thinking about work, is helping ramp up their enjoyment of learning.  I will try to continue to harness that and make learning fun enough they don't realize they are learning.

Tonight we rewarded the boys, since they concentrated on their homework and got it done so quickly, and well.  We had an hour before bedtime, something unheard of in this house before I went off.  Our oldest asked for a game, Ticket to Ride, which we all decided would be a good reward.

The youngest worked with his Mom as a team.  He was in charge of sorting the cards, counting out train car cards, counting out train cars to place on the board, and building stick figures with his train cars (he takes after me, there).  We played a game in just under an hour.

The boys came up with some fun rules.  The youngest player gets to add his age to his score (he did not need it though, his Mom and he beat us already).  They also enjoyed the idea of subtracting the oldest players age from their score.  That would be me.  They had a grand time decreasing my score so that I came in last ;-)

So, all in all, a Math filled day.

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