Friday, March 8, 2013

Math Fun!

Let me tell you a secret...I HATE MATH...Okay, that's putting it mildly. I think it comes true to what it all boils down to though. We often hate that which we don't understand. I was hospitalized in my 4th grade year for a very long time and a very crucial part of that year. I missed much of the basics that led me to being a poor match student. I struggled every which way til Sunday with Math and because I had ZERO confidence in my skills, I always scraped by in each class. SCRAPED. College years were HELL because I felt too stupid to ask for help and and just sat and struggled. To do it all over again, I would have asked for help back in the 4th grade. I NEVER EVER want my kids to go through that. I am going into Math with a FUN outlook and at the same time......taking on a new adventure. I plan on starting from the bottom up. I am going to learn with them regain the confidence that I plan on putting into them. Together we will all grow strong in math and learn to love it. My children don't know I hate Math, in fact, they think it's my favorite subject and you know what? It slowly is getting there. S...l...o...w...l...y...Take a tour of our classroom, and focus on our Math centers!

Colorful charts decorate our room, the bolder and more colorful the better. I hang them on cup hooks, so that they can easily be interchanged. There are a few posters on this hook and right along with them, I have coordinating flashcards. This becomes a center where children can sit with flashcards and compare or test themselves with a dry erase marker. Anything they can think of, they can use it for. Having them be interchangeable allows me to cover up any particular one if there is a test that day.

Math games, counters and pattern blocks aplenty in this room! We love to play them all and even when it's not class time! Confession: I buy everything at Thrift Shops or Garage Sales! That is how I can afford to keep purchasing them when I find one.
Our Hundreds chart gets used and used often. This is the 2nd one our family has had to buy. My youngest loves to count using a dry erase marker and keep track of how high he can go each day. He marks where he struggles and starts from the beginning again.

Our Math manipulative cabinet is chock full of great things. Money, flashcards, card games along with window games and a multiplication electronic game. This corner of the classroom is a favorite.

I even like to make up Math games to keep the variety flowing. We like to incorporate real life Math into our activities that I call Math We Can Use! Here is where we use real newspaper ads and our fake money. I give the children a grocery list and they have to find those items and tally up the total. Then I give them a set amount of money and they have to subtract the total from their money. We change this one up in different ways to keep it fresh. 
Instead of a Math notebook, we keep math folders. Their folders have different reference points in them to assist each child in whatever they may be working on. I will go into more detail on these in tomorrows post but this one holds:
Gallon Measurements
Place Value and Decimals
Length/Capacity/Weight Measurements
Multiplication Chart
Division Chart

What do you do to make math fun?

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