Sunday, March 3, 2013

Hands on Math

Hands on Math 

I remember when I was in school math being a very difficult subject. One of the ways I try to make math learning easier for my boys is to provide the same hands on approach to learning as I would any other subject. I try not to skip steps and we only move on when the basic concepts are mastered.Speed drills are a daily must, as is memorizing basic math facts. It's really frustrating for the student to struggle with learning area or perimeter when his process is interrupted trying to do basic adding or multiplying. So for that bit of daily groaning over drills they will be glad they did it later when the work gets more complicated. That being said we can make learning the concepts of math easier by creating interest early on and even integrating it into unit studies that they are excited about.  Here's a compilation of some of the activities we have tried in the past.

Here is another activity to match the numbers

 The value of the number is already represented for the child so all they have to do is match it.

Lots of different ways to recognize numbers with the drop box

Matching the numbers using a unit study

Basic adding and subtracting using a unit study

What about as they get older ? 
The fish in this activity are colour coded for odd and even numbers
One side is the number and the other the word
You can use this for a number or concepts including skip counting, adding/subtracting , counting , odd/even and more!

Making sums

Here's our money tree from our Chinese New Year unit. It was really exciting to add up the coin values on each of the leaves to see which was greatest/least !

Calendar time is a daily event and has so many benefits. You can incorporate concepts of skip counting , patterns in charts and other basic counting skills.

This activity was from our Gingerbread Man unit and focused on the concept of symmetry.


And older still.....

Volume and Capacity

Allow opportunities for discovery. Games are often a great way to enforce math concepts.

This next activity I used with my grade 4 child who has lots of trouble writing. I have found that it is better to remove the writing component as much as possible from other subjects in order for him to focus his learning on the concepts being taught. I treat writing as a separate subject.

Great visual learning tool  

Creativity at work
Another fun way for children to get excited about area is to have them design their dream bedroom. Of course, don't tell them they have to work out the area until after they have made the blueprint !

I hope you have found that helpful ! Treat math with the same enthusiasm you would any other subject.


  1. Very well done ... I always hated Math which was complicated because my math-genius father could never explain anything in a simple to understand manner!

    1. Thanks - Sorry my post is very messy. I seem to only be able to get it on the first try with the Pin button. Otherwise I end up REALLY making a mess. I will see if someone can give me a hand getting the spacing sorted out.