Preschool Math: Compare Whole Numbers

What the hand does, the mind remembers.  -- Maria Montessori Our son is really into card games lately.  He loves "Go Fish" and "War" especially, but while playing "War, he was having a tough time looking at the cards and determining which was greater.  To help him out, we provided a concrete manipulative -- Unifix … Continue reading Preschool Math: Compare Whole Numbers

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Math Everywhere: Division

While preparing for our first family trip involving an airplane, we got to do a little hands-on math.  Our kids' pediatrician suggested we bring gummy bears along for the flight to help avoid painful ear pressure during take-offs and landings.  We bought a big bag and divided them up into four groups -- two for … Continue reading Math Everywhere: Division

Preschool Math: Making Groups of Ten

Here's a quick and fun activity to introduce pairs that add to ten -- important math facts to memorize early!  We used our Unifix cubes, but Duplos, Legos, or any other connecting blocks would work as well. I made stacks of cubes for each of the numbers 1 through 9, including two stacks of 5, … Continue reading Preschool Math: Making Groups of Ten

Tessellation Tip

In order to keep them from crawling up the walls in their last week before summer vacation, I've given my seventh graders a tessellation project.  There are about ten million youtube videos explaining how to do this, so I won't bore you with the basics.  Instead, I'll just tell you about my struggles and how … Continue reading Tessellation Tip

Area of Mixed Polygons

In 7th grade math, we're working on area.  We've gone through all of the basic formulas with careful attention to how they are related to one another -- the triangle being half of a rectangle, the trapezoid being a combination of two triangles, and so forth. Now we're on to area of mixed polygons, such … Continue reading Area of Mixed Polygons

Units vs. Square Units (vs. Cubic Units)

When teaching basic geometry concepts, such as perimeter and area, you will save yourself quite a bit of grief if you start by making clear the difference between units and square units. Our common abbreviations for these, such as cm and cm², look deceivingly similar to each other and are easily confused by students who … Continue reading Units vs. Square Units (vs. Cubic Units)

Pythagorean Theorem

In over our heads with radicals in 8th grade Algebra this week, so we took some time to review the Pythagorean Theorem.  Geometry is so beautifully concrete.  In addition to demonstrations you can do with drawings and such, here's an example of a very cool model that my 8th graders found wonderfully entertaining.   As … Continue reading Pythagorean Theorem