Help your child “step up” to math challenges with a fun game in your very own kitchen. Not only will this help your child learn basic addition and subtraction facts in an engaging way, it will also get her up and moving--with math!
What You Do:
- Before you start the game, write a complete math fact in large type on one side of a sheet of typing paper. If your child is struggling with early math facts, start with low numbers like 1+2=3. By second grade, however, most kids are working with number facts closer to ten, such as 9+8=17; or with subtraction. Wherever you start, write one math equation on one side of each paper, such as 6+6=12; and write just the question (such as 6+6) on the other side. Make at least 20 facts, and then mix them all up.
- Set up the challenge: tell your child that her mission, should she choose to accept it, is to cross the room without touching the floor, using only her knowledge of math facts. Tape a square of blank construction paper on one side of the room. This is "start." Explain that you will show her a math problem, and every one she gets right will become her next "step" allowing her to move across the floor.
- Stand in front of your child, and show her the question side of the construction paper. If she states the correct answer to the math problem, turn it around and tape down the answer side a good step-width away. Allow her to move one space forward. Guide your child through the problems as needed, so that she doesn't become frustrated if the math concept is new to her. If your child does not answer the problem correctly, she must stay on the same space. When your youngster gets all the way across the kitchen, she has successfully completed her mission!
In order to keep the Step Game a challenge, try using multiplication or division flashcards as your child advances in math.
Carrie Ann Cain has been teaching second grade for three years. She is certified in elementary education, special education, Spanish, and ESOL (teaching english to speakers of other languages).