Home Activities for Learning Mathematics: Grades 1 & 2 (page 2)
Your home is a great place for you to begin to explore and "talk" mathematics with your child. Incorporating math activities and language into familiar daily routines will show your child how math works in his everyday life and provide him with a safe environment in which to take risks by trying new things.
Fill It Up
|As you use measuring cups, call attention to the different levels and use their names: "one-fourth," "one-half" and so on. This will begin to familiarize children with the language they will use when they begin to work with fractions.|
Filling empty containers provides opportunities to explore geometric concepts such as "more or less" and volume, and to apply measurement skills.
What You Need
- Measuring cup
- Four large glasses of equal size and shape
What to Do
- On a table, put the glasses in a row and fill them with water as follows: one-third cup, one-half cup, three-fourths cup, 1 cup. Ask your child questions that encourage her to compare, estimate and think about measurement. Ask, for example, "Which glass has more water? Which has less?"
- Pour more water into one of the glasses to make it equal to the amount of water in another glass. Move the glasses around so that the glasses that have the same amount of water are not next to each other. Ask your child to find the glasses that have the same amount of water.
- Help your child to do math in her head. Ask questions such as, "If I have four cups of water and I need seven, how many more do I need to pour?"
|A good way to show children how statistics are used in the "real world" is to call their attention to statistical charts in newspapers and magazines and talk with them about what the charts show and why this information is important.|
Introducing children to statistics and data analysis can begin by having them collect information, analyze it and describe or present their findings in an organized way.
What You Need
- Stopwatch, watch or clock
- Blank paper
- Graph paper
- Small round object to trace to make a pie chart
What to Do
- Show your child how to keep track of the time he spends on two activities, such as watching television and doing homework. Help him to make a chart with two columns, one labeled "Television" and one labeled "Homework." Down the left side of the chart, write the days of the week. Tell him that you want him to write the number of minutes he spends doing each activity on each day. At the end of the week, sit down with him and talk about what the table shows.
- Help your child to make a chart to use as he watches television. Give him a stop watch (or an easy-to-read clock or watch) and tell him to record how much time of each television show is used for commercials and how much time is used for the actual show. Have him keep the record for one night of viewing. On the graph paper, help him to make a bar graph that shows the different amounts of time devoted to the show and to commercials. Or, show him how to make a pie chart.
- Together with your child, keep track of how he spends time in one 24-hour period: time spent sleeping, eating, playing, reading and going to school. Help him to measure a strip of paper 24 inches long, with each inch representing one hour. Using a different color for each activity, have him color the number of hours he spends in each activity. You and other family members can make similar charts; then your child can compare the charts and see how everyone in the family spends time.
|Children may reasonably want to say, for example, that 1/4 cup plus 1/4 cup makes 2/4 cups. Letting them work with measuring cups or other measuring devices can let them see that 2/4 is the same as 1/2.|
In introducing children to the concept of fractions—numbers that aren't whole numbers (such as 1/2, 1/3 and 1/4)—it's often a good idea to use objects that they can see and touch.
What You Need
- Large clear container (holding at least 2 cups)
- Masking tape
- Measuring cups (1/2, 1/3 or 1/4 cup measure)
- Unpopped popcorn
What to Do
- Invite your child to help you make popcorn for the family. Begin by having her put a piece of masking tape from top to bottom on one side of the large container.
- For younger children, use a 1/2 cup measure. For older children, use a 1/3 or 1/4 cup measure. Choose the unit of measure and fill the measuring cup with popcorn. Give the cup to your child and ask her questions such as the following:
- How many whole cups do you think the container will hold?
- How many 1/2 cups (or 1/3 cups or 1/4 cups) do you think it will hold?
- Let your child pour the measured popcorn into the clear container. Have her continue to pour the same amount into the container until it is full. As she pours each equal amount, have her mark the level on the container by drawing a line on the tape. Then have her write the fraction, corresponding to the unit of measure on the line. After the container is full, have your child count up the total number of cup increments (1/2, 1/3 or 1/4) and compare it to her estimate from above.
- As you measure out the popcorn to pop, ask your child to answer questions such as the following:
- How many 1/2 cups equal a cup? Two cups?
- How many 1/4 cups equal 1/2 cup? A whole cup?
- Pop the corn and enjoy!
Reprinted with the permission of the U.S. Department of Education.
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