What a lovely seminar that Marian Small delivered last
night. She is, in my opinion a leading inspiration for Mathematics Teachers.
She outlined the most popular math tools being used today – Ten Frames, lego,
base ten blocks. Linking cubes, square tiles, Fraction cubes and pattern
blocks. She mentioned that there is more emphasis on Estimation in Math now a
days. She used a good example which is:

If we add 2 numbers together to equal 43 and we know one of
the numbers is in the 20s…what must the other number be? The answer we would like the students to come up with is ‘20ish’ or a number in the
20s.

More attention is being spent on other topics such as
Patterning, the ‘Equal sign’ and Algebra with more focus on Problem Solving. It
is important for the students to figure it out rather than being shown how
first. If you figure something out you tend to remember it better than if
someone shows you. This way we spend more attention on understanding ideas so
that they last.

Parents can support their children in Math by talking and
using numbers in a fun way – use ‘Number play.’ Some examples include..

__Magic__

Choose a number

Double it

Add 4

Double that

Add 8

Divide by 4

You can guess the number that the person began with by
asking the final answer and then you minus 4 and you will get the number
that they started with guaranteed! Kids love this…They don’t know how you do it and it
gives them practice with mental math!

__Play ‘How Many’__

For example. Say to your children “I’m wondering how many
spoons we have in the house? (good for estimation) “I’m wondering how many
steps there are from one floor to the next floor?” “I’m wondering how many
trees there are on the street.” “All oranges have the same number of sections.
I wonder if this is true? How many sections do you think are in an orange.”

The answer is 10. Guess what the question is.

I added some numbers and the answer was almost 200. What
could they have been?

2,000,000 cm (squared)….Is this really big or really small?

__Dice Game__

Each person rolls 2 dice – The score is 2 times one value
plus the other value. Objective of the game is the first person to 100 points
wins.

__Dice game__

Decide on an operation (+
- divide, x)

Predict the number you will get if you perform this
operation on the two numbers that roll on the dice.

Objective – to get as close to the number you predicted
because the closest to their number wins.

Additional Resources:

Board Game ‘24’

Labrynth