Monday, 6 July 2015

Pom Pom Math Game

Here are a couple of things you need to keep in mind when you teach children Math:
  • Children ask questions because they want to learn how things work; Don’t ignore their questions just because they might sound silly;
  • Children are creative and curious – take advantage of their thirst for knowledge;
  • The result is not as important as the process – finding out the best way to get to the correct solution by trying out one or more ways will just help them understand the problem better;
  • Math is all around us! – use money in imaginative play, use a broken watch to learn numbers, use a scale while you cook together, read the microwave timer while waiting, count the carrot sticks when you put them on a plate, compare the length of your straws when you drink juice, count how many ducks you see on the street (I live in Finland…ha ha) and how many there are when one stays behind…anything you can think of!
Although some children might be able to count from 1 to 10, that doesn’t mean that they already know the numbers. Some of them can count without skipping, but if they miss a number, they are unable to go back. That means that they learnt to count, as a poem or a rhyme, without having understood the notion of number and quantity.

This is an easy game just for that: recognising numbers. It can be done with smaller kids. It also helps learning how to read the die when playing board games.

Materials: paper cups, markers, foam/paper numbers (you can just write the numbers with a marker), pompoms, kitchen tweezers (we have them from IKEA kids)

Age: 3-5 y.o. (use more cups for older kids)

Instructions: The teacher gives each child a number (use flashcards, a die, or just say the number). The child will have to put the right amount of pompoms in the right cup (the one that has the number on it). At the end, the others check if everything is right, by counting together.

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