Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Playing Maths Games in Class and Home

We need to involve families more actively in a child' maths' learning.  Too often maths homework is boring and repetitive, and parents "just make sure their child has completed it"

With the changes in approaches to learning maths, since parents were at school, there is a greater need to assist parents to understand what we are doing in our classrooms.

It is interesting to me, as a parent, that our children always brought home 'Reading' for us to be engaged with them, whether it be listening to them read, or reading to them.  There was active participation.  NOT ONCE, that I remember, did our children ever bring home maths activities so that we could be actively engaged with the children.

The Family Maths (Family Math) approach has been to provide and encourage families (Parents and Children) to be involved together playing repeatable maths activities.  In the 80'2 and 90's schools across New Zealand, Australia, Canada, USA had active groups promoting and supporting Family Maths Evenings and Workshops so that we could encourage families to play maths games together.  In fact this approach reminded me of my family (I was a pre TV NZ Child and Teenager) where we would regularly play board and card games
             500,      Euchre,      Pontoon,    Monopoly,    Checkers,    Canasta . . .
Everyone of these has maths underpinning it, so surreptitiously our parents were helping us with out mathematics, predominantly Arithmetic but also Geometry.

Justin Holladay of MathFileFolderGames.com believes "Maths Should Be Fun" and recently posted the following benefits of playing Math Games
  • Meets Mathematics Standards
  • Easily Linked to Any Mathematics Textbook
  • Offers Multiple Assessment Opportunities
  • Meets the Needs of Diverse Learners (UA)
  • Supports Concept Development in Math
  • Encourages Mathematical Reasoning
  • Engaging (maintains interest)
  • Repeatable (reuse often & sustain involvement
  • Open-Ended (allows for multiple approaches & solutions)
  • Easy to Prepare
  • Easy to Vary for Extended Use & Differentiated Instruction
  • Improves Basic Skills
  • Enhances Number and Operation Sense
  • Encourages Strategic Thinking
  • Promotes Mathematical Communication
  • Promotes Positive Attitudes Toward Math
  • Encourages Parent Involvement
My challenge to all teachers and schools is to:
        "Do away with the usual homework and send home maths games for the families to play, ask for feedback from both the child and the parents as to whether this is a great way for families to talk and learn together "    Let me know how you get on