A Year in the Life: Ambient Math Wins the Race to the Top!
For one year, 365 days, this blog will address the Common Core Standards from the perspective of creating an alternate, ambient learning environment for math. Ambient is defined as “existing or present on all sides, an all-encompassing atmosphere.”
And ambient music is defined as: “Quiet and relaxing with melodies that repeat many times. Why ambient? A math teaching style that’s whole and all encompassing, with themes that repeat many times through the years, is most likely to be effective and successful.
Today’s post features another example of how fun and games can make learning times tables more exciting, doable, and successful. Note that this is taken from the Math By Hand newsletter, issue #43. To receive FREE, fun math lessons and activities in your email inbox every week, subscribe! Opt in right here or on our Facebook page.
X-WINKS RACE TO THE TOP!
This is a variation on the game Tiddlywinks. It can be played indoors on a cloth covered table or on a flat, thin carpet. You will need thin masking tape, a piece of chunky chalk, and a dime and a quarter (or tiddlywinks) for each player. Adjust the times table used to fit any grade level.
1) Choose a times table and announce it.
2) Mark off a starting line and a finish line and 11 even spaces in between with the tape.
3) Number the spaces from 1-12 with the chalk, in order at first, then mixed up for a greater challenge.
4) After announcing the times table, each player takes turns winking the dime, using the quarter.
5) The object is to wink the dime into as many spaces as possible saying the correct equation for each space, i.e. 3 x 2 is 6. Winking must always progress toward the finish line, no going back.
6) The player who covers the most spaces and/or has the most correct equations wins.
See newsletter #43 for another fun times tables activity: The X-Cross Paper Race. This fast-paced, exciting game uses 24 weighty objects, color-coded yarn or string, and post-it notes, in a race to see who can match the most times tables numbers!
It is absolutely essential that times tables be solidly in place by mid to end of Grade 3. Drill and kill is not the answer however. Having fun with it is. Why? Because knowledge ensues in an environment dedicated to imaginative, creative knowing, where student and teacher alike surrender to the ensuing of knowledge as a worthy goal. Tune in tomorrow for more Grade 3 fun!