As I worked away at cutting my pile of lamination tonight, I got to a set of addition and subtraction games. These games are a class favourite and it combines numeracy skills and the concept of connect four or bingo. I intend to send copies of these different games home in a home math bag along with dice, a deck of cards and manipulatives such as ten frames, numberlines and hundreds charts. The games are always taught and played frequently in class, therefore the learning curve is low for students and families once they get home.
I have done this in the past, but got no feedback from parents or students if they appreciated it or even used any of it to practice basic numeracy skills in a fun and engaging way. I keep doing these bags because I want my students to think and understand the math and not just be someone who can memorize facts and have no idea why.
It is a struggle I have getting parents to understand the difference. Understanding that games and manipulation of numbers will provide more long term understanding than the rote, flash card memorization of facts. This is the way we learnt math and experienced math concepts, however students now need to be flexible thinkers who can apply their understanding in a variety of tasks. There is no much research about students needing to be flexible and understanding numbers, but it is sometimes it is just easier to resort back to what we know and experienced in our own learning.
I'm going to put together the bags again this spring and continue to support student thinking flexibly. Maybe this time I will get some feedback from families and see a change in student learning.
A snippet about me...
I'm a grade 2 teacher; wife; mama to #TeamA & #TeamO; runner; chocolate lover and always wanting to learn.