Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ten Jacks (This is Math?)

Welcome to the second week of "This is Math?"  If you hoped to find quilting stuff, check out some of my previous posts.  But you MIGHT like this, too!!

Being a teacher at heart, a retired homeschooler, and loving math, I am attempting to give math ideas - FUN math ideas - to Moms who are teaching their elementary aged kids at home and Moms who just need some ideas to motivate number curiosity in their children.

Today I wanted to focus on TEN.  God gave most of us ten fingers and ten toes, and our number system is based on the number TEN.

One game that I enjoyed when I was in elementary school was the game of Jacks.  Maybe you did too.

If you do not know how to play jacks, I suggest you visit this website. It includes rules, pictures, suggestions and ideas about learning to play jacks.

You may not have a set of jacks.  I googled it and believe you can get some at Toys R us.  Sometimes you can find them in the (measly) toy sections of grocery stores.

You could still play the game "Jacks" using any little ball you have on hand - and your favorite dry cereal.  (You might want them to play the game on a clean kitchen table rather than the floor if they plan to eat the cereal!!)

WARNING:  This game includes small parts!!  If you have little children who might be tempted to taste the ball or the jacks you may need some close supervision.  My motto:  "Jacks are toys, not food" might help.

Oh - the math part.  When your kids get good at Jacks, up to "threesies" "foursies" "fivesies" and "sixsies" I think there is a connection with percents and division and remainders.   When they pick up three jacks, how many times will they have to pick up three?  How many will be leftover? When they go to pick up six jacks, ask - how many jacks will you LEAVE?

Or just let them play.

I believe you should be able to copy this Tic-Tac-Toe board and paste it to a word processing document. Each student should pick THREE squares and then complete each task in each of those squares.  They might want to try make a tic-tac-toe.

Count your fingers.  Now count your toes.

Count from ten, backwards, to one. 

How many fingers are there in your household?  How many fingers in your extended family? (include aunts, uncles, grandparents, maybe cousins)
How many fingers AND toes are there in your household? 
Count to 100 by tens. Can you count to 1000 by tens?
Learn to play Jacks.  Use 10 jacks. 

Practice tossing the ball, letting it bounce, and catching it with the same hand.
Learn to play Jacks.  Use 10 jacks. 

Practice tossing the jacks on the floor so they are separated from each other – but not too far apart.
Learn to play Jacks.  Use 10 jacks. 

Practice ‘Onesies’.  Toss the jacks.  Toss the ball up, pick up one jack and catch the ball in the same hand. 
Practice ‘Twosies’.

You may want to just put 2 jacks near each other and practice picking up a pair without interference from other jacks.
Play jacks. 
Use 10 jacks. 

Have fun!!
Next week we will explore Random Number Generators (like dice, drawing straws, casting lots)

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