Thursday, May 24, 2012

Three's a Crowd (This is Math?)

For readers not familiar with this feature on my blog, let me explain.  I home schooled my four children and eventually specialized in teaching math.  I found other ways for my kids to learn all the other topics, but I learned the math along with them.  Over and Over again.  (Even up to Calculus!)  I decided math should be FUN and students should know the reason they have to learn stuff, so I try to make math mean something.

This feature is here for Moms with kids from about 4 or 5 years old up to about 7th grade, no matter how you school them.  Math ought to be a topic of conversation in life.  It helps kids not fear math, and (maybe) even enjoy it. There is a tab at the top of my blog that quickly links you to all the past posts in "This is Math?"

Today our adventures in math take us beyond numbers...  Rather than always thinking that you have to get ONE RIGHT ANSWER, sometimes math requires creativity.  Exploration.  Trial and Error.  Divergent thinking.  You start with a math idea - and it takes you somewhere else.

Which is why I'm calling this post "Three's a Crowd".
When we think of THREE maybe we start with math,
but all these other topics seem to crowd in!

You see games, geography, literature, language, culture...

Copy this Tic-Tac-Toe board and paste it to a word processing document so you can print it out. 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.

With 3 people, count to 50 (or 100) each saying one number in order. The third person is “It” and says their numbers louder than the rest. 1

Learn to play Rock, Paper, Scissors.  Play three rounds with each member of your family.
Track a Triangle.  Find three-sided figures in your house, on the road, and/or in the store.
Count by threes to 99.

Name items that come in threes. 2
Learn the term “Hat Trick”.  Play a hat tossing game.  Can you toss a hat into a circle three times in a row?

Look at a map of the United States and find places where 3 states meet at one point.

Look in a dictionary and find words that begin with “TRI”.  Make a list of these words that have to do with the number three.

Learn how to tell if a number can be divided evenly by three.

                      1 one two THREE four five SIX seven eight NINE (etc)

                      2 Here are a list of topics to consider:
                      3 colors that go together
                      Games and rules in games
                      Cities with three words in their name
                      Stories or movies with “3” in the title
These are just activities that let you have fun with your kids.  But it makes them think about MATH THINGS - in fairly creative ways. 
Have fun at least three times this week!

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