Before we left for vacation (which explains my blogging absence), my kindergartner and I played a little game called Making Numbers. I am using Singapore 1st grade for his math, which I love for the colors and cute pictures, and simple, easy, and short lessons. This is perfect for my kindergartner. However, I feel like in order to solidify certain concepts I have to supplement. This particular child is more of a hands on projects kind of guy, and less of a lengthy worksheet or drills learner. Thus, Making Numbers was born.
The most recent concept he has been working on is fact families. For instance, Two, Five, and Seven are a fact family. Two plus five makes seven. Five plus two makes seven. And you can do that for subtraction, too, but his little book hasn’t gotten that far yet. He’s done worksheets for making seven, eight, nine, and ten.
To reinforce this concept I pulled out the unifix cubes (borrowed from my sister-in-law who used to teach public school) and a handful of milk caps I’ve been saving for some unknown future project that I’m sure will be awesome and blow all of our minds. The idea was to toss 7 milk caps, count the number side up and side down, and then recreate that with unifix cubes until we had come up with all the (whole number addition) equations that would equal seven. And then repeat with 8, 9 and 10.
Despite the sad fact that this cute little one had thrown up all night long (yes, I still made him do school – but it was the watered down version meant for sickies) he really liked this and decided we needed to make 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 as well.
You could do with with anything, not just unifix cubes. You could even just get graph paper for kids who like to color and draw and have them color towers made up of 7, 8 , 9, etc. squares. The idea is they show that even though 5 and 2 are different numbers than 3 and 4, the total sums are equal and unifix cubes and square towers are a nice visuals for that. And they are nice for kids who don’t like to write everything out.
The problem with unifix cubes is that every other kid in your house is going to want to play with them, too, and although there are worse things in life, picking up a thousand unifix cubes and trying to get them all into sticks of 10 so they can get fix in the box is not my favorite past time.
Playing Making Numbers, though, is pretty fun.