Fun with Math: Ways to make arithmetic mean more

Ex-teacher Greg Sparks writes a column on the joys of mathematics

What is your favourite number and why?  If you stopped by a farm and counted 23 legs, what did you see?  What is the question if the answer is 42?

Try these with your child. They are fun and engaging math questions because they make you think, there are many different answers, and all the answers are right. Success is guaranteed! Your child may use pictures, numbers, words, a table, or a chart to solve them. All of their different problem solving strategies are great.

Here are a few more you can try:

How could four children share nine cookies?

Do you know anyone 1,000 days old?

How could you measure your room if you did not have a ruler or tape measure?

Jason collected 23 empty cans in three days. How many did he collect each day?

How many washing machines could fit in your classroom?

These “open ended” math problems are enjoyable for children because there are no wrong answers. Your child’s unique thinking about the math is what is important, and their solutions are equally as valuable as everyone else’s.

When a child is working on open-ended math problems, there is a great deal of math thinking going on, and often it is invisible to us. We need to make the thinking visible; so it’s important to talk with children about their strategies and solutions. Can they tell you the steps they took to get their answer? Children need the opportunity to explain and clarify their thinking to us, because talking about the math helps them understand the math.

We can develop, support and extend our children’s mathematical thinking by talking with them as they solve math problems and as they explain their work to us. All children can be successful.

Do a few open-ended problems everyday and have fun with math.

 

For more open-ended problems, comments or suggestions, please email me at:  gregsparks50@hotmail.com

Just Posted

BREAKING: Reports of a shooting on Happy Valley Road in Langford

Reports of a shooting in the 3400-block of Happy Valley Road in… Continue reading

Pacific FC puts its best foot forward for inaugural game

Players ‘counting down’ to kick-off day

Rain with a high of 16 C for Tuesday

Plus your weekly forecast

Belmont students help West Shore residents spring out of hunger

Spring Out Of Hunger food drive takes place on April 24

Busy Tuesday for BC Ferries passengers

First sailings to and from Swartz Bay sold out

What’s age got to do with it? B.C. couple with 45-year gap talks happy marriage

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

PHOTOS: Inside the ‘shoe house’ in Northern B.C.

A rare look inside the famous Kitseguecla Lake Road shoe house, with a tour led by owner Toby Walsh

Thieves steal five of Seven Dwarves ornaments honouring B.C. couple’s late son

For the second time in a year, several garden ornaments stolen from Cloverdale family’s front garden

UPDATE: Missing kayakers located safe and sound in Welcome Bay

Pair were reported missing April 22, in vicinity of Lasqueti Island

Most Read