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

Victoria wins crucial WHL contest over Giants in Langley

Royals take over second in B.C. Division ahead of Vancouver

Cordova Bay group against plaza redevelopment

Cordova Bay shopping centre has three, four-storey buildings

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

Women’s movement has come a long way since march on Washington: Activists

Vancouver one of several cities hosting event on anniversary of historic Women’s March on Washington

Liberals’ 2-year infrastructure plan set to take 5: documents

Government says 793 projects totalling $1.8 billion in federal funds have been granted extensions

Workers shouldn’t be used as ‘pawns’ in minimum wage fight: Wynne

Comments from Kathleen Wynne after demonstrators rallied outside Tim Hortons locations across Canada

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

World’s fastest log car made in B.C. sells for $350,000 US

Cedar Rocket auctioned off three times at Barrett-Jackson Co., netting $350,000 US for veterans

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

RCMP nail alleged sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

Most Read