It's always a bit of a challenge for me to make math exciting around here. I grew up with a morbid fear of the subject.
Remember that game we were forced to play in elementary school? I think it was called "Around the World." The chosen student had to "travel" around their peers' desks, challenging each classmate to see who could correctly call out the answer to the flash card displayed up front.
I hated that game.
It's only because of my parents' gentle persistence and my dear tutor's excellent and patient instruction that I emerged from middle and high school math unscathed. My brain just doesn't do numbers.
The thing that's interesting is that I actually like teaching math. Well, at least elementary level math. Of course, I do have the answer key. Perhaps that has something to do with it. Because it's awful scary to think about doing fractions on my own. (I have my sister to thank for helping me survive those nasty things.)
Because I know how creepy math can be, I try to incorporate a little fun and variety into our lessons. Aidan and I usually toss around a Hugg-a-Planet while wildly chanting his "count-bys." Sometimes I whip out the overhead projector for a little tangram excitement. Avery, of course, responds well when a pile of chocolate chips is placed near her math page. I am not above bribery.
On Fridays I usually try to replace a regular math lesson with a math game or activity. It in no way resembles "Around the World." You know how I feel about that wretched game. But we have discovered a few activities that are especially fun, such as pattern blocks, Pattern Play and Qwirkle.
This morning I enjoyed joining Miss Kate at the table for a little Equilibrio fun. We followed the patterns to balance the bright orange blocks and screamed when they came crashing down. It was thrilling.
As we played, Bethie made a file folder game featuring pyramids and times tables. When it was finished, Aidan and I practiced our sixes together. He timed me (with a glint in his eye) and I . . . let him take his time. (You'll be relieved to know that I can successfully multiply numbers one through twelve by six. Just don't ask me to do it around the world.)
I'm starting to like math now, more than ever before. I'm actually improving, too. Because you know what they say. The best way to learn something is to try and teach it.
Maybe I should try teaching calculus next . . . .
On second thought, I'll go ahead and let their dad take that one. Honey?
My profuse apologies if I've offended any math teachers out there. Wink. Wink.