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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Math Play

Recently I have been reading books about play including The Power of Play: Learning What Comes Naturally and Learning Through Play. I have also been following several blogs on Facebook that have inspired me to include more play with learning.  Today I want to share with you one of my first attempts at including more open ended play in math class.  I put together this tray of items and sat with kids as they explored the materials and thought about math.  I tried this out with kids ranging from age 4 to age 8.  The pictures below will show you some of the ways the kids used these materials.

Materials List
Bingo chips
Colored match sticks
Number buttons
Assorted number dice
Dot dice
Foam beads
Play Dough

Ready to go!  I grabbed this sectioned tray at the Dollar Tree

Representations of 5.  I love the tally marks and the way they used the dot dice to leave an impression on the dough

A student asked me to draw a 10 frame for them.  Then he played roll and build using the bingo chips and a dot dice.  After a bit he realized that he was never getting any numbers bigger than 6 and investigated the die to figure out why.  

A young lady investigation the dot dice.  She is practicing subitizing, one to one correspondence, fine motor skills and putting numbers in order. 

Stamping the dough with 4 sided shapes

Hammering shapes into the dough

Ordering the number buttons and representing them with bingo chips

Coin patterns

The coins leave a great imprint on the dough.  I think darker dough would make it easier to see the impression

Ordering and representing numbers

Building the number 9

The many ways to make a 7

An older student working on addition equations.  He used the visual of the ten frame that another student had built to help him solve this problem.  

Two students playing a coin game

I so enjoyed my first attempt at putting more open ended play into math time.  I would love to see how other teachers and parents do math play.  I challenge you all to think about how you can add more play to math, snap a picture of it and post it to my Facebook page.  I can't wait to see other ideas!
Head over to the Love to Learn Linky for more great ideas for kids!