Back to School: Try these 'real multiplication tables,' a math refresher for kids
Posted August 19, 2013
School has just started for some kids and is about to start for others. So, here on Go Ask Mom, we'll be offering a few math games this week, courtesy of the two local moms behind the book "Moebius Noodles: Adventurous Math for the Playground Crowd."
I introduced Maria Droujkova and Yelena McManaman last week. They met through a math class that Droujkova taught to homeschooling parents. The friendship eventually led them to collaborate on the book, which came out in the spring. More are in the works. Read my earlier post here.
So instead of sitting your kids down with some workbooks as they get ready for the start of school, try these fun math games. No special materials are required ... just the willingness to look at math from a different angle.
Here's the first one. More to come this week!
The Real Multiplication Tables
Look for multiplication in objects and ideas around you. For example, a family of four eating dinner might find 4x1=4 (table legs), 4x2=8 (hands), 4x3=12 (silverware if each person has a fork, a spoon, and a knife), 4x4=16 (the total number of fork tines), 4x5 (the total number of furniture legs). What other multiplication tables can you find in the kitchen, at a park, at a museum?
Multiplication can hide in surprising places. For example, find units of units in measurements, such as three-by-twelve (inches in a yard), or ten-by-ten (millimeters in a decimeter). Twenty nickels (20x5) or ten dimes (10x10) or four quarters (4x25) make a dollar.
Check out floor tiles, chess boards (8x8) and other arrays. Explore snowflakes (x6), starfish (x5), primrose (x4), and other symmetric objects – like your own fingers (2x5)!
Warning: the hunt for multiplication can become addictive.