Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's Celebrate World Maths Day Next Week

I really didn't appreciate Maths until long after I'd left school, so for most of my life I've been mathsphobic. But I know how important Mathematics is, and I also know that for some kids, Maths is the shiny part of their lives. So here I am to say: let's celebrate World Maths Day next week!

World Maths Day is March 1.There's an official World Maths Day website, which encourages schools and individual kids from all over the world to get involved in an event where they compete by playing mental arithmetic games on the website. Homeschoolers are actively encouraged to participate. Best of all, it's free to register and play.

Each game lasts for 60 seconds and students can play up to 100 games, earning points for their personal tally. Students can play beyond 100 games during the event, but points will only count to the World Maths Day Mathometer, not their personal point score. The students who answer the most questions correctly appear on the Hall of Fame. There are 5 different levels of play, 20 games on each level.


The official competition runs for 48 hours, for as long as it is 1 March somewhere in the world.

I decided to register, partly so I could give you more feedback, but also because, let's face it, I am incredibly nosy (or should that be beaky?) It was the usual matter of double opt in emails, I got my password etc, logged in and wham! I was competing against someone from Canada who seemed incredibly fast at addition and subtraction. Before I'd finished, a sign came up to tell me Results were being finalised. I waited a while but nothing else happened. Maybe they'd never encountered anyone with my lightning fast skills and ability before? I tried again, different competitors, same seemingly frozen screen. I have a feeling it was a browser problem (I was using Safari), so I urge you not to be put off by that. Give the site a try with your kids and test your speed and accuracy with competitors from across the globe. I'm telling you ahead of March 1 so your kids have the chance to register and practise ahead if you want.

What else could we do to celebrate World Maths Day? Why not celebrate Maths with a game or three?

You can play a game I invented for my Kindergarten kids with young children who are old enough to count and recognise numbers on dice. I call it Towers. All you do is have a have a box of bricks children can reach, wooden or plastic, joinable or not - dominoes would do. Take turns to throw one die or two dice and that dictates how many blocks you can choose. Each child begins their own tower and play passes around from payer to player. When a tower falls, those blocks go back to the middle and then the player can begin again on his next turn. Yes, it IS simple but my kids enjoyed it and it is good counting practice as well as good for social skills like turn taking.

Some board games like Snakes and Ladders consolidate counting and numeration. Number Boggle encourages kids to play with equations. Greedy Pig is a dice game involving addition that I love - it's easy to learn, and fun too.

If you don't have access to toys or games, perhaps you're in the car, consider using number plates and environmental signs for number collection or operations. Or tell your primary aged kids, "The answer is four. What might the question be?"

You'll find a list of great online Math resources at Kelly Tenkely's wonderful blog, iLearnTechnology.

Dawn at MomsInspire Learning has the knack of combining Maths with children's literature and games and has a great list of articles that help us see Maths moments in every day. She has a specific post called Teachable Moments for World Maths Day which I believe you'll find practical and useful.

Are you looking for some practical and fun activities to do with preschool kids? Rachel at Quirky Momma has been mathematically busy with paper plates, snacks and coins.

At Educational Freeware, there's a list of free websites for learning Maths. Shambles.net also has a long list of Maths resources, and Chateau Meddybemps has some cute Maths games for younger kids in its SuperMenu.

Do you have a favourite online Maths resource? What other real life games do you recommend/like that promote Maths?

image credit: Wikimedia Commons, public domain
Related Posts with Thumbnails