I began this Saturday morning in the same fashion as most
mornings, with a cup of coffee at the table and my children by my side. Usually
I read the news, but today I wanted to try some of the problems from the Open Middle website. As I played around with a geometry problem,
my 5 year old asked me if I could give her a math problem to work on.

I gave her some number line problems like the one below.

Next my 6 year old nephew wanted some math problems. He kept
coming back for more problems, so finally I gave him the problem below. To complete the table you take the
corresponding number from the top row and the left column and you add to get
the answer.

I didn’t take long for my second grader to ask for some math
problems. I gave him a similar table but
added in some negative numbers for an extra challenge.

The older kids finished their tables and came back for
more. I drew inspiration from a problem
posted on The
Sine of The Times blog a few months ago and gave them each a table like the
one below. For this table you still add the number from the top row and left column to fill in 9 boxes on the bottom right, but now you have to find some of the numbers for the top row and left column.

This type of thinking was new to them, so we spent some time
talking about how to find the numbers missing from the top row and left
column. I’m not sure they appreciated
the challenge, as the next request was for a subtraction table.

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