Saturday, July 19, 2014

#July2014Challenge: Saturday morning coffee (with a side of math)

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. 

 After making about 8 of these tables and countless number lines, my nephew came back for yet another table.  This time I told him to make one for his cousin to complete (coffee was getting cold).

 Very impressive!  We did math together for more than an hour this morning.  The next part of our day included a hike, a picnic, a playground, a drive home, and then MORE requests for math.   What a great day!

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