Does anyone have a nice list of "no effort" activities that parents can employ to promote numeracy? I am primarily interested in K-8 activities.
Often parents ask me about what 'math activities' they can be doing at home. I could supply many in-depth math lessons that will never be taught but I would much rather give them a short list of things that they can incorporate in to activities that they are already doing.
Every time you go out to eat at a restaurant: Your child should be calculating tip. 10%, 20% are easy computations 18.5% requires some more thinking...
When you are driving in the car: Your child could be looking for equations in license plates. Something like this. Or factoring! License plates are a good way to cultivate our factoring skills. Please keep your eyes on the road when checking your child's computations...
When you go to the grocery store you can ask your child to estimate the number items and the cost. This is somehow a skill that every adult has managed to develop but children rarely know the cost. After showing the child the receipt a few times and asking him/her to figure out how much the family spends on ice cream... We should see an improvement in their ability to crunch numbers and estimate.
When you play monopoly (or any game that requires some math), your child should be doing at least some of the banking (or whatever the part of the game requires the math...).
I am looking for more activities that shouldn't really feel like a 'math activity' and should feel more like daily life: your kid is talking way too much on a long road trip? Why aren't they factoring large numbers in their head?
The activities I am looking for
- Should promote numeracy
- Should require no manipulatives or planning (This is what I mean by "no effort")
- Should be an activity that a middle class family may do once a month: Go out to eat, Drive in a car, collect groceries, etc. (This is also what I mean by "no effort")
- Have a type of built in differentiation: we should be able to format the activity for a 3rd grader (What is 10% of the cost of the meal?) or an 8th grader (How much can we spend on desert and still have the meal be under $100 after applying an 18% tip?).