Math Me Up is going on vacation! To my 5 regular readers, I don’t want to leave you hanging so decided to provide a list of some websites I turn to for mathematical inspiration. This is only a sampling (I can’t reveal all my secrets in one post!) and I hope they keep you busy until we’re back in the country next week. In no particular order, here we go…

Cool Math For Kids: This website describes itself as “an amusement park of math and more designed for fun, fun, FUN!” While this site has tons of useful information I go mostly for the games. We’ve barely scratched the surface of all that’s available, but two games that were big hits with us are Brick Breaking and Coffee Shop. The kids don’t even realize these are mathy games. Genius!

Fuel The Brain: More games, worksheets, teaching guides, articles, etc. mostly math related. You can make custom worksheets too – very handy!

Enchanted Learning: Here’s where I turn for worksheets galore. I bought a membership for about $20 which gives access to different lesson plans and worksheets covering all the school subjects, not just math. I think this site is popular for homeschoolers and teachers, and I’ve used the Enchanted Learning sheets for Math Club in the past.

Marcia's Lesson Links: Just a huge list of different websites that offer lesson plans, etc. on a variety of subjects. This is for the littlest kids, and I appreciate having a no-frills list of links to so many ideas at my fingertips.

Maths Insider: I found this website/blog a couple months ago and am pretty sure Caroline and I could be good friends in real life (the chances of us meeting are slim, she apparently writes from somewhere in the middle east). Anyway, she’s an engineer, an educator, and a mom who’s philosophy toward math learning reminds me of myself. Only I think she’s been doing it a lot longer, is better at it, and a lot more people know about her!

Online Math Learning: The ads are a little annoying, but I have turned to this site for ideas on how to introduce new topics and how to word the problems I make up. It’s organized by grade & subject so it’s easy to find examples on loads of math topics.

Museum of Math: The Museum of Math! It’s on my list of places to visit when it opens in Manhattan hopefully next year. For now it consists of a traveling exhibit and a cool website. Whenever we make it there you know I’ll tell you all about it.

So what are your favorites? Leave a comment to enlighten me about more math-tastic websites. There’s so much out there to explore. Happy spring break everyone! π
 
Preschool “math” activities are super easy to integrate into everyday life. My 3-year old daughter is always eager to point out numbers (and letters) on signs, boxes, school buses, buildings, t-shirts, you name it. She is also game to identify and create shapes, which is what prompted our recent lunchtime activity which allowed us to simultaneously practice a little geometry and play with our food.

I set out a bowl of dry cereal next to our lunch plates. In case you are curious it was Cracklin’ Oat Bran, a tasty choice if you can get past its strong resemblance to cat food. The C.O.B. became our tool for making shapes (and more, as you’ll see) as the two of us enjoyed a leisurely lunch while the ‘big kids’ were at school. 

I first wanted to see if she could complete a shape that I started. For example, I started the first two lines of this shape for her:
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And voilà! Here’s how she finished it:
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We tried again with this one:
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So far so good, so I continued along this theme of basic shapes. Here we go, complete this shape:
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At this point I walked away for a few minutes to do something (probably checking my email, I admit) and came back to find this masterpiece:
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I totally wasn’t expecting that!  Isn’t he cute? I absolutely loved the little alien and she was so proud of herself. The funny thing is, I have no idea if she didn’t know it was supposed to be a circle or if she just thought the circle was too boring and decided to get creative. What do you think?

By the way, my little girl loved this! We went on to create different shapes then letters, we spelled her name, and we counted pieces of cereal. She didn’t even realize I was shoveling mouthfuls of food into her mouth as we “played” so she really ate a good hearty lunch and nibbled a bit of dry cereal in the process (she would have eaten much more cereal if it had been sticky and brightly colored, believe me).

She even ate the rest of the C.O.B. for snack later that day. I personally am not keen on food that’s been handled that much, but as you know a 3-year-old couldn’t care less and honestly I think she enjoyed the cereal even more, knowing those were the same pieces we played with for an hour before she put it in her mouth. A little gross maybe, but the girl knows her shapes pretty well so I can’t complain. π