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Counting & Number Bonds: Math Games for Early Learners (Math You Can Play Book 1) Kindle Edition
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The games use very simple materials, mostly cards and dice, and the few boards that are needed are provided. Each game also has tips on how to customise or extend it - maybe for players of different abilities, or non-competitive options. My children are always pleased, even excited, when I suggest one of these games, even ones that seem terribly simple like Tens Concentration. Sometimes they even ask to play them unprompted!
I have both books on Kindle, and really I would prefer a hard copy as it would be easier to keep handy, mark, and refer to during play. So get the paperbacks if you can!
In this Volume 1 of her “Math You Can Play” series, author Denise Gaskins, a veteran homeschooling mother of five who has taught or tutored mathematics at every level from preschool to undergraduate physics, provides kid-tested games which offer a variety of challenges for preschool and early-elementary learners. Young children can play with counting and number recognition, while older students explore place value, build number sense, and begin learning the basics of addition, using common, everyday objects such as playing cards, dominoes, and dice. Denise says, “I encourage parents to look beyond the textbook–a useful tool, but such a limited one. We want to explore the adventure of learning real mathematics, math as mental play, the essence of creative problem solving. This is what we need to teach our children: Mathematics is not just rules and rote memory. Math is a game, playing with ideas.”
There are four main sections in the book. “A Strategy for Learning” contains introductory material. “Counting and Number Bond Games” has four chapters: “Early Counting: Practice;” “Childhood Classics;” “Number Bonds;” and “Bigger Numbers,” with a total of 21 math games which will help students to develop familiarity with numbers and promote strategic thinking skills. Classroom teachers can use them as warm-ups or for review day at the end of a term. Homeschoolers can make games a regular part of their lesson plans to build the students’ mental math skills. “Playing to Learn Math” offers some teaching philosophy. The final section contains “Resources and References.” And there is an index. Parents whose young ones are struggling with math should find this book useful. The next book in the series is Addition and Subtraction: Math Games for Elementary Students, Grades K-4.
While many of the games in this book are too advanced for my three year old, many of them are age appropriate. I look forward to incorporating some of them in to our newly instituted weekly family game night. The author very clearly outlines the materials needed (most of which are just playing cards, dominoes and dice - though there are some very helpful suggestions for creating kid-friendly decks of cards and card holders), and the games described include a history of the game, along with visual diagrams of how to play them. I also appreciate the use of actual math terms and the inclusion of a comprehensive resource list at the end.