Let’s increase the amount of number sense sense discussions going on at home in our kitchens, living rooms, dining rooms and of course right before we turn the lights out!
Here are 3 quick strategies you can build into your nightly routines to strengthen your child’s number sense thinking.
5 Minute Share Outs
This strategy is so great because it’s so easy and can be done anywhere! Start your 5 minutes by showing an image from the many prompts found on mathbeforebed.com and have a discussion about the answers you come up with. IMPORTANT: make sure you share your own answer and strategy too. The focus is not on the right answer but the strategies taken to get the answer. By allowing your child to hear your strategy they will benefit from hearing another way to get to an answer.
Would You Rather…
Visit WouldYouRatherMath.com and choose a prompt to discuss. Both you and your child can decide on which option you would rather prefer. The goal here is to again share why you picked that option. Encourage each other to show any math evidence you used to help decide. Consider this example from the site: Which would you rather?
Play a quick game like Headbandz: Give your child a card that they can’t see. They place that card outwards on their head for the rest of the family to see. They are to ask the family yes or no questions to determine what “number” is on their card. You can play with numbers, expressions, fractions, animals, or pretty much anything.
Two Truths & One Lie: Play a round of this “Guess Who” game: two truths and one lie edition. Your child will say out loud two true statements and one lie about a “mystery number.” He/she will let the family know which are true and which is the lie. The family has to try to guess which “mystery number” they are thinking of. The family has to think critically about the characteristics revealed in order to determine the “mystery number” correctly. As an example, your child may think of a number. They say out loud: “One true statement is that my number is bigger than 10. Another is that my number is odd. The lie is my number is NOT a prime number. Can you guess my number?” Can you, dear reader guess the mystery number? Of course you can play with many topics other than numbers. Play with fractions, percent, decimals, 2-dimensional or 3-dimensional shapes, measurement concepts, equations and functions. Read more about Two Truths & One Lie With every game you’ll boost number sense confidence.
Discover more ways to encourage math discussions with the Start A Math Fight Resource
Are you an educator? You can share these strategies with the parents of your students. Either send them the link to this blog post or print out the Quick Resource Guide. This could also be great resource to share on Parent Night or Meet The Teacher Night or an Open House.
I highly recommend Table Talk Math: A Practical Guide for Bringing Math Into Everyday Conversations as a great handbook to discuss math at home with your children. It is packed full of great strategies, tips, and resources for you to spark those discussions.
Nightly discussion can also start with Which One Doesn’t Belong?: A Shapes Book. I bought this book last year and it’s what gave me the idea to create this site and the Math Before Bed book.
These are some of the games I have at home that boost mathematical thinking: