It’s Math Time: Don’t allow for dip in summertime number sense

Mathtime? Don’t Allow Summertime Dip in Number SenseOne in five adults in the United States is functionally innumerate and does not possess the mathematical competencies for modern jobs, according to an article published in the  Public Library of Science (PLOS), a peer-reviewed, open-access scientific journal.

The article called “Adolescents’ Functional Numeracy Is Predicted by Their School Entry Number System Knowledge” is authored by David C. Geary, Mary K. Hoard, Lara Nugent and Drew H. Bailey.

There seems to be a mindset that numeracy is not as important as reading during the summer months when kids are out of school.  In truth, both are equally important, and there are things you can do to keep your child’s math skills sharp.

Here are some activities, depending on where you are during the day. Whether you’re on the road, on vacation or in your home, where there’s a will there’s a way.

In the store:

• Count the number of items. Count on. Make sums like 1 and 3 make 4, etc.
• Estimate prices of items and keep running total of the bill with parent and sibling, closest wins.
• Count out the money in line while waiting to pay.

In the car (using your car clock):

• Calculate how many minutes until the hour.  (Once that gets easy then work ahead.)
• Determine what time it will it be in 43 min (use numbers that are appropriate to your child’s age.  (Adding 43 minutes to 6:00 is different than adding 43 minutes to 6:30.)
• Count the seconds it take to drive a mile (When I was young, my mom would put on the cruise control at 60 miles per hour.  I used to see if I could count the 60 seconds from mile marker to the next mile marker.)


In the kitchen:

• Measure ingredients, but not just for the recipe.  Give other measurements to practice and pour it back into the package
• Compare1/4 to 1/3 to  1/2 cups. It’s super important that second-grade students and up can explain  that the more fractional parts to make a whole.
• Cut food in fractions like halves, fourths, eighth. To be more difficult, use thirds, sixths and fifths.
• Use the thermometer to check temperatures of different items and compare.
• Set the oven temperature.
• Practice sums of numbers with items in the kitchen.

In restaurants:

• Estimate the total bill.
• Give children the menu with prices and ask them to make an order that is about $20.
• Calculate a 15 or 20 percent tip.

About the Blogger:

Nicole Shanahan is the math specialist at HCDE. A self-professed Julia Roberts of presenters, she vows to weave a bit of entertainment into each of her math workshops. As teacher, mentor, trainer and coach, Nicole serves up workshops ala carte within districts or at HCDE headquarters at 6300 Irvington, Houston, TX.  The mother-of-three clocks in more volunteer hours than the average bear can handle. She often writes about her cubs in her posts. Follow Nicole on Pinterest at: Secondary Math | Elementary Math



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