June 7, 2011

I'M NOT BORED ANYMORE: Math is Fun!

These activities come from my friend, Beth.  She's a math whiz.  Funny story:  In college, when she couldn't sleep, she'd count in cubes.  Not sheep.  In CUBES.  She's taken exponents and made them kid (and mom!) friendly.  Have fun!

SQUARE NUMBERS

Square numbers are one of my favorite things. The thing that makes them fun for me is a little too hard for our kids, but they can still have fun finding square numbers and eating them (if you choose something fun like marshmallows or Froot Loops to play with). I’ll use tiles in my example.

One tile technically shows the smallest square number, but it is not interesting.

Give your child 4 tiles. Have her make a square with them.
How many tiles go across the bottom? (2) How many tiles tall is the square? (2)

Let’s make the square bigger. Let’s make it be three across and three tall. To be a square, the number across and the number tall have to be the same. Fill in the new rows to make a full square. How many tiles did it take to make this new square? (9)

Let’s make one more square. How many will go across the bottom this time? (4) And how many tall will it be? (4) How many tiles does it take to make the whole square? (16)

TRIANGULAR NUMBERS

Triangular numbers are ones that can form a triangle when you arrange that many objects. The smallest triangular number is 3.
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The next triangular number is 6.
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Next up is 10.
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