Tag Archives: math

Fun Math Activities To Do At Home With Your Children

For many children math is a difficult subject. It is a good idea to help your children to continue to develop their math skills during the summer holidays. It doesn’t have to be boring or a chore! We’ve put together a selection of fun activities for adults and children do together at home.

Time related activities

  • Convert Clocks

If you have a digital clock, try to write the time in an analogue way, if you have an analogue clock, write the time digitally or on the 24 hour clock. Check the time together at regular intervals.

  • TV Times

If you watch TV ask your child to find out what time their favourite programs are on.

What time do they finish?

How long are they on for?

Ask them to calculate how much TV they want to watch for week.

  • Birthdays

Look at a calendar.

Can your children find out how many days there are in a week, in each month, in a year?

How many weeks are in a year?

How many months are there in a year? Name them.

Which is the sixth/last/third month etc?

When are the birthdays or important dates in your family’s year? Put them in order or make your own calendar showing these special dates.

What are the different seasons and when do they start?

Mass activities

  • Kitchen

Record the weight of different foods you have in your kitchen.

Which are in kilograms (kg) and which are in grams (g)? Do you children know how many grams there are in a kilogram?

Choose 5 packs and order them from lightest to heaviest. Are the big packs always heaviest? Are the small packs always lightest?

Are there any units that your children are not familiar with?

  • Recipe

Look at a recipe for something you like. In what units are the ingredients measured? Follow the recipe reading the scales accurately, then enjoy sharing what you have made together!

  • Scales

Weigh different items around your home using any scales you have (kitchen or bathroom).

Focus on accuracy. What items added together make 2kg or 100g?

  • Fruit and Veg

Find a variety of fruit and vegetables. Estimate how much they weigh then weigh them accurately. Put the items in order of mass. Can they add any together to make 300g, 50g or 2kg?

Perhaps make a fruit salad or vegetable stir fry. How much did the peelings weigh?

Capacity

  • Water

In the bath/kitchen sink/paddling pool/bucket pour water from different sized containers. How many little ones does it take to fill the largest one?

Put the containers in order of capacity. Does the tallest/shortest container have the biggest/smallest capacity? Use familiar objects like yoghurt pots, bowls or plastic bottles.

  • Coloured Water

A few drops of food colouring in the water makes reading scales much easier.

Use a measuring jug of coloured water to measure the capacity (in litres and/or millilitres) of known items. Order them from smallest to greatest capacity.

  • Units

In shops, look at and discuss any products that are sold by capacity, for example paint, lemonade, soup or milk. Estimate, then calculate, how much liquid you drink each day.

Stay tuned for next week’s blog post where we will be putting together more educational activities for you to do at home with your children!

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Finland propose radical overhaul to their education system, would you want your country to do the same?

Image credit: The Guardian

Image credit: The Guardian

Did you know that Finland has one of the best school education systems in the world? According to the PISA rankings by the Organization fro Economic Co-operation and Development, Finland is always near the top for mathematics, reading and science.

Image credit: mgmnt-class.com

Image credit: mgmnt-class.com

Despite being routinely praised, Finland is considering a radical overhaul of their basic education system by abandoning teaching by subject for teaching by phenomenon.  Traditional lessons such as English Literature and Physics are already being phased out among 16-year-olds in schools in Helsinki.

What is this new phenomenon? Well, it involves subjects such as the “European Union,” which encompasses learning languages, history, politics, and geography. The idea is to eliminate the saying that is regularly heard from students everywhere: “What is the point of learning this?” This would mean changing the traditional structure of the schooling day: no more of an hour of history followed by an hour of chemistry. Lessons will draw on a variety of different subjects relevant for the future. 

Pasi Silander, Helsinki’s development manager, says the world has changed with the spread of technology and many of the old ways of teaching have no practical purpose. “Young people use quite advanced computers,” he told the Independent. “In the past the banks had lots of  bank clerks totting up figures but now that has totally changed.”

Many teachers who have been teaching single subjects oppose the changes, and it’s not hard to see why, change on this sort of scale is incredibly daunting. The new system is much more collaborative, forcing teachers from different areas to come up with the curriculum together. 

Marjo Kyllonen, Helsinki’s education manager and the person responsible for reforming the system calls this “co-teaching” and teachers who agree to it get a small bonus on top of their salaries. Kyllonen told the Independent: “There are schools that are teaching in the old fashioned way which was of benefit in the beginnings of the 1900s—but the needs are not the same and we need something fit for the 21st century.”

Later this month, she is proposing that the new system is rolled out across the whole country by 2020. Will the rest of the world follow the Finns’ lead? How would you feel if Canada opted for this new system too?

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St. Patrick’s Day Joint Activities for Parents and Children

St-Patricks-Day-Kids-3St. Patrick’s Day is a chance for everyone to celebrate Irish culture and heritage. We’ve put together a fun list of activities and facts for your children, with a cheeky Irish themed cocktail recipe at the end for parents!

1. Grow your own Shamrocks

The weather has been so nice over the last couple of days here in Toronto, if it continues you could head out into your garden with your children. Plant some shamrock seeds and talk about the importance of gardening: you could mention anything from the source of food to looking after the environment. Alternative you can by little pots and plant your shamrock seeds indoors, either way your kids get to make a bit of a mess with a spade and you’re broadening their minds at the same time!

2. History

St Patricks Day history for kids doesn’t have to be all about drawing rainbows and wearing green. We’ve always enjoyed teaching our children the real history behind holidays and events. In this list we’ve include some of the popular stories and legends as well as the actual facts about the holiday, take note of the ones your children show interest in, you should follow up on them. There’s a ton of information online or head to your local library. Here’s a brief rundown of St. Patrick’s history:

  • St. Patrick’s Day is the feast day of the patron saint of Ireland named St. Patrick. Patrick wasn’t born Irish, he was brought to Ireland as a slave after he was kidnapped. He managed to escaped back to Britain to be with his family but while there, a voice told him to go back to Ireland. He was ordained as a priest and spent the rest of his life working to bring Christianity to Ireland. St. Patrick’s Day is the national holiday of Ireland and we celebrate it each year on March 17 because this is the day he is rumored to have died.
  • People search for four leaf clovers which are very rare, finding one is supposed to be very lucky. A shamrock is actually a three leaf clover like plant. Legend has it that St. Patrick used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity (the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit).
  • The colour of St. Patrick’s Day is green. Ireland is known for it’s green shades of grass and the shamrock is green as well.
  • Traditionally people eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day although we enjoy it all year.
  • Some people claim that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland. However, science has proven that there never were any snakes in Ireland because of the cold climate. It is thought that the word snakes in this legend actually represent driving out the pagan ways when he introduced Christianity.
  • Irish legend says that there is a small Irish fairy called the leprechaun. He wears pointed shoes, a hat and a leather apron. According to the legend, he’s very unfriendly and lives alone in the forest guarding his pots of gold. The story says that if you find a leprechaun, he will have to tell you where is gold is hidden. If you look away for even one second, the leprechaun will disappear along with all his gold.

3. Cooking

Corned beef is a traditional Irish meal eaten throughout the year, but it’s a favourite on St. Patricks day. If you have time, spend an hour or so making it from scratch with help from your children. Not only is it a lot healthier to make a homemade version compared to the processed store bought alternatives, you’re setting a good example for your children (to eat healthy) and you’re bonding over the simpler things in life rather than games and tv.

4. Shamrock math race!

We really like this simple math game for kindergarteners from Coffee Cups and Crayons.

5. Pot of Gold cocktail for parents

Serves 2
-2 tbsp fresh pear juice mix (see below)
-2 tbsp Michael Collins Irish whiskey
-Sparkling wine or Champagne of your choice
-Lemon twist for garnish

Mix the pear juice and the whiskey together in a liquid measuring cup or some other cup that has a spout, which will make it easier to pour. Divide the mixture equally between two Champagne flutes. Slowly top with bubbly, then garnish with a lemon twist. Enjoy!

For the pear juice mix:
-2 ripe d’anjou pears, peeled, cored, and diced
-4 tbsp water
-2 tsp fresh lemon juice

Place all the ingredients into a food processor and run the machine until the mixture is pureed. You may need to stop and scrape down the sides a few times to get the mixture smooth. Place a fine mesh strainer or sieve over a non-reactive bowl, then pour the mixture in. Allow the juice to drain out, stirring the puree gently to help the process along. Serve right away!

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When To Get A Math Tutor For Your Child

All parents want to see their children succeed in school. Some children have a natural flare for certain subjects, while others need a little help. Math is one subject where a lot of children need help to understand and build their skills to reach a certain level. One of the best ways to do this is through an out-of-school tutor.

Does Your Child Need a Math Tutor?

Looking at your child’s report card is the first clue to seeing if they could do with extra help. If they are continuously getting low grades even when they are trying their hardest highlights that it may be time to think about hiring a tutor. Does your child understand maths but does not show any enthusiasm for the subject and as a result it’s affecting their grades? Finding a tutor that can bring back that enthusiasm and inject a bit of fun into the lessons so that your child isn’t bored will make a huge difference in how they respond and act in school. Talk to your child’s teacher, find out how your child is responding in class and together figure out which areas of study your child is struggling in.

Don’t wait too long!

Whether you choose to hire a tutor or provide more games and learning opportunities at home, it’s important to identify your child’s signs of needing extra help early on, particularly in math, due to its linear nature. Each math class builds on the previous class, so once your child misses one lesson or doesn’t understand a particular skill, it’s pretty hard to catch up. This can result in him or her slipping further behind, losing confidence and dropping grades.

Hiring a Tutor

By the time your child has reached second grade, it will be pretty clear whether a tutor would be helpful. Once you decide to find a tutor, take your search seriously. You want someone who is properly trained, will assess your child correctly, has a good reputation, and will provide lessons that are age appropriate. Here at Light In The Attic Learning we have partnered with a numeracy program devised by JUMP math to provide our students with cutting edge materials and an approach to learning that works alongside the Ontario curriculum. Whether basic arithmetic or trigonometry, our tutors, who are specially trained to deliver the JUMP math program, will help your child overcome any math phobia they may have and give them the foundation they need to build on.

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Get your children involved with World Space Week – October 4-10

World Space WeekWhat better way to encourage your children to listen and play an active role in science class than with World Space Week! World Space Week is an international celebration of science and technology, and their contribution to the betterment of the human condition.

World Space Week starts on October 4 and runs though to the 10th. These dates are significant: On October 4, 1957, the first human-made Earth satellite, Sputnik 1, launched into space thus opening the way for space exploration. On October 10, 1967, the signing of the Treaty on

Principles Governing the Activities of States in the Exploration and Peaceful Uses of Outer Space, including the Moon and Other Celestial Bodies took place. How impressed will the science teacher be if your child can remember the full name of the Treaty!!!

World Space Week consists of space education and outreach events held by space agencies, aerospace companies, schools, planetaria, museums, and astronomy clubs around the world in a common timeframe.

This year London Ontario is hosting one of two World Space Week events in Canada. The Centre for Planetary Science and Exploration in Western University has put together a free special event.  MIT Professor Sara Seager, Exoplanet Hunter, will share her research and experiences searching for planets like Earth in other solar systems, and the search for life in the Universe.

The goal of World Space Week is to excite young people about science, technology, engineering and math, but you don’t need to wait until World Space Week to encourage your children to take an interest in these subjects. There are plenty of fun space related activities you can do with your kids at home, our favourites are on the NASA website: http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/education/?page=67

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