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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Maths for boys (and girls!)

maths for boysmaths for boys

Boys. And weapons. Particularly guns. Hmmm...

What really happens when you tell a group of boys "no guns allowed" ?

They use lego, unifix, kitchen roll tubes, practically anything they can get their hands on to make something that "definitely is not a gun - I promise!" Basically their 'play', their critical thinking skills, their creativity goes underground - a secret operation and you don't get to observe any of it...not what's really happening anyway! 

So how can you allow such a controversial play prop in your setting or home, but make it purposeful and definitely not violent? ( And pretty please can you get the boys interested in number??)

Here is how: Build a maths target area.

My maths target area consisted of the following:-

  1. a wall target (different colours) with numbers 1-20 fixed on with a mini target next to each ( younger children start with 1-10)
  2. A nerf gun (attached to the wall with a spiral keyring) to shoot at the target
  3. Number bean bags with a corresponding number target with holes for the beanbags to be thrown into
  4. Velcro beanbags as an alternative to the nerf gun to throw onto the target
  5. A helmet to wear in the target area
  6. camouflage leaves and material
  7. Recording sheets with space to write down which numbers were 'hit'

So here are the rules:

Each child has 5 goes at hitting the target. After every go, they write down on their sheet which number they hit, plus their name at the top of the sheet (LITERACY - MARK MAKING)

  • Challenge 1 is to tell an adult which numbers they hit/wrote down (NUMBER RECOGNITION)
  • Challenge 2 is to COUNT OUT the right number of cubes for each number they hit
  • Challenge 3 is to find a TOTAL by combining the cubes

At the end of the day we discussed who had the winning score by talking about which number was the largest. We always crowned a winner ( boys especially love competition).

Make mark making fun

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