I have found that one of the best ways to get Aidan engaged in math is to put away the worksheets and do something that relates to real life.  He is learning about bar graphs in math right now, and so I thought it would be helpful to have him create a bar graph displaying information that was meaningful to him.  We decided to make a graph showing how many of each type of dinosaur toy we own.

Aidan took a clipboard around the house and counted up dinosaurs.  He then made the graph by himself (hence the interesting “code” that he used to label it! I told him that he didn’t have to write out all the dinosaur names).

Last year in first grade, we made a bar graph showing how many of each type of book we own.  This was an activity that felt like fun (because we weren’t sitting at the table and we got to use a clipboard), and yet we were working on several skills at once:

  • Organizing/Sorting –  We chose categories like animals (non-fiction), stories about animals, vehicles, etc.
  • Tally marks –  We used tally marks to keep a record as we categorized each book.
  • Spelling – As we wrote our category names.
  • Graphing – Actually making our graph.

Not bad for one activity!

We are using Math-U-See and are just wrapping up 2nd grade.  I’m not ready to start 3rd grade yet, so I’m not sure what we’ll be doing for the next month or two… Any ideas for more math activities?


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