In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff at the Regional Mathematics Center at the University of Idaho in Coeur d’Alene developed a resource for teachers and parents to use at home during periods of extended time out of the classroom. Designed to help parents and teachers keep students engaged with mathematics, the free book, “Mathematics at Home: Activity Book,” contains 13 games for elementary-aged students along with links to videos and photos to support hands-on learning. It includes riddles, scavenger hunts, and games that require household items such as cards or dice, as well as items found in nature such as rocks.
Playing games helps encourage student-directed goal setting and mathematical understanding. We also know that parents may need support teaching their children, so there is a section on suggested questions to ask children as they engage in the activities. Questions like ‘How did you know to do that?’ and ‘What do you think the best strategy would be in this situation?’ help build metacognitive triggers that students can use the rest of their lives in problem-solving.
Bean Thirteen by Matthew McElligott is a delightful story about Frank and Flora, two bugs who were picking beans for dinner. As Flora picks the last bean, Frank become desperate to figure out how to avoid the bad luck that comes with the 13th bean.