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How to Use Toy Cars to Build Math (and Physics) Skills

September 17, 2013 8:00 am


With some toy cars and a few simple, inexpensive materials, you can build ramps and incline tunnels with your kids to study the effects of incline on velocity.
Ramps can be constructed with rain gutters (which you can pick up from any home supply store for about $5), cardboard mailing tubes, or paper towel tube rolls that have been cut in half length-wise. Pool noodles can also work with the smallest toy cars or, if they are too narrow, you can use marbles, instead of cars. Create at least two ramps of the same length. First, give your child some time to set up the ramps and race cars down. Then ask, “What do you think will happen if one of the ramps is higher?”

Five Great Multiplication Tricks

September 12, 2013 8:00 am


Practice and memorization play a role in learning math, but there’s nothing wrong with having a few tricks up your sleeve too. Provide your kids with simple tips and tricks they can apply when multiplying to make the process easy and fun. Here are 5 great tips:

Music, Math and Brain Development

September 10, 2013 8:00 am


In “Toe tapping math” we were introduced to the notion that music is math. We can find math in intervals, measures, steps, beats and rhythms. In fact, music without math would probably just be noise. But what if we flip that around – is math music? What connects the two in our brains?

5 Thoughts about Math with Susan Cahalane

September 6, 2013 8:00 am


Susan Cahalane, a research scientist turned elementary school science teacher, writes about fun science experiments and activities on her blog, Science for Kids. Today on Add It Up, she shares thoughts on raising kids who love math and being a positive role model for girls.

Using Household Objects for Easy Hands-On Math Fun

September 3, 2013 8:00 am


Exposing your children to math concepts at home is a lot of fun and quite easy to do. Math is everywhere! Therefore, it’s easy to find things that are a part of your daily life at home and expand on the math fun and learning opportunities. Check out these three easy ideas for using household objects for hands-on math fun.

How to Make String Art

August 29, 2013 8:00 am


String art combines geometry and the creative process to form complex-looking designs that are fairly simple to make. It’s a math craft with staying power. Bonus: making string art also boosts vocabulary, hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills.

Breaking Cultural and Gender Barriers in Math: A personal reflection

August 27, 2013 8:00 am


Gender and cultural barriers in math education have lessened since I was a student (and definitely since generations before), but there are still improvements to be made. I earned an engineering degree which means I took a lot of math courses in high school and college. I was often the only female and in many cases, the only person of color, in many of my classes. Rather than discourage me, it motivated me to succeed – not only for myself, but for my future children. I felt a need to push beyond barriers to benefit future generations.

Measure Twice, Cut Long

August 27, 2013 8:00 am


In an earlier post I recommended seeking out mathematicians you already know and finding people your children can be introduced to who use mathematics in their jobs. My Ace-in-the-Hole is Tracey Annable, owner a full service custom design, fabrication and installation company for home decor. Tracey is someone who is handy to have around, whether you are trying to figure out how to mitre a corner or help your kid work through a calculus problem.

Be an Origami Mommy (or Daddy)

August 22, 2013 8:00 am


Origami, the ancient Japanese art of folding papers into shapes and artful forms, continues to evolve and attract new artists into the, ahem, fold. Origami requires spatial reasoning skills, thinking in three dimensions. It builds an understanding of geometric shapes and geometric concepts. It’s also creative and fun.

7 Ideas for Using Money to Teach Math

August 20, 2013 8:00 am


Money provides a perfect, authentic opportunity to explore mathematics. Not only does each coin and bill have an assigned value, currency also makes a great math manipulative for sorting, counting, comparing, measuring, adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and eventually using fractions, decimals, percentages, and more.