Lena is starting to learn her basic addition facts. Since she understands the concept of addition (an important step) we are now working on developing automatic recall. One of the best ways to work on it is through flash cards and quick review. Lena has TONS of energy, so we've been reviewing her math facts with lots of different ACTIVE strategies. If you've got an active child or a kinesthetic learner, you'll definitely want to try some of these!
Rock and Roll
Have your child grab his or her knees and roll backwards and then back up again. I sit in front of Lena and hold up a flashcard for her to see each time she rolls up. She yells out the answer while she's rocking and rolling!
Jump on the Answer
There's something that kids just love about jumping on things! For this activity, spread out number cards on the floor. Call out a math fact and have your child find and jump on the answer. It's easy to make your own cards with index cards if you don't have any.
Set up a quick circuit or loop for your child to run. I'll position myself along the route with our flashcards and hold them up as Lena runs by. As she sees a card, she shouts out the answer!
This technique works better for math facts with low number answers (otherwise your child will be doing a LOT of jumping jacks!) Call out an equation or show a flashcard, and have your child do the same number of jumping jacks as the correct answer.
Since Lena is in gymnastics, we incorporate some of those skills into her practice. She goes up into a bridge, and I hold up flash cards upside down for her. She thinks it's hilarious to be doing math upside down and can barely answer through her giggles!
Just like a bridge, your child can do a handstand up against the wall and practice math facts upside down. It's lots of fun-- all that blood to the brain helps it work better!
Head outside! Write some math facts on the driveway or sidewalk, and get out the bikes or scooters. Your child can ride over the math facts, calling out the answers as they go, or they can ride around them. Lena is always afraid to ride on top of them-- she thinks the chalk will come off!
Once you've got your math facts drawn on the driveway, make some more use of them. Have your child stand nearby, bounce a ball on each fact, and call out the answer.
Find the Answer (Scavenger Hunt)
This strategy requires just a tiny bit of prep work. Tape number cards on the walls or furniture around your room. If you have a very active child, you could spread them throughout the whole house! Call out an equation and have your child find and run to the answer.
Kick and Throw
Gross motor learning at its finest! Kick a ball back and forth with your child. As you kick, call out a math fact. Since you're using your feet, you could hold up flashcards instead if you prefer. As your child kicks, he'll call out the answer. Do the same with tossing a ball back and forth.
Can you think of any more FUN and ACTIVE ways to help kinesthetic learners learn math facts? Share them in the comments below!