This is an attitude shift, actually. Back in September, when she had plans to run away with her best friend, she very clearly relied on me to help her learn the math she would need for when they finally headed out into the wilderness. (Or, the elementary school playground, which has a huge field and lots of trees around the edges. Whichever.)

Now, however, she wants nothing to do with me and my math. And, after being quite self-motivated and curious about measuring, comparing amounts, comparing sizes, spontaneous chant counting by tens and twos, relationships between numbers, and relationships between shapes the whole summer and fall, her inquiry into all these things has slowed somewhat.

**Except, she has become a W-H-I-Z at two person UNO.**We are UNO addicts; we play UNO every day, sometimes twice a day. UNO perks us up: Having a bad day? Let's play UNO! Been in the same argument loop all morning? Let's play UNO! And, yes, I know there is math in this game but DON'T TELL HER!!! Honestly, I have been giddy with glee that I now have an outlet to influence her mathematical thinking and move her math skills forward

*without her knowing!*

Well, I mean, she knows she's adding up points, for example, but she wouldn't do it at all if I just asked her to outright. She's already shot down my suggestion that maybe, perhaps, we could, let's say put down a 3 and 4 to match that yellow 7 that's on top of the pile? "Math Mommy! I just want to play the game!" So, I've come up with my new 'sneaky math' approach.

**What she doesn't know is that, faced with such perceptive resistance, I'm loosing**and I'm quite gleeful about the way that it's working out. I hand her my handful of lost points and say, "How big a win was it for you?!" giving her an opportunity to be

*on purpose*(sometimes)*very*specific about the magnitude of her victory. I'll casually say, "How many tens can you find?" or "What's fifty plus twenty [Wild Draw Four + Skip cards]?" As a result she's naturally skip counting by tens and sometimes fives, easily finding different combinations of numbers to make ten, adding numbers to sums way past twenty, using her fingers less and less and, in the process, improving her capacity for mental arithmetic.

For Christmas, since the kid is so into games these days, she's getting Junior Monopoly and the cube version of Quirkle. Oh, and Mancala, plus some really cool fractal fridge magnets to go with our fridge tangrams. I've got my sneak on, big time!

Very cool! We love, love, love Mancala. Walter almost always says yes when I suggest it.

ReplyDeleteTell her: "Yes, I am a math mommy. Is it okay that I am a math mommy?"

ReplyDelete