Thursday, December 31, 2009

What's Missing?

We've been playing a lot of variations of What's Missing?, a great early math and reasoning game.

In this version, we have the numbers 0-10 written on index cards. We have done a lot with these simple little cards. In the beginning I would line them all up and just point at them as we counted (in both English and Spanish). Then I would ask Ryan to hand me the 5, or make the 8 jump up and down. Lots of silly stuff to practice identifying each number. After he could identify all of his numbers we practiced putting them in order (when we do it backwards we call it blastoff, which off course he thinks is great!) For the easy version of What's Missing we line up all the numbers, he closes his eyes and I take one of the cards. He opens his eyes and guesses which card is missing. Then it's my turn to close my eyes while he takes a card. It only took a couple of times for this to be too easy. To make it more challenging, when you take a card mix the line all up. See how they try to figure out which card is missing. If they need a little help suggest they line the cards up again. Like I said, these simple little cards have gotten tons of use, in fact I think it's time to add numbers 11-20 to our set!

In the shape version we practice identifying shapes by three attributes (size, shape and color). As you can see from the pictures, you can set it up many different ways. I usually set up the first line, and then ask Ryan to identify each shape (big red triangle, little red triangle, big red square, little red square). Then I ask him to set up the yellow line below it, and lastly the blue line. Once the matrix is set up we can play What's Missing. Just like with the numbers, Ryan closes his eyes while I remove a shape. Then he opens his eyes and guesses what I took. He has to name all three attributes. To make this version more challenging don't replace the missing shapes each time, so you have more and more 'holes' in your matrix.
These ideas all originated with our favorite math curriculum, Saxon K.


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