Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Math Club for Grades 3-5 Resources

Disclosure: MindWare sent me copies of these books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

This fall I was asked if I would run an 8 week math club for grade 3 to 5. I did some research and discovered an amazing free math club program--Crazy 8s. But we couldn't get into it in time for the fall run. I am hoping to do it this winter. So I needed to pull together some ideas for the fall math club. It is a bit hard working with grades 3 to 5. The third graders have not really learned to multiply yet or what a fraction is yet where as the fifth graders are beyond that. I turned to MindWare for some fun supplements to math club. They were kind enough to send me some perplexor books and a set of extreme dot to dot books. And guess what? The kids LOVE them. They beg me to copy more each week. I think next week's math club may really be diving into the perplexors. I try to start each week with a perplexor. I made the mistake of starting with a dot to dot and found the kids spent the entire hour on it instead of the other fun activities I had planned. Now I give the dot to dot out at the end. Some of the kids bring them back finished to show us. I love it. MindWare also gives teachers permission to photocopy their dot to dot and perplexor books for use in a classroom, so it is legal for me to copy these for the kids. It is a win-win.

Now Hazel fell in love with extreme dot to dots a few years ago. We have reviewed some of them previously (Endangered Animals, US History, and Around the USA). This time we got the Extreme Dot to Dot: Magic Moments Set. It includes three books and a set of markers. Now dot to dots help with counting and extreme dot to dots go into the hundreds and even the thousands, so it is great counting. It also helps with hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills, handwriting, and concentration. They also give kids time to breath and relax much like the adult coloring books. These fun activities get the kids practicing their counting, recognizing numbers and creating fun pictures. They are constantly asking for extras to bring home and do. This week we are starting the Christmas Traditions ones. 

The other fun activity I use with the kids are Perplexors or logic puzzles. I was sent the set of Animal Perplexors as well as all the basic level perplexors. The Animal Perplexors are about animals. They have four levels. The kids are still using Level A, but Hazel and a couple of the fifth graders could do Level B. I will be doing the Level D ones when I have free time. I LOVE logic puzzles. Logic puzzles are wonderful to introduce to kids since it helps teach logic. Logic is needed in so many different aspects of life and as geometry proofs are not being stressed as much logic lessons are slipping from mainstream schooling. These perplexors are a fun way to introduce logic and help the brain practice it. 

The basic level perplexors include: Perplexors: Basic Level, More Perplexors: Basic Level, Grid Perplexors: Basic Level, STEM Perplexors: Basic Level, and Math Perplexors: Basic Level. The STEM and Math perplexors require arthimetic and a bit more logic. I am planning a math club meeting just to teach these. It will be so much fun!! The kids have been asking for more of these puzzles as well. These puzzles teach so many thinking and problem sovling skills. I wish there was more time in traditional curriculum for them.

Now some other things we have done is introduce the game of cribbage. I found printable boards here and rules here. Cribbage is a card game that involves adding. It is great for addition practice and adds an element of fun. I had brought with me some other games that dday including Qwirkle. I haven't actually played the other games with the students yet. They asked for another day to play cribbage. They love it!! We did some statistics with candy. I made some sheets for gathering data and answering questions. We explored tessellations and tried making some using punches and index cards. I haven't finished mine to show you yet. Sorry!!! Today we are doing some recipe math. I found some recipes on-line and adjusted them. Then asked questions about how much of each ingredient is needed when changing the amount made. We will be making a s'more snack once the math has been done to figure out the correct quantities so the kids will get practice measuring as well. I am also using some of this lesson from The Curriculum Corner to introduce fractions with Hershey bars. 

I have two more weeks after today. One will be logic puzzles (the math and STEM ones) and the other will either be games or math in music. I haven't figured it out yet. Anyway, if you are running a math club or looking for some good math resources for after school be sure to check out the fun books over at MindWare!