This week's topic in my LD course is dyscalculia and dyslexia, which has been very interesting and informative. I learned a lot watching a TVO clip featuring John Mighton of JUMP Math called "Discovering Dyscalculia." I use JUMP Math in my classroom, in a super simple explanation, it's a fantastic program that uses scaffolded steps to help students learn math effectively and successfully. I should probably write a blog post about JUMP Math soon....
Anyway, one of the other specialists, Mahesh Sharma, spoke about how you can teach most math concepts with a variation of War. I LOVE THIS!
First traditional variation - Take playing cards, compare numbers, the bigger number wins. That is number conceptualization. Second variation - Addition war. Each person takes two cards and adds them together, the person with bigger sum wins. Subtraction war, multiplication war, division war, fraction war. You can use playing card to teach any aspect of math, the same time, the visual cluster on those cards help students conceptualize the numbers!
I have been teaching my students to play addition and multiplication war for the past three years, learning it when I was a student teacher at Strathcona-Tweedsmuir School. It's a great game and kids LOVE it. We started multiplication this month and I have one student who has been asking to play multiplication war constantly because she loves it so much.
According to Mahesh Sharma, the Mathematical Milestones, which aid in later learning of math are:
Grapheme - Shape of the number or letter (3)
Phoneme - Sound of the number or letter (three)
Visual Cluster - what the number represents (* * *)
-Mastery of facts
This makes a lot of sense to me and is very helpful as I work with the students in my class to attain mastery over math facts. I'd already planned to play multiplication war with my kids tomorrow, and know I know that they will be reinforcing their number conceptualization while they do so!