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Can you help me brainstorm a math supplement that is not a workbook?

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My dd started 3rd grade at a private school this year. We are very busy and by the time she studies spelling, does her homework, does her required reading, etc..... she is not up for doing more "homework." I need afterschooling things that are fun and can be done in short increments (like the Right Start games.)


She is doing Saxon in school.

We are using Right Start games, Sum Swamp, card games, computer games, wrap-its, flashcards, etc... to keep up her facts.


So, I want to go deeper with her. Something like Singapore Challenging Word Problems, but not in that format? Logic puzzles? Computer games? Good board games? I'm vague, because I don't know what I want. I've thought of chess, but honestly, I only know how the pieces move and I feel like I'm ill-equipped to use that as her deeper thinking exercise.


I'm planning on using the CWP over the summer, but I want something we can do during the school year. Something to take the math deeper. Make her really think. Problem solve.


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So...I'm a bit confused--- do you want math suggestions or logic suggestions? It already sounds like you're doing a lot to supplement math at home already. :001_smile:


Hmmmm... Both? The math supplementing that we are doing is pretty directly related to her facts. And Saxon is solid, but doesn't make her REALLY think. I think it has its place, but I want to challenge her thinking. Maybe like MEP, without looking like a math sheet. I don't really know what I'm looking for. I've looked, but haven't found it. :tongue_smilie: Maybe I should print off MEP and pick out the puzzles.

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Well, some online stuff:


XtraMath.org -- 10 minutes a day, basic, but fun math drills. Free


Timez Attack -- multiplication & division, video game quality practice, 1st module is free; addition & subtraction due soon


Quartr Mile Math (PC only) -- drills, you race againt yourself


National Library of Virtual Manipulatives -- nice site


RR has a lot of math games, card games (like Snap It Up). dice games, board games. plus there are lots of games you can do with a deck of playing cards.


Some people like math facts cds and Math Shark type drills.


You might also try picture books, like Anno's books or the Sir Cumference series; books by Marilyn Burns. Rebecca Rupp has an annotated list in her Complete Home Learning Source Book. Oh, and Books to Build On, Hirsch has a wonderful, annotated list too.


ETA Family Math series, but they are time consuming to use.

Edited by Alessandra
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IMHO, Saxon covers math facts excessively to the point of overkill, so I don't do anything additional for that other than Timez Attack if they want to. I like to use math games and puzzles from Let's Play Math and elsewhere. I also like the Living Math site.


I always thought that, but I wonder if her teacher isn't sending everything home? I thought they used these little punch-out flash cards? We've been told to work with them at home, using games or flashcards, or whatever. We get timed facts practice and timed oral facts practice, but to me, those are once they know the facts. Maybe that's because it's a review of addition/subtraction?


They haven't started memorizing multiplication facts, yet. I am using the Right Start games to get a jump on it with fun stuff. I like using games, but it is more time intensive than just sitting down with flash cards. But, my dd hates flashcards. I limit them and make a game of it when we do use them. I'm trying to avoid getting down to having to memorize a set of facts in a week and not having extra time to play lots of games to do it.


It's almost funny..... We put her in private school, but I looked up the Saxon S&S to plan out how we can do math facts. Then, I went and bought Shurley English (which she is having a hard time adjusting to) so we can practice the jingles at home.:tongue_smilie:

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I wanted to second the Living Math site. I used to get the related emails, and that would be a good place to ask your question.


My kids got a lot out of the Zoombinis games. And all of the board games mentioned. There's a lot of strategy and logic in board games. Our current favorites are Pirateer and Labyrinth. And the one-person games from ThinkFun although we play them "together".

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You might enjoy Primary Grade Challenge Math by Ed Zaccaro.


This is not exactly "activity based" like a game, but it does get children doing more "advanced topics" where they have to think, after preparing them with great explanations in the text.


It is a pleasant stretch.



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MEP is a blast for my D8. She is a creative thinker by nature, though. It's as if MEP was made for her. She doesn't see it as extra work to do.


She also loves SET, Blink, Rush Hour and Chocolate Fix. Thinkfun also has Math Dice. Or you can use regular dice and make up games. I like the Let's Play Math site. And doesn't Peggy Kaye have a book for Math Games?


What about Muggins? Or Hands on Equations?


Oh, D also loves (and I mean can spend an hour doing) the Tin Man Press books - Ideas to Go and Waker Uppers.


Don't forget regular ole' Puzzles.

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We did a lot with fractions in the kitchen while baking in 3rd grade. My ds really enjoyed cuisenaire rods and a crossword puzzle type book that you used to solve the math problems which ranged in grade from I think 1st thru 6th. He completed all of them in no time because it was fun!


We, also, practiced the multiplication tables while throwing bean bags back and forth; under arms and legs, etc. It was a nice way of adding a physical element. We learned Roman numerals with sticks outdoors.


I agree with monopoly and yahtzee as great ways to keep an interest in numbers. Later on you can add The Farming Game and STone Age. With yahtzee, my son was calculating averages of the games to see who's overall score was best - never with a calculator.

I don't care for teh games that look just like a math book. However, with regard to math books - singapore math has nice story problems.

If you like Halloween, you can bar graph the candies. We have been doing this for years.

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Well, I ended up ordering:

Zaccarro's Primary Grade Challenge math and Family Math to cover the math aspects I wanted.


And Mastermind and Qwirkle to get some fun logic/problem solving games.



ETA: And MEP year 3 has an electronic version that we are going to try.

Edited by snickelfritz
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