Friday, February 07, 2014

More math challenge for early elementary?

The upside of the string of snow/ice days we've had recently is that I've gotten a chance to talk more with my 1st grader about school and what he's learning. He's quite enjoying the graphing unit they're in with math, but talking through some problems with him over lunch, I can see that we really need to be challenging him more.

So I've been looking for math resources to use at home with him. The idea is that he and I would do some math projects together. I'd really like them to be fun because getting him to do homework is occasionally like pulling teeth. I don't need more basic worksheets. But I'm not sure I'll come up with particularly fun or inventive things on my own.

Has anyone found such a book or online resource that's really good for gifted early elementary school aged children? We worked through Bedtime Math and are looking forward to the sequel coming out in March!


Karen DeVries said...

Beast Academy wasn't available soon enough for my children, but if it's anything like the stuff they make for older kids (Art of Problem Solving) it's probably fantastic.

Also, Brown Paper School books by Marilyn Burns (Math for Smarty Pants, The Book of Think, The I Hate Mathematics! Book) were always hits at our house.

nicoleandmaggie said...


Hard Math for Elementary School by Glenn Ellison. I am in love with it. After some initial tears getting the first couple challenge problems wrong (because he has never been challenged before in his life), my son is now in love with it as well.

Also Math for Smarty Pants mentioned above, and Aha! and, Gotcha! by Martin Gardner.

And of course Singapore Math.

K.Davidson said...

We found an ipad app called Bedtime Math. It is free, and it uses a novel approach - you read a short article/story and then answer questions (math problems) about it. In our house it works for both the Kindergartner and the 4th grader (both are well above grade level) because there are 3 or 4 levels of questions. It has also sparked interest in new topics from reading the stories/articles. There is a new problem every day, and you can access over a year's worth of previous stories.

Nother barb said...

We play some fun and challenging math games. Equate is like Scrabble, but instead of words you use tiles of numbers and operators to make equations. We learned the impact of rounding: other equations won't fit! In 24, double digits version, players try to be the first to figure out how to make 24 from the 4numbers on a card. Take 12 an older game, similar.

Dana -- Bedtime Math Community Manager said...

We are so pleased you are enjoying the Bedtime Math book and free app!

We also offer a daily Bedtime Math problem and other fun math activities which are available through Facebook:

Have a great day!

Dana -- Bedtime Math Community Manager

nicoleandmaggie said...

Oh yeah, more games: Blackjack, Mastermind.

KarenDV said...

I forgot Ed Zaccaro books.

Nother barb said...

Do you cook or bake? Your son could convert a recipe for you. Most recipes are for 4,6, or 8, but you are a family of 5, 6 when the caregiver stays for dinner. Or if you have only a portion of what the recipe calls for, how do you adjust the rest of the recipe to match it?

susan randal said...

Order a pizza and discuss fractions! We also found that Kahn Academy‎
can offer some fun challenges

Jen said...

Echoing the Singapore Math suggestion. Also, DragonBox Algebra 5+ app, Set, dominoes, also sudoku puzzles for kids.

If he likes graphing, maybe build a project around that. There are lots of ways to use graphs to tell a story. For example/inspiration: check out the graphical representation--in Lego bricks--of Lego licensed set sales in this month's Wired:

Karen D. said...

We use Khan academy, Primary Challenge Math by Edward Zaccaro, and Beast Academy. ( provided my math gifted kids with a reason to memorize their math facts. They could calculate them so fast in their head that they didn't see the reason for memorizing. Xtramath requires that they be able to input the answer within 3 seconds.) Beast Academy is wonderful. I wish they were publishing faster, though. Only 3rd grade is out and one book in 4th.

nicoleandmaggie said...