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Math Games

alec vanderboom

Here's a fun way to explain "greater than" and "less than".

Take a small piece of paper. Write a "<" sign. Embellish with crocodile teeth. On the opposite side write a "=" sign.

Play Go Fish (or any other card game).

Have you kid deal the cards, counting out the right number for each person.
After the first match, explain that this is a special kind of hungry crocodile. His hungry mouth always wants to point to the person with the most pairs of matching cards.

Change the crocodile around whenever another player has more in his match pile.

Whenever there is a tie, flip the paper over to show "equals."

Hannah loved this visual way of keeping score. The whole greater, less than, and equal concept made complete sense to her in this circumstance. I was surprised to discover the >, <, = symbols are listed as 3rd Grade math.

As an added bonus, this concept cut down on her innate competition. She didn't freak out that I got a match as much as soon as she figured out that a score of 4 matches Mom to 6 matches kid, didn't flip the hungry crocodile around. (Did I mention that my kid easily beats me in Go Fish?)

Just another day messing around ias an unschooler. I love these type of "happy accidents."