Beginning Algebra Games – “Dinos’ Birth-Month”

“A long long time ago there were many dinosaurs, and they lived for such a long time, that most of them forgot the month of the year they were born in!” — That was the beginning of the story my 6 yo was making up about Dinosaurs that forgot their birth month.

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In reality it was just a fun game, that helped us to

  • review the months of the year
  • learn their ordinal numbers
  • practice some beginning algebra

First kids worked on putting all the months of the year in order while they were reviewing their Months of the Year poem from First Language Lessons.

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I made sure that the names of all the winter months were written on the purple color cards ( I run out of blue), all the autumn months were on orange cards, all summer months – on green and all spring ones – on pink. That made them very visual and easy to review.

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Then children used their Mortensen blocks to correspond with each month: “1” – January, “5” – May, “12” – December, etc

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At this point we casually reviewed carnality of the sets: cardinality of the set of all the months in 1 year ( 12), cardinality of each season ( 3), cardinality of the sets of days in different months (28, 29, 30, 31), cardinality of the days of the week (7)

Followed by reviewing the ordinal numbers 1-12, and corresponding them to the months.

After each of them would pick a dinosaur and a card with the clue ( which was a simple algebra equation, with the answer 1-12, I prepared them ahead of time)

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They would figure out what was the answer to each equation and then would put their dinosaur on the card with the name of the month, which corresponds with the number they got. It was a fun way to do equations and a great way to review the ordinal numbers of the months of the year.

Some equations were too simple for them, an they would figure them up mentally, in their heads. For others they used blocks, yet for others they used abacus as their aid ( simply because Arthur LOVES his abacus, that was custom made for him by a dear friend for his birthday and he always looking for a way to use it)

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They did not want to stop, and the only thing that stopped us was the fact that we run out of dinosaurs!

I promised them we will play the game again tomorrow.