We play a fun game involving basic graphing and the number line. It has helped my 1st grader understand positive and negative numbers, x and y coordinates, and the importance of order when solving algebraic equations.
THE GAME: We start by making the graph. Then we place 4 or 5 random dots on the graph. We pretend they are traps. We pretend that he is the captain of the army and is in charge of giving accurate coordinates to his fellow soldiers so they will be safe. When all the traps are located, he is honored with a gold star for his uniform.
Because your child has to locate the x first and then the y, he will learn that algebra is a process that involves steps which has to be followed in proper order.
You could also pretend to be playing hide and seek. Graph your hiding spots. He wins when you are found.
I am sure you could come up with many different locating games that would spark your child's imagination!
This game has so many positive aspects. Your child will learn to love math rather than fear it, especially if they are introduced to it early. If graphing with x and y coordinates is too difficult, you could just stick with the basic number line. You will get a jumpstart on introducing them to positive and negative numbers.
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Blessings, Jenny (New Zealand)
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