This week, I'll get straight to the point: you need to check out Solve Me Mobiles with your child!
The Education Development Center, or EDC, has built this site to provide challenges and puzzles to kids of all ages (that's right, even you!). For example, take a look at this one:
My four year-old and I can look at this mobile, talk about it for a bit, and come to the conclusion that the diamond and the heart weigh the same, so they should be... equal. With that, what's the value of the diamond? SEVEN!
For my older son, we can try something like this:
OK, so five plus five is ten, plus five is fifteen. We already have twelve on the right, so how much more until we have an even side?
These questions are setting a foundation for balancing equations and, in the bigger pictures, solving equations with multiple variables. While these two are fairly basic, the types of mobiles on the site can get pretty wild:
Are your palms sweating yet? Eh, don't worry about it! If you have a high schooler in the house, these might be some fun challenges to tackle, but don't stress too much about it.
Here's my solution for the one on the right:
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me on Twitter (@TableTalkMath) or comment below. Be sure to have your friends sign up for the newsletter at tabletalkmath.com for weekly updates.
ALSO, BIG UPDATE. There is a good chance that I will be working with someone to translate these newsletters into Spanish. If that would benefit you--or someone you know--please let me know. I'd hate to do this if it isn't helpful, but will be more than happy to if it will!
Thank you for taking the time to improve math fluency for children, one table talk conversation at a time.