Bedtime Math By Ben Petty, Superintendent BCLUW & GMG Community School Districts
March 1, 2013
As I was reading a recent Time Magazine article, title “Beyond Counting Sheep”, I came across a section which highlighted Laura Overdeck’s website, “Bedtime Math”. I’m sure it’s quite common for parents here in Iowa to put our young children to sleep with an occasional bedtime story, but how often do we help teach and reinforce math skills at those times? This website is designed to be a fun, user-friendly, and relevant way to help kids think about math concepts. From the Bedtime Math website - http://bedtimemath.org/ How to Do Bedtime Math Don’t sweat it. Bedtime Math hopes to be part of your daily routine, but if you’re having one of those days that started with the toilet overflowing, don’t worry. Bedtime Math problems are here when you want them, when you’re ready. It’s not official. Bedtime Math isn’t an official “curriculum.” It’s just a fun chance for kids to do math in their heads, so someday when they’re shopping and everything’s 20% off, they can figure out the sale price before the store closes. Take it by the horns. While Bedtime Math loves mental math, it’s totally cool to use paper and pencil when needed. And if your child wants to tackle a harder BMP, go for it! You can walk your kids through the steps if they’re stuck, and they’ll be excited to wrestle hard with something and get the answer. Simmer down. The BMPs aim to be fun and lively, but they won’t keep your kids from falling asleep. In our experience, math can get kids to sit still, focus, and quiet down. No sibling rivalry, please. If you have more than one child doing these, you might want to give each of them different numbers. Just as we all love our monogrammed toothbrush holders, kids like custom-tailored things, too. To help this along, each BMP offers three levels of challenge: Wee Ones, Little Kids, and Big Kids. Again, these don’t signify rigid age ranges or grade levels, but as a rough guideline, Wee Ones are targeted for pre-school kids, Little Kids grades kindergarten through 1st or 2nd, and Big Kids grades 2nd onward. That said, they differ a little every day, so feel free to pick and choose – and to swap in your own numbers if you like. There’s no one right way.
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