A good way to learn mathematics?

We think – Does it exist? We ask ourselves – What is it? We look for – Where is it? – They think about, ask about, look for – children, parents, teachers – a good way of learning mathematics. I have tried something, the children accepted it. A way of learning mathematics can be interesting at school, at home and at the seaside.

Games can be used in various ways and can be useful in the teaching of many other subjects and mathematics as well. There are more ways of how it is possible to approach the topic of learning and knowledge of mathematics. Here is an example:

My intention was to make a trip into the past of mathematics, learn more about some historical “old tasks“, old games and feel the beauty of the ancient treasure trove of mathematics. Old mathematical tasks and games from various epochs and from various authors, famous mathematicians. Tasks and games are for fun, consolidation, practice of the teaching material and training of students for the application of the acquired knowledge. I used them in the second grade, with the task of enriching the students' knowledge, skills and abilities through practical and applied mathematical tasks and games, and, on the other hand, they stir up deep-rooted prejudices that mathematics is difficult, boring, incomprehensible and mostly unuseful.

For all of these we used pebbles. The pebbles in mathematics class – a rarity and this brings students a lot of happiness. We gathered the pebbles on the trip (closer environment-near the river) and, in art class, we coloured them in red and blue.

A motivational game – My Pebble

On the table there are little pieces of paper on which some numbers up to 100 have been written and there are pebbles on them so that the numbers are not visible. Each student takes just one pebble and he/she should answer which number is covered by the pebble, to which denary number that number belongs and if that number is even or odd.

The task – Three Pebbles

Two fathers and sons should sit on three pebbles, but in a way that each sits on one. Is that possible? (Feedback: it is possible if they are grandfather, his son and his grandson).

The task: Seven Pebbles

“Seven pebbles“ have been drawn on paper. Put real pebbles on them. Then you should divide that papir by three straws into seven parts but in a way that each has just one pebble.

The task: “Lo-Shu” (the oldest magic square)

Fill in the blanks with the pebbles so that there is a different number in every field (at least 1 and maximum 9 pebbles) and that the sum of the pebbles in all rows, columns and diagonals is 15.

Magnicko’s task – THREE SHELVES

36 pebbles should be arranged on three shelves so that there are 6 times more pebbles on the first shelf than on the second one and that there are 5 times more pebbles on the second shelf than on the third one. How many pebbles are on each shelf?             

3rd shelf___________________________

2nd shelf___________________________

1st shelf____________________________

The game “NIM”

   A) Two players randomly put the pebbles from 1 to 3 and each player sums up the number of the pebbles with the sum of all the pebbles which the players have collected by then. The winner is the player who first comes to the sum of 10 pebbles.

   B) There are 10 pebbles on the heap. The players randomly take the pebbles from the heap, at least 1 and maximum 3 pebbles. The winner is the player who takes the last pebble from the heap.

More successful, skilful students can use even 100 pebbles for the game, obeying the same rules of taking the pebbles.

The game “NIM” (another way)

 The arrangement of the pebbles seems like this:

Two players randomly take the pebbles. The player on the move has the right to take the pebbles only from one row. By one move you can take even all the pebbles from one row. The winner is the player who takes the last pebble.

The game “RED – BLUE”

  In the 3x3 table the players randomly set their signs (one uses red pebbles and the other the blue ones) in empty fields. The aim of the game is to match the three signs horizontally, vertically or diagonally.

   Here is the example where the blue has won.

The children enjoyed, they expressed their joy.

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