Empowering Parents To Teach- Ninja math

Calling All Ninjas! Nine Ninja Books and Fun Math (and Motor) Activity

Do you have a child that loves ninjas or martial arts?  This is the place for you. I have nine awesome books to delight your little one and a fun way to incorporate math into martial arts. Get ready to turn your child into a math ninja!

 

*Note: This post contains affiliate links.

 

First, get your little ninja inspired by reading one of these stories:

Ninja! by Arree Chung

Ninja Bunny by Jennifer Gray Olson

 

Ninja Cowboy Bear Presents the Way of the Ninja by David Bruins

 

Dojo Daycare by Chris Tougas

Nighttime Ninja by Barbara DaCosta

 

Wink: The Ninja Who Wanted to be Noticed by J.C. Philipps

 

Ninja Boy Goes to School by N.D. Wilson

 

Little Kunoichi, The Ninja Girl by Sanae Ishida

My Grandma’s A Ninja by Todd Tarpley

Activity:

Since ninjas must be agile, strong, and mentally sharp they must train their bodies and minds. This activity will have your child feeling like a ninja in training.

 

Materials:

There are two options for materials. You can easily use stuff around your home or you can use martial arts gear.  To illustrate the activity, I used store bought gear. We had the items at home already!

 

Option 1- Store bought gear:

Option 2- Things around your home:

  • Small square pillows to punch
  • Bare hands
  • Post-it notes (for the older kid version of this activity)

 

This activity is so simple! Give your child a math fact that he or she can do in his or her head. It may be simple addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc.; It all depends on your child’s math level. When your child provides the answer he or she must punch the bags in an alternating fashion the same number of times as their answer. If the answer was seven, your child would punch the bags seven times.

 

Another option for older kids who may get very large answers, is to assign one bag as the tens and one bag as the ones. You can even label the bags. So, if your child gets an answer of 95, s/he would punch the “tens” bag nine times and the “ones” bag five times. For children learning base ten concepts, this option may be useful.

 

Empowering Parents To Teach- Ninja math

 

You can make this activity even simpler for toddlers by just giving your child a number and punching the bags in that same quantity. If your child tries to punch too fast and thus punches too many times, slow your child down and show him or her how to accurately punch while saying each number (1, 2, 3…). It’s about having one punch for each number stated. Your child will be practicing one to one correspondence by doing this.

 

Keep giving your ninja math facts until you sense they are losing interest or breath. :)

 

Empowering Parents To Teach: Adding with math bears

Adding with Math Bears

Making Math Hands On: Adding With Math Bears

 

Once your child has developed one to one correspondence, he or she can begin to understand addition.  There are many ways to incorporate adding into your day.  When you are playing with cars, for example, count how many cars you have.  Ask your child, “How many cars would you have if I added two more?”  Add two more cars and count them all together.  This how I introduce the concept of adding, in the context of play with real objects.

 

After the child seems comfortable with the concept, I would add the number representation of the problem along with the manipulatives.   Eventually, after a lot of practice, the child can add without the aid of objects.  But there is no rush!  You want your child to add in a hands on fashion enough times so that he or she can form mental representations in their minds.  Until then, they need the physical representation of the problem. This takes time and practice and it is very necessary.

 

How to show the physical representation of an addition problem:

 

The set up:

  • Tray
  • Math bears on the right side
  • Foam numbers 0-9 on top
  • A couple of addition problems (based on child’s level) on the left

 

Empowering Parents To Teach: Hands on adding with math bears

 

Empowering Parents to Teach: Numbers

Numbers 0-9

 

Step 1:  Draw a card with an addition problem.

 

Step 2:  Have the child put the corresponding number of bears for the top number and the bottom number. These two numbers are called addends.

 

Empowering Parents To Teach: Adding with math bears

Step 3:  Explain that the (+) plus sign tells us that we are to count the bears all together.  So if we have one bear and we add five more bears, how many do we have all together?  The child may begin to count all the bears.  If not, show the child how to count them all together.  Sometimes moving them together helps:

Empowering Parents to Teach: Adding with math bears

Putting them all together

 

I put them all together under the equal sign so that the child gets a visual image of where the answer goes.

 

Step 4:  Have the child find the number that corresponds to the quantity.

Empowering Parents To Teach: Adding math bears

 

 

Teaching Tip:  As your child learns the concept of addition, he or she is also learning math vocabulary.  Words like, “plus”, “all together”, “equals”, “sum”, and “addend” are great words to include in your explanation.

 

The more hands on practice your child has with the concept the better!  Often times, we jump too fast into paper and pencil before the child was able to form a solid foundation of the concept.  If your child comes home with addition homework and needs your help- break out the math bears!

 

Linked to: Montessori Monday on Living Montessori Now