Start a Crazy 4 Math Club
What do you do at a Crazy 4 Math Club?
You get to make crafts, build, explore, read, play games, share ideas, and most importantly — you learn!
- Start a Club!
- Thoughts and Tips
- Our Club Format
- Games and Crafts
- Activity Ideas
- More Resources
A math club is a great way to make math part of your child's life. You can use the club to make sure your child practices their drills (in a fun setting) and present interesting math concepts that will inspire an interest in math.
- Children see that math can be fun and is not just about drills.
- Children can get ahead in math and gain confidence.
- Parents and children spend time together.
- Parents are able to learn about their child's learning style.
- Parents can focus on areas of math where their child needs work.
- Children make new friends with similar learning interests.
- Parents make new friends with similar family goals.
- Parents can share ideas with each other on how to teach their child.
- Parents and children have a regular time scheduled to make math part of their life.
Start a Club!
It's easy! Just get a small group of parents and kids together at a regular time and do a math related activity together. It doesn't need to be a large group. Your first step is to start asking around to find interested parents and children. Next, find a time and place for your first meeting. Choose a fun activity and you are all set.
- Choose a time and place that works for your group.
- Length of time: This depends on the attention span of the members. You want it short enough that everyone leaves excited — not cranky. Our clubs have gotten longer because the kids love it so much. We end the club with games that incorporate math so it's usually quite hard to end. Parents find it hard to make their kids quit doing math.
- Location: There are many possible options — rotating homes, church, community center, libraries, classroom at a school etc. Consider proximity to families, fees, parking, tables, chairs and lighting. We've even set up some field trips. One interesting trip is measuring area and perimeter at a park or soccer field. The group can go for a nature walk to find patterns, symmetry and shapes. Another field trip is visiting a local business to see how they use math in their work.
- Lunch hour at school: If your children stay for lunch, you may be able to work in a weekly club over the lunch hour. The school is usually quite willing to have a volunteer arrange this and will often provide a classroom and supplies. Activities need to be shorter and you need to consider the number of students and age range. It can be easy to organize groups to play math games. Older children can help teach the younger ones. Try to find a second volunteer to help out.
- Who to invite?
- You will need to decide the age level of the group. If you choose a wide age range or allow siblings then you need to plan activities that work for a larger age range or offer various activities for different math levels. You also need to decide if you math club is going to be a small group that you do things with at your home or a larger group that you organize. For larger groups you may want to talk to your school principal, post information at a community center and ask around at other activities children are involved in. Remember your group does not have to be large. A small group can be easier to organize and a lot of fun.
- Family Math Night!
- Your school may be interested in organizing a family math night or series of evenings. These are quite popular and usually involve little math stations with activities at each station. Its fun when you set them up as a carnival. These are more work to organize than a math club so they are not offered frequently. They are however a great way to inspire math and set the stage for an ongoing math club.
- Family Learning — Rising Together with Mathematics
- Doing Math Together
- Family Math Night — A Success Story
- Geometry Through Art at Family Math Day
- Math Nights Bring Families Into Schools
- Awesome Autumn Family Math Night Photos
Thoughts and Tips
- A parent should stay to help reinforce some of the principles once back home.
- A choice of independent activities that don't rely on a previous activity.
- Plenty of activity preparation to ensure smooth workflow.
- Share responsibilities with other parents (i.e. have each family prepare a different activity).
- Review the club's introduction and code of conduct each time someone new joins.
- Have extra supplies and fun activities on hand.
- Plan a snack half way through — learning gets kids hungry fast!
Club Introduction Guidelines
Boring drills.When practicing facts, playing fun games is the way to go.
- Sometimes, we'll work in teams to help teach each other.
- We are all able to learn and succeed in math. Progress comes in stages as you build upon concepts.
- Do not be discouraged or frustrated if you're at a different level than others in the group.
- Don't be afraid to try new things.
- Questions are good.
- Mistakes are good – they provide a learning opportunity.
- Thinking is good! Sometimes our heads might feel like they are hurting. Try to relax.
- Remember — we are all volunteering our time — it's a privilege to participate.
- We will all take our turn teaching others.
Code of Conduct
- Be polite and respectful to others.
- Do not interrupt.
- Let others answer the question themselves — even if you know the answer.
- Listen to others.
- You are free to ask lots of questions when it's your turn.
- Encourage each other.
- One parent must stay.
- Bring your own snack or bring something to share.
- Bring your own math kit (i.e. pencils, erasers, ruler, tape measure, scissors, calculator, markers, graph paper, binder with paper, protractor, and a compass).
Extras to have on hand
- Cards, dice, math games, worksheets, and music CDs.
- Spare math kit supplies.
- Counters — anything you can group, divide, or count (i.e. beans, cereal, blocks, poker chips).
- Building blocks — square blocks to build 3 dimensional shapes.
- Scales, stopwatch, money, tape, glue, measuring spoons, set square, string, paper clips, stapler, string, masking tape, markers, construction paper, and other crafting supplies.
Our Club Format (approx. 2 hours)
- Math games while kids arrive
- Welcome and math ideas of the week
- Main activity and discussion or mini lesson
- Read a book or listen to a song and discussion
- More math games
- Optional — a problem to take home
Games and Crafts
Here are a few ideas to get started with. Check out our Recommendations for more.
- Operations — Story and drawing. Make up a story that describes the properties of the different operations and how they are related.
- Negative Numbers — Think up examples of negative numbers (elevator to parkade, below sea level, temperature, owing money), draw a number line in book, make a large number line on floor with masking tape to practice with.
- Scavenger Hunt — Set up questions to complete in teams using math objects spread around the room.
- Binary Code — Write out your name and age in binary
- Newspaper Math — Have everyone bring a newspaper and look for math
- Infinity Drawing & Googol — Talk about the number googol, write out a googol, show how it is written using exponents (powers). Discuss infinity, draw a picture of infinity.
- Meet the Group — Why I like math, how I use math in my day, parents show how they use math in their job.
- Permutations — Create a flip booklet made up of several pages of head, body legs cut into three sections, cut out ice cream cones with different flavors, cut out squares in different colors.
- Doubling Story and Activity — What would you sooner have $1,000,000 or $1 doubled for each day of the month - $1, $2, $4, $8...? Take a piece of paper and keep folding it into halves. Story of Dahir.
- Baking — Make some cookies and triple the recipe. Provide measuring spoons and cups that have to be combined and/or subtracted from to get the correct measurement of ingredients.
- Averages — Time out how long everyone can stand on one foot, take average, measure height, weight and average, or count the number of vowels in names.
- Set up a math carnival — Make up your own carnival-type math games with prizes. Some ideas are a beanbag toss, fishing for facts, magnetic darts and math-fact musical chairs.
- Measurement Walk — Go around the neighborhood and take measurements. How long is a block on your street? How far is it to the corner? What's the perimeter of the soccer field?
- Magic Square
- Pascal's Triangle
- Fibonacci's Sequence
- Prime Number Chart
- The Sieve of Eratosthenes
- Perfect Numbers
- Birthday Math
- Proof of Pythagorean Theorem
- Bridges of Konigsberg
- Napier's Bones
- Virtual Field Trips
- Math Dictionary
- Word Search Creator
- World Records (Make up your own Math Olympics)
- Rounding Riddles
- Squared Riddles
- Crystal's Number Riddles
- Math Puzzles
- Brain Teasers: Riddles
- Math Puzzlers
- Figure This! Math Challenges
- Children's Card Games
- Crazy Eights