# Math Enrichment for Young Math-Lovers

See also: Math Clubs ... More Reviews of Math Classes & Camps

## Parent Q&A

## Archived Q&A and Reviews

**Questions**

- Summer 5th grade math tutor
- Math Camp for Rising 1st Grader
- Math tutor for advanced 4th grader
- Games and activities for math-loving 2nd grader
- Summer camp or after school enrichment for Math?
- Science and math activities for mom and 4 year old
- Summer math camp for young girls
- Fun Math Book for a 7-year-old
- Math enrichment classes for 6-year-old
- Resources for mathematically-gifted 8-year-old

#### Summer 5th grade math tutor

July 2014

*I'm looking for a summer math tutor for my soon to be fifth-grade daughter. She absolutely loves math and is asking to do more over the summer. Ironically I think she is behind in grade level because her school has an alternative math program which is not up to the level of the local public schools. Ideally I am looking for someone who can come to our house one or perhaps two days per week in Berkeley. Thank you in advance. Mom of that Math loving daughter.*

I just wanted to recommend IXL.com. It is a great math site, very reasonable too. We do it twice a day over the summer. We're going into fifth as well, so right now we are reviewing the fourth grade curriculum. It has helped us enormously with math competence and confidence. Not a tutor, I know. But if she wants more, IXL is the spot! Julie

Sara Hanes is a fantastic math tutor, and I recommend her most highly. She is trained in Making Math Real Techniques, and makes learning math FUN. My daughter, who just graduated from high school with an A in math, thanks to Sara's support, began tutoring with Sara in fourth grade. It made all the difference! She's in North Oakland, near the Caldecott Tunnel. [email protected] / 510-549-9349 Mom of formerly math-challenged student

#### Math Camp for Rising 1st Grader

March 2014

*My 5-year old son really wants to go to a math camp this summer. He is pretty good at math, probably a couple years ahead, and likes it. I have no idea why he is so fixated on math camp, but he is. The camps we've contacted have been for older kids, and maybe more intense than he is ready for. Are there any camps for kids going into 1st grade? It would be ideal if we could send his 9-year old brother with him to smooth his way. They don't have to be in the same group, but the younger one would be happy to have the older one at the same place and the older one has just started being really into looking out for his younger brother. The 9-year old isn't so keen to go to a math camp but is happy to do it to help out his brother. He is excellent at math. He was probably a dozen years ahead in school when he was in 2nd grade and spent about 5 hours a day doing math in his free time, but now he isn't so into it. It would be great if there were really good teachers there who could work at his level if he decides to get back into it, but won't push him if he doesn't want to. We are in Berkeley. Close is good but we would travel for the right place. Anon*

Check out the Fun with Math! class offered through the ATDP program: http://atdp.berkeley.edu/about/ed/catalog/ My daughter really enjoyed it last year.

#### Math tutor for advanced 4th grader

Nov 2012

*Looking for a math tutor for an advanced, although not genius, fourth grader. He's about a year ahead of his class and getting bored. The best fit would be someone with experience and knowledge of fourth and fifth grade California math curriculum and standards.*

My freshman daughter has been working with Chris Bradley for a few years. He is a lovely young man finishing his AA at DVC and transfering to Cal. His math teacher is a friend of ours and she highly recommended him when we were looking for a new tutor. He is a natural at math. My daughter struggled with math concepts for years until she started working with Chris. She has had A's for 2 years now. Chris can communicate with her on a level that our pervious tutor couldn't. He is also working with my friends boys and they too are having great success. Chris's number is 925-771-4348, he comes to our home and we pay him 30.00/hour. tm

There are a number of Math Circles in the Bay Area that are perfect for a student who is advanced in his or her course and would enjoy an extra challenge. I'd be happy to talk with you about finding one that is a good fit. I also tutor for a living, and can work with your child; though I usually work with highschoolers I do have experience with younger students. I would also be happy to provide you with some ideas for resources in any case. You are right to be concerned, but there are lots of things you can do to help him through this. Susan

#### Games and activities for math-loving 2nd grader

March 2011

*My son is in the 2nd grade and loves advanced board games, math, engineering, legos, reading, etc. Overall, he's much more advanced academically than socially. I'd love to hear ideas of things to do with him where he can feel challenged with the above interests. He's been asking about math tournaments or board game venues, etc. He does chess, and I'd like to see what else is out there. Also, if anyone has a similar son around 7.5 years old who would like to touch bases then please do. mary*

Check out classes at Lawrence Hall of Science and Berkeley Math Circle http://mathcircle.berkeley.edu/index.php?options=bmc|bmc_elementary|BMC%20Elementary, held on campus at Evans Hall. I think it might be too late for ATDP, but you could try that next summer. You could also get a membership at the California Academy of Sciences or try classes further afield at the Exploratorium. math teacher

For mathy games, I would try the Rush Hour, Set, and Got It!

The first is a game with a bunch of cars and trucks on a grid and you have to use logic to get them out. There are easy to expert set ups; my 4-year old can do through about #15, my husband (PhD in math) got stumped after spending about 30 minutes on one of the expert levels.

Set is an amazing card game. You have 81 cards which has 1, 2, or 3 figures; the figures can be 1 of 3 shapes; the shapes can have one of 3 fillings; the shapes can be 1 of 3 colors. Lay out 12 cards and work to find sets of 3 where everything is either all the same or all different (so all 3 cards have red ovals with stripes, and one card has 1, one card has 2 and one card has 3 is a set but if there were 2 cards with 2 and 1 card with 3 that would not be a set).

The last can be ordered from www.jollygames.com. Slightly cheesey website but I've ordered from him and gotten the games fast. You lay out a grid of numbers and operators and then try to find the ''goal number'' using the numbers and operators you laid out.

There are math circles for elementary aged kids. My kid did the Berkeley circle last year which wasn't great for him (too much talking by the adults) though it may be different this year and it might be different for a kid who is older than mine was. There are other math circles in the Bay Area, the best one is probably at Nueva School but they only have 4 a year and they just had their last one. I know there are also math circles in Marin and SF.

There are math festivals (the Julia Robinson Math Festival was just held at Berkeley at the end of January and there is another at the beginning of May at Stanford), though they are typically for older kids. I know the Julia Robinson festival shoots for grades 6-12 though some younger kids do go. My guess is 2nd grade is a little too young but it is something to keep on your radar for when he is older.

I've heard good things (but never participated in or been to) the Maker Faire where people make random stuff and bring it in to show it off. It is at the end of May (http://makerfaire.com/bayarea/2011/). Maybe bring him this year and he could build something for next year?

I know there are a couple of rocket-building groups around, try Marin and Walnut Creek maybe. (Sorry, know very little about them.) Anon

#### Summer camp or after school enrichment for Math?

Nov 2010

*My kid is really great at Math, which is something that I struggle with. I want to make sure his passion and talent is supported. Is there a math-based camp or after school club in the east bay I can sign him up for? Mom of math enthusiast*

You don't say where you live or how old your son is, but our daughter likes this program that is for middle school kids in Orinda, Lafayette, and Moraga: The Moraga Math Circle http://moragamathcircle.org/

Parent of Math Whiz

#### Science and math activities for mom and 4 year old

Oct 2009

*I am looking for fun science and math activities and games I can do with my four year old. The advice for helping kids learn language is pretty well advertised (read to them, talk to them, expose them to letters) but I have had a harder time finding suggestions on what to do for math and science. We have always counted together, and I sometimes ask her word questions to get her thinking about addition, and we sometimes play 'store' to play around with addition. But I feel like there has to be more. To be very clear, I am not looking for flash cards or trying to push my daughter or make her childhood overly academic or anything like that. I'm looking for fun things we can do together that will expose her to math and science, and let her explore at her own pace. I'm sure BPN'ers have lots of ideas and I look forward to hearing them! Thanks! Sarah*

I was a science teacher for 11 years and have always enjoyed science. Math fits very well with science in terms of counting, recording data, making graphs, pie charts, analysing data, etc. I look for teachable moments. For example, my daughter finds mold on something. So what is mold exactly? Why does it grow on certain things and not others. There great resource books at Lawrence Hall of Science on home science experiments. I bought a cool book at the Exploratorium and we did an experiment where we poured agar, innoculated the dishes with home bacteria, and looked under a home microscope on what grew. We recorded every day the amount of growth, colors, etc. I used it as a way to teach the Scientific Method to my then 8 year old. Any time they ask ''why'' is a great time to say, ''Wow, that is an interesting question. Let's find out!'' There are many teacher resource sites on the internet that can also outline easy science activities. Look at insects under a magnifying glass in the back garden. Look under rocks for salamanders. Look in ponds for what lives in there, maybe taking a small fish net and a clear glass jar for ''finds.'' Watching drops of food coloring dissolve in a pyrex dish full of water was also a big hit (what if you change the temperature, blow on the water, etc.). Just make it fun! If they act bored, move on for the time. kl

Use real life situations as much as you can, these seem to be the most fun for kids. Teach your child about the coins and what they are worth. Let them pay at the store even if they don't understand how much it costs or how much they should get back.

You said you are doing counting. Modify it a little. Ask them to count from 5 to 9 and skip 8. It presents a challenge! Then go to higher ranges. Then ask them to count down.

In the car we also play games where I give a word, the kids say what letter it begins with. Or I say a letter, and they have to come up with the word. Then give words and ask them what the last letter is (be careful! you have to choose these words carefully for young ones)

Flash cards are not fun, I agree, but there is nothing wrong with giving some flash card like problems but orally. Again, we do this often in the car. You can also try problems that are ''too hard for them'', but talk them through it and help them break it down. 9+5 is really 10+5 then you subtract one. And 10+ 5 is easier.

Ask them how many strawberries they ate. Tell them they had 5 strawberries the first time and 3 the next, so how many strawberries in all?

I'm not sure I'd worry about science lessons per say, but visiting lots of places can lead to explanations that would fall in that category (e.g. golden gate bridge, and read the signs and talk about how much cable is used). There are lots of little things, like your cheerio floats in the bowl, do you think a coin will? Why is there water on the outside of a cold glass? Just help them observe things and find explanations for them. - teaching opportunities everywhere

Start at Lawrence Hall of Science -- visit the bookstore and buy Family Math, and browse the other math books with activities for young children. Sign your child up for one of the camps/classes as well. Books: How Many Snails by Paul Giganti -- actually, your best bet is to go to the library and ask the librarian for more book choices.

Other ideas: Counting at the store -- i.e. can you help me put 5 apples in the bag. Sorting/organizing objects -- buttons, cards, coins Counting coins -- Games: Lotto Connect Four Blocks legos Classifying leaves (get a book to help yourself with the vocabulary) Observing bugs, insects, birds

Have Fun! carol

I've bookmarked these two web sites for great math games that are fun for kids. http://www.funbrain.com/math/index.html http://www.greatschools.net/students/media-kids/high-tech-math-tutors.gs?content=1585=20090922weeklysend

The latter has a listing of many fun games on the first page. You might also investigate the literature on Making Math Real which advocates fun ''real life'' activities for learning math. It was invented by a Berkeley professor. For science, there are these great little cards of science projects that you can find at any good book store. parent of math challenged kid

Early math skills involve sets, patterns, correspondence, more, fewer, etc. Beading is one activity that comes to mind--you can work with color and shapes to make patterns. We have pop beads, but also real beads from the craft or bead store ranging from plastic pony beads to crystals. Also cooking or baking from a recipe where you measure ingredients. Coloring/activity books have dot-to-dots, and some have some other beginning math activities. My daughter (now in K) has a Disney princess sticker activity book that has activites like put these stickers in order from the most to the least, and count the number of widgets (e.g. brooms) in a picture. Carrie

For a four year old, everything is one big old experiment: Science and math activities:

- cook (measuring helps math and the cooking is science)
- texture experiments (blind fold them and let them put their hands in cooked spaghetti, pudding, dried beans, etc...messy, but fun).
- make a baking soda volcano
- collect leaves and bugs
- grow a plant from seeds
- study dinosaurs
- do sun prints
- teach sorting and patterns: buy some tiny teddy bears from lakeshore learning...they are rainbow colored...have them sort by color, do patterns, count them. put pepper in a bowl of water, drop in a drop of dish detergent. beans in a jar. count them. study them.

anon

I would suggest They Might be Giants, Here Comes Science Album. I am a science teacher and one big difference I see in my students is just kids who are aware of science vocabulary when they come into my class. The album has great songs that you could sing together.

In addition, I would just recommend getting some toys to help her explore nature such as a net, a bug box or other magnifier. Maybe start a small garden with her. My younger students have always enjoyed the Magic School Bus series (books and videos). They are factual and fun to enjoy together. Good luck. Science Teacher

#### Summer math camp for young girls

January 2007

*Hi. Anyone know of some good summer math camps for young girls (aged 7-10?) I'm especially interested in Singapore Math instruction, but will gladly consider others. The recommendations on the site are a bit old, so I thought I'd see if anyone could recommend something more recent. Thank you! Maryanne*

While I don't know about summer math for younger students, I thought I'd mention that Mount Holyoke College, the first of the Seven Sisters, has a summer math program for girls I think starting in 10th grade. They have a decent amount of financial aid. See the website at www.mtholyoke.edu. MHC is still for women only, and is located in Western Mass about 10 miles by 5- College bus from Amherst and Northampton. Maureen

We liked ATDP (Academic Talent Development Program). It is a half day camp put on by Cal -- they hold it at a school in Point Richmond. The math was interesting and my daughter definitely gained confidence. The emphasis was on developing thinking skills. It is also a great experience to learn with other kids who like learning. You can add activities/sports for the other half day, if you need a full day of camp. The camp is aimed at strong students, and the teaching is at a high level. The application process is long, but worth it. Lawrence Hall of Science also has a number of camps like Storybook Math and Storybook Science that tend to appeal to girls. Her favorite camp there was called something like ''Architecture.''(the math was mostly geometry) The Bees camp for younger kids was also very good. My daughter had varying success with the other camps -- I signed her up for a science class that was something like ''Chemistry for Girls,'' and they allowed a couple of older boys to sign up for the same session. The teachers didn't seem to have the skills to get everyone to participate, so the boys ended up dominating the class. Otherwise, her experiences there were pretty good. math teacher

My daughter's fabulous math tutor, Michelle Liotsakis, had a math camp last summer at her home in Alameda. My daughter was then 10 and enjoyed it a lot, and it really brought her up to speed for the start of fifth grade last fall. Contact Michelle at (510)769-6842. Lorraine

#### Fun Math Book for a 7-year-old

Nov 2006

*My second-grader is jealous of the third-graders that he sees with math books, and has asked me if he can have one of his own. He's no genius, but is characterized as ''having strong math skills,'' and entertains himself by making up his own (simple) math problems and solving them. Do people have ideas of something mathbook-like that would be fun for him? Maybe something to stretch him a little but still feel like play? And a good place to buy something like this? Many thanks! Anon*

maybe try www.mindwareonline.com? they have a lot of puzzle books and other activities--have fun! anon

Fun math workbooks can be found in grocery stores these days. My son loved the ones they sell at Longs. There's also a ''teacher supply'' store in Walnut Creek that has lots of that kind of stuff. Even Barnes & Noble in Emeryville has a whole section of learning tools. I think it's in the kids' book section, or close by. It's wonderful how kids love to learn at that age, and it's so fun to watch! -Pam

I have a math-loving 7 yo too. _Primary Grade Challenge Math_ was recommended to me, although I haven't gotten it yet. A mom friend told me she went through the whole book with her children and they each did different levels of questions. Then the next year they went through it again doing the next level up!

A great place to explore math is Lawrence Hall of Science. They have tons of math and logic games out all the time. My son can go there and play those giant-sized games for hours. A great holiday gift would be a membership to LHS!

I recently read their book _Spark Your Child's Success In Math And Science_ which seemed more general than specific to me. But they have many resources listed in the back, including their Family Math products and the parent resource site http://www.lhsparent.org. I like to look at the selections in their store as well as the Exploratorium's store.

I am math and science challenged, despite my father being an astrophysicist. I'm hoping my 3 boys will exceed my capabilities! Math-aspiring

Try Star Education Supply (510) 525-6185, stareducationsupply.com, 10512 San Pablo Ave in El Cerrito. They have more math (and other discipline) workbooks, games and such than you could imagine, for a variety of grade levels. Just hang on to your pocketbook, because there's so much temptation you could spend a fortune! KMS

Try shopping at Star Education, on San Pablo Av. in El Cerrito. They have lots and lots of workbooks. My 11 year old is enjoying his 5th grade spelling workbook we got there eve

Try out the online store for the Exploratorium in San Francisco. I was just checking out stuff there for Christmas presents and they had some fun looking math books for kids Math Also

#### Math enrichment classes for 6-year-old

April 2000

*I would appreciate recommendations for math enrichment classes for our 6-year-old, who is just completing first grade. He is very advanced at math and is interested in working on concepts that are well beyond the school curriculum. Are there any after-school math classes, camps or tutors in the Berkeley area? Cheryl*

Recommended:

#### Resources for mathematically-gifted 8-year-old

Sept 1999

*I need advice about resources for mathematically gifted children. My son, age 8, lives and breathes math. At age 4, he could count to 120 by by 6's, convert feet to inches, and determined that my husband, then age 40-1/4, was 37 and 13 quarters. Last week, he calculated that 10 to the google seconds is 10 to the 86th millennia (or something like that). My husband tells me that is roughly right; I confess it is a bit beyond me. My son is bored silly in school, and I am wondering: (1) what can I legitimately expect (demand?) of the public school district in the way of enrichment; and (2) what resources are there outside the school system for a kid like this? Thanks for any input.*

Stanford offers a program for gifted youth. Take look at their website for detailed information. http://www-epgy.stanford.edu/

I think enrichment programs are at the discretion of the school district. You need to contact the principal or district and ask them about testing your child and what programs are available. Someone told me that all school districts are given money from the state to establish programs for gifted students.

Look at the following web site: http://www.gtworld.org/index.html. They have a mailing list which may be able to give you more details.

The state of California's Education Code is at the web site below. See Chapter 8. http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/.html/edc_table_of_contents.html Good luck.