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Every day we do a short 10 minute math warm-up before diving into our math lessons. Spending a few minutes solving a brain teaser or logic puzzle helps warm-up our brains and gets us ready for the lesson. I think of it like warming up before exercising.
10 Minute Math Warm-Ups
Math warm-ups can help students:
- Develop a deeper understanding of number sense
- Strengthen math operation skills – addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division
- Develop a growth mindset by trying various solutions
- Strengthen understanding of numbers and operations by explaining their strategy
Psychology Today says “The thinking involved in solving puzzles can thus be characterized as a blend of imaginative association and memory.” A mix of imagination and memory sounds like a great way to homeschool! Actually, it sounds like exactly how I want to run my homeschool.
I like to rotate among a few different math warm-up activities so that it doesn’t get boring. This warm-up time is meant to be fun and engaging. There is no stress to solve the puzzle quickly, but it usually only takes a few minutes.
Favorite Math Warm-ups
These are the math warm-ups that I am currently using with my third and sixth grader.
This game lives in my co-op bag because it is small and easy to pull out to play when we have a few minutes to spare. Each box contains 48 double-sided cards so there are 96 problems to solve. Every card contains 4 numbers. The player needs to add, subtract, multiply, or divide the digits to arrive at the number 24. This game is great for roughly 3rd grade and up. There are three levels of difficulty in this pack and there is a double-digit version for older kids.
We do one page of this book at a time. The top of the page has a scale or two. For example, the balanced scale might show a circle and triangle on one side and a triangle on the other. The kids need to choose 3 equations that are true, based on the scale. This has been an excellent math warm-up for paying attention to details and verbalizing theories. It also lends itself to thinking about equations algebraically.
Math triangles are a great way to play with numbers. The goal is to make each of the three sides equal the same number. This math warm-up is great for thinking about the relationship for numbers. Trying to make the sides equal isn’t as easy as it seems. There are two levels so I will put out the harder version once the easier version is mastered.
This puzzle book contains a variety of brain teasers. There are mazes, math problems, and logic problems. The math warm-ups in this book help practice geometry, number sense, and time in short fun problems. We do just one page a day.
I also try to read a math story each week. Math picture books provide a way to explore a variety of math topics in a stress-free way. Kids can see how characters solve real world math problems.
What are your favorite math warm-ups? I am always looking for new ideas!
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