Product review: Mathematics Smart Tray

Years ago, when I was still a young student, I remember my Mathematics teacher told us that the chances of us getting strike by lightning is higher than striking the lottery. He was teaching us probability. I remember listening attentively to his lesson as his ‘starter’ got me interested.

I have never been a numbers-person so I always feel bless to have my hubby, who, to me, is a mathematics genius. Hence, in teaching mathematics, I always believe, unless you’re a genius sort of kid or what we call ‘numbers-kid’, the lesson should be engaging and if possible, taught with manipulatives.

Last year, one of my best friends gave me this set of Mathematics Smart Tray where she purchased from Big Tree Singapore. This educational set is actually sold by Junior Learning, which is located in Southern California. Duncan and Anna, who founded Junior Learning, who wanted to establish synergies across the fields of toy design and educational publishing. The educational toys sold on their site are definitely worth checking out to aid teaching our children, and especially for those who are visual or tactile learners.

Read on to see how I use the Smart Tray to get C to be more interested in learning Mathematics concepts and view the step-by-step instructions to decide if this set is suitable for your child.

 

What is the Smart Tray Calculating Accelerator?

P_20160315_103613
It is a set of 25 activity cards that is used with the Smart Tray (sold separately) to teach kids on simple addition and subtraction.

Pre-requisites:

On Junior Learning’s site, it is stated that this set is suitable for children
  • ages 5 to 7
  • whose be able to count from 1 to 20.
Personally, for our children, I think the pre-requisites need to be slightly longer. I think apart from being able to count from 1 to 20, the child must be able to
  • follow at least two-step commands
  • sit down for at least 20 minutes in order to finish one or a few activity cards
  • follow a set of instructions (as you can see why below)
  • control the urge to eat the ‘squares’ (Yes, C wanted to eat it initially)
P_20160315_103806
This is the smart tray. It comes with ten squares which are numbered 1 to 10 on one side and filled with shaded purple on the other (as shown on the picture on the right). When teaching my child, I would call the the boxes on the activity card as “Box 1”, “Box 2”, and the square tiles (as shown on the picture on the right), “Square number 1”, “Square number 2”, etc.
P_20160315_103714
It comes with 25 activity cards, which range from addition to subtraction.

Instructions on how to ‘play’ the game:

P_20160216_205015
Instruct the child to place the squares in order, from one to ten.
P_20160216_205046
I get C to put them in a semi-circle shape to make it easier for him to see all the numbers and pick it up.
P_20160216_205107
Insert the activity card.
P_20160216_205112
Ensure that the card is aligned to the squares on the Smart Tray.
P_20160216_205120
Instruct the child to pick up square one, and count the number of items in Box one (Top of Tray) of the activity card.
P_20160216_205129
Place square 1 on the answer to Box 1 on the bottom of Smart Tray. For example, Box 2 has three items, so the child will place Square 2 on Number 3.
P_20160315_103828
When the child has completed placing all the squares, close the cover of the tray, pull out the activity card, flip both card and tray to the other side. If the purple-shapes matches for both card and tiles, it means that the child has gotten all the answers.

Ultimately, I am hoping C can use this tray on his own, meaning he is able to work on his own and monitor his own progress. However, for now, I am happy to have a ‘starter’ that captures his attention and gets him excited before we even start.

Follow up activity:

In addition, we also made an instructional video on how to play this game. I am unable to upload the video on this site. However, I think this is a good way to follow-up on this activity. When we completed the video, we uploaded it onto the family’s Whats-app group for the other young and/or old members in the family to view. It’s a confidence booster for C when he sees the video being uploaded as he would ask to view the video repeatedly for the next few days. He will get even more excited when one family member ask about the video he’s made. Although he is unable to express and answer their questions well about the video,

His joyful expressions are the only answers I need.

Advertisements

One thought on “Product review: Mathematics Smart Tray

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s