Learning Out Loud, Jennifer Brokofsky tells in her post Authentic Learning-Connecting Literacy to Mathematics that she came away with one word, authentic, when ending three days of listening to and learning from Debbie Miler, Patrick Allen, and Penny Kittle. "For these great teachers- Debbie, Patrick, and Penny authentic is about providing students with opportunities to engage in reading and writing in ways that are meaningful, interesting, and relevant to students as individuals." Authentic teaching is more about relationships with students than filling time with activities and worksheets. She questions whether authentic teaching can be used in mathematics. Jennifer concludes that yes, it is possible. Students need to think mathematically instead of just doing the math on the page. Jennifer says that all "are capable of becoming mathematicians and deserve the time to dig into authentic mathematical experiences."
My comment: I am a student in EDM310 at the University of South Alabama. I love the word authentic when it comes to teaching. If it is not authentic, then we are just teaching a worksheet or test, which is not always engaging for students. I agree that every child can learn and deserves authentic experiences in the classroom.
If You Give a Kid Some Cards They Will...#PlayMath is about using card games to improve math skills. Jennifer Brokofsky give instructions (which can be read if you click the blog link) for how to play her children's three favorite games, Chase the Ace, Sticks, and Uno. She also shared two links to more games and resources. Games to Play With a Deck of Cards has several wonderful games that allow students to practice various math skills such a place value, addition, or multiplication. Acing Math "is a supply of unique and interesting card games to use in math class that will help make math fun for students." This resource has games for everything from greater than/less than to fractions to decimals, and much, much more.
My comment: I am also from a card playing family. When all of my extended family were together when I was a kid, the adults would be playing their card games at the kitchen table, and the kids would always have a card game going on in the living room. As the kids have all gotten older, we all play together and are now teaching our own kids how to play. Just the words "playing cards" makes math more enjoyable for kids than constantly reciting math facts or doing worksheets. It will also increase their thinking skills as they practice different strategies for these games. I will definitely be trying some of the card games you mentioned and some that were in your additional resources with my own kids, and I'm excited to use them in my classroom one day!