for Teachers and Parents...
Your Children at Home with Arithmetic
children use in school, that is, number problems on a page, are really
a formalization of all kinds of experiences dealing with measurements,
time, and space. Children who are performing poorly in math at school
do not need drilling at home of specific problems. If they are to develop
the foundations for competency in math, they need multiple experiences
that allow them to reason with numbers in their activities of daily living.
These activities will allow them, in turn, to develop the generalizations
necessary for handling the formal arithmetic they encounter at school.
Enjoyable, fun experiences will go further toward helping your child than
a repetition of the frustration he regularly faces when confronted with
in trouble with arithmetic cannot seem to remember math "facts" even
though they review them over and over again. They may seem to remember
facts when reviewed on flash cards, but when presented with arithmetic
problems, they must revert to finger counting or other aids to assist
some suggestions other parents have successfully used to help their children.
sure your child can correctly write numerals. Even when children
can count sequentially, they may have difficulties evidenced by
reversing of numerals. Taking their hand in yours and tracing large
helps very much. Use a large, flat surface. Let your child get
the "feel" of
the shape. Try doing it with your child's eyes closed. Say the
numeral as you trace it with him.
numeral reversals continue, help your child with the understanding
of "left" and "right" on his own body.
Play games like "Loobie-Loo" that require moving one
side of the body or the other. The awareness of left and right
letter reversals as well.
and after games, with numbers, are helpful for math understanding.
First, know how far your child can sequentially count. Then ask, "What
number comes after...?" and "What number comes just before...?" This
skill is critical for understanding both addition and subtraction.
numbers in a practical way around the house. "Susie, bring
three forks to the table please," or "Billy, will you give
your dad five nails?" This gives children the opportunity to
count in a realistic setting and to see, over and over again, that
numerals in a problem at school represent real quantities. Use this
activity in as many ways as you can.
games, which involve tossing of dice or spinning that result
in a number of moves across a board, are excellent ways to develop
math understanding. These game are particularly helpful if there
are backward moves as "penalties" in the game. You can
even let your child make his own game by using a large sheet of construction
paper. Dominoes are a good math activity because, besides being a
game, the matching of numbers (in the simple form of the game) is
required. Children see the dots, can orally name them, and then can
make the correct match.
score on games played at home. There are any number of activities
that children can do at home which require tallying. Mom and Dad
might play a game, and the child can record points by using the
style of clustering four straight (upright) lines with the fifth
running diagonally. Then, he can figure the totals by counting by
your child loads of opportunities to estimate space. This
can be a family game if the conditions for involving other children
satisfactory. "How long do you suppose that table is?" Then
it can be measured with a ruler or yardstick. The exact number of
inches or feet is not critical. The question can be phrased so that
the number of lengths is the critical factor. For example, "How
many times would this ruler go across that table? You guess and I'll
guess. Then we'll measure it." You can practice estimating the
distance across a room or up a wall, for example, in handprints,
footsteps, paces, et cetera.
wall. Every home should have one wall that is used for keeping
track of growth. Measure your child frequently and date each entry
directly on the wall. Let him see how much he has grown as you measure
him every month or every three months.
backwards is a game that children like because it ends with "Blast
off!" The skill of backwards counting is one that eventually
develops the ability to understand subtracting by ones. It is also
a visualization skill. Try starting from just "8" or "16" as
practice. Count aloud with your child.
and clustering real objects. Use beads or paper clips or buttons
or poker chipsanything your child can grasp and that is not
too large or too tiny. Let him arrange them into patterns or designs.
Try clustering them into groups of two or three. Ask him for a specific
number or trade items with him.
Concentration. This game can be played in a number of ways. Generally, a specific
number of playing cards are placed, face down, on the table. Your
child turns a card over, one at a time, attemptingt to match two cards.
The game calls for remembering where specific cards are placed as
he systematically searches for pairs. If he does not match a pair,
cards are kept face down. Pairs are removed from the table. The game
can be played with two people or more.
also be played with playing cards. The object is to ask your opponent
if he has a card you need to make a pair. Each player starts out
four cards. Players take turns asking their opponent for a matching
card. If the opponent does not have the "match," the
asking player draws from the card stack. The game however, can
as a multiplication game. Whatever pair is gotten, the child doubles
or triples the face value of the cards.
a daily calendar teaches, in an almost incidental way, adding
by seven and multiplying by seven. Children can make their own calendars,
with assistance, and then keep track of the passage of time by crossing
out each day after it has passed.
are many ways of using division around the house if opportunities
are used when they are available. In fact, creating them helps even
more. Let your child assist you in separating things into even clusters.
For example, after baking cookies, let your child assist you in solving
the problem of how many should go into each plate. As an incidental
factor, mention, "That's right, twenty-one cookies and seven
plates means each person gets three cookiesbecause 7 times
3 is 21."
sequential reasoning enters into all kinds of daily uses. Determining
halves, quarters, thirds, et cetera, when separating things is done
daily in many households; for example, "Let's split this apple.
You take half and I'll take the other half." Asking children
to follow the directions involved in simple cooking activities gives
them the opportunity to measure, mix, and follow a sequence to a
a game that is fun and can be regularyly played. Write a number
over each letter of the alphabet. Let your child use a "master
card" so that he can refer to it. That is, 'A' has a '1' over
it, 'B' has '2', 'C' has '3', et cetera. Then write a message like
"Dad + Jimmy = _________." The problem is solved by changing
each letter to a number, adding them, and getting the total. You can
also use division by writing "Dad divided by C = _________." (You
can use subtraction and multiplication as well.)
with another activity is extremely helpful. Teachers call this
the "one-to-one correspondence." For example, as a child
moves his piece in a board game, have him count aloud each time
he move the piece. Have him count aloud as he takes each step when
walks across the room. Have him clap his hands as he counts or clap
for each step as he hops across the yard.
Your Children at Home with Reading
Your Children at Home with Spelling
Your Children at Home with Handwriting
Helping Your Children at Home with Vocabulary
Your Children at Home with Geography
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