Published at Thursday, 17 September 2020. Math Grade 5. By Celeste Rossi.
Many teachers do not appear to know how to harness the power of play to effectively lead children to an understanding of math concepts. This is hardly surprising as teachers strive to meet externally imposed targets with little emphasis or guidance given on how to implement play based learning in the math class. The text book and worksheet rule the day. Until schools are allowed more freedom to adopt a more child-centered approach children will continue to struggle in math and many will ultimately disengage from learning altogether. Is this the fate your child could face? More to the point, are you prepared to take that risk?
According to the research, solid early mathematics skills are the strongest predictor of future academic success; greater than early reading skills, attention skills, and socioeconomic factors! So what early math skills are most important? The research focuses on "school-entry math skills" such as understanding small numbers (up to 30), quantities, and simple shapes. In addition, being able to count, compare, sort, and describe objects (up to 30) are considered core kindergarten math skills. A host of online tools are available to help young children improve their math and reading skills and technology has made great strides in the past several years in areas related to children has educational software. However, many of the technical advances may be overwhelming for young learners. Websites with 3D graphics and online virtual worlds ("edutainment") may be a useful tool for older children looking to build skills while having fun on the computer. However, younger children can be easily distracted by the overuse of technology in many of these programs.
There are basic skills every kindergarten needs to know before starting the school year. While the first portion of many school years is used to review basic concepts, teachers quickly move on to new subjects, assuming most children have had plenty of exposure to the basic concepts, including letter and number recognition. The ultimate goal in kindergarten is to get children ready to read, which takes a great deal of time. Teachers typically move on when a majority of the class is ready to learn the basics of reading. If your child is left behind, it could leave him behind for the rest of his school career.
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