Published at Wednesday, September 16th 2020. by Gaetana Cousin in Math Grade 5.
By the time they are learning first grade math, kids should be ready to tackle things like the relationship between addition and subtraction, the concept of adding and subtracting two-digit numbers and learning to count beyond 100. Being able to compare numbers as larger, smaller or equal to each other is also important, as it provides the basis for recognizing whether or not the answer to a computation problem is the correct one. Children need to be allowed to master these and other essential math skills before being asked to move on to new ideas, but the modern classroom setting does not always allow for this. As focus on core curriculum begins to push complex ideas into lower grade levels, kids are expected to learn more at a younger age. First grade math still contains many fundamental concepts essential for understanding higher math, and therefore should not be rushed through. By letting a child try and re-try each new thing as it comes, online math games can give the extra time and practice that struggling students need to achieve success.
In a growing move amongst home-schoolers to look at online courses, one subject area lends itself towards a bit more hesitation from the group. Home-schoolers want to like online courses because of the flexibility of them, but with regard to math, they are just not so sure about the validity of online math. There is reason for this, but many students are having good success with online math programs, and slowly but surely, the homeschooling community is coming around. Home-schoolers tend to shy away from online math due to the perception that math is better learned with a real person giving instruction and students following along in their textbooks. Many students learn well this way, but online math courses operate on a different philosophy. They presume that students can learn to understand material with information, practice, and feedback, and in essence, can become their own teachers. This is a far more effective method of instruction in the long run, and while it does take some adjustment, many programs make this method very viable for students of all abilities.
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?
There is one learning style that is absolutely essential if young children are to learn effectively. Children demonstrate their love of this approach on a daily basis often to the accompaniment of hair being torn out by frustrated parents. Young children are hands on learners. Nothing is usually too hot or too heavy. This tactile approach to life in general is their way of discovering and processing information about the world around them. "Children are born true scientists. They spontaneously experiment and experience and re-experience again. They select, combine, and test, seeking to find order in their experiences - "which is the moistest? which is the least-est? They smell, taste, bite, and touch-test for hardness, softness, springiness, roughness, smoothness, coldness, warmness: they heft, shake, punch, squeeze, push, crush, rub, and try to pull things apart."
All my toys were one way or the other math related. I had puzzles, and tons of things Mom had me do as games on daily basis at home to get me ready for kindergarten! In fact, she continued guiding me towards being math friendly throughout kindergarten and first grade during which time 1st grade math worksheets was my constant companion.Practice surely makes perfect and I am very gratefully to Mom for taking her time to familiarize me with math even as a child. As a math tutor for 15 years, I have tutored hundreds of students from all the grade levels. I found most of the students were not comfortable with mathematics. More than 80% of them said, the mathematics is very hard. Why do most of the students find mathematics a hard subject and try to avoid it?
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.
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.
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