Most parents dread the feeling of teaching math to their kids mostly because they think it is hard. There is also a misconception among parents and teachers alike which is to be good in mathematics their children should possess some computational skills or aptitude, but that’s not true.
Teaching of mathematics to the children is so much easy as 1 + 1 = 2, which is if you know what you are doing. There are a few simple strategies to make math learning a fun and enjoyable experience for children. The key here is to make math learning to the kids like they are reading a book.
In this article, we will discuss some innovative strategies to make math learning to kids easy and fun. Let’s get to it.
This is one of the most innovative ways to teach math to children. The Exeter Method was developed by the Philips Exeter Academy, which is hailed to be one of the top boarding schools in the US. Here educators developed a series of math books that contained problems, techniques, and strategies, which were later known to become Exeter Math. What makes Exeter Math innovative is that in the traditional math class teacher’s demand students learn the necessary computational skills to solve problems or equations. The math lessons taught at the Philips Exeter Academy are written by the teachers.
The math problems at the Exeter Method are problem-cantered. See in a traditional math teaching, teachers give students lengthy assignments to do as homework which are mostly repetitive problem-solving exercises. Teachers argue that it helps students to master the problem-solving procedures. However, in Exeter’s math classes, students are asked to solve a small number of word problems to each night by themselves. Little instruction is provided on how to complete the problems, but a glossary is there to help students and they tend to develop techniques that allow the problem to solve itself. This way the students develop the learning process themselves.
So what upper hand does the Exeter Method has over traditional math tuition?
The thing is traditional math courses emphasize too much on rote learning, whilst the Exeter math problems help students to understand the mathematical problems by solving the equations and algorithms themselves, says Mr Chee, a maths tutor teaching with SmileTutor..
Teaching Students Using Dramatic Scenes and Problem-Solving Tasks
You can teach children simple arithmetic problems through creating drama scenes like pretending them to be in a ball or box, or ask them to feel the corners or edges of the ball or box, etc. To teach them counting ask them questions like if four apples are eaten from the basket, how many are left? Ask children how many hands, feet, fingers, toes, and so on they have. Later tell them to show the number using their fingers. You can also ask them how old are they and then ask them to show the numbers with fingers.
Speaking of counting, you can teach math to kids through simple and easy to follow problems. Ask kids to talk about real-life scenarios or figure out problems such as tea cups and plates would they need for a group of people or how many scissors are enough for two people, and things like that. You can also use other strategies like asking children to wash or clean a set of items, counting the number of chairs for a group breakfast, and so on. The aim here is to bring math wherever you go whether it is in the classroom or home.
Teaching Students Through Games, Toys and Story Books
Teach math to the children using block play that enables them to do mathematics in various ways like sorting, creating symmetric designs or buildings, making patterns, etc. Ask the kids to reenact scenes from real-life situations such as three school buses on the road or selling toy dinosaurs for toy monkeys, and so forth. Additionally, encourage the children to read books that use simple math problems in the storyline. This is a great way to make math learning fun to kids and reading such books will help children to see math in any book. If the kids are reluctant to read such books you can read it to them.
If a child wants to say something related to number or mathematics encourage him or her to discuss it with all children. Teachers and parents alike can also strike conversations like these too. For example, you can start a “mathematical conversation” between two or three kids, and tell them to play games like “Say the biggest number you can imagine and the add five. Now ask the other kid what is the sum”.
Take Advantage of Modern Learning Technologies
And at last but not least, use to teach mathematics to kids to make math learning easier to kids. Take photos or videos to record children’s mathematical work while they’re playing or doing other activities. Now use these pictures or video clips for class discussions, curriculum planning, and communicating with parents.