Tag: Math Mathematics

Using Numbers To Help Your Child Learn Math

Mathematics without numbers just wouldn’t make sense, would it? Of course not – silly me!

🙂 In my daily reading I came across this article on using numbers to help your child become more proficient at learning and utilizing math. The article was written by Joseph Pinador and comes from Article Dashboard.

Home School Math Series: Number Counting

As a parent, helping your child perform better in their grade-level math is as easy as teaching number sense by practicing some basic exercises. Children who struggle with their grade-level math are deficient in operational skills. As a result, most of the problems that kids (and adults) have with math stem from a lack of basic number sense that comes with knowing how numbers naturally progress.

Traditionally, multiplication tables are taught in school. A better learning method is for students to count by numbers which is a more enjoyable activity then attempting to passively scan a table in a book.

The best and easiest exercise for teaching number sense is simply counting by numbers out loud. Knowing how numbers progress in this manner is essential to understanding the principles of division and multiplication. Counting by numbers can be done anywhere at any time and is actually most fun when done spontaneously.

While counting by the various numbers, you can ask your child questions about the activity. One example could be “Why is the number 5 so easy to count by?” (Hint: what number do you always end in when counting by 5’s?). Another question might be “What is unique about the sequence of numbers when counting by 9’s?” (Hint: look at how the numbers in the one’s and ten’s place are sequencing).

Use the numbers 2-12 for counting purposes. We do not need to go beyond the number 12 since these numbers tend to factor into all other numbers. Explain to your child that when we see that numbers repeat themselves, the numbers we are counting by are factors of those numbers. For example, when I count by 3’s or 5’s, I arrive at the number 15. Therefore, 3 and 5 are both factors of 15.

One variation of teaching number sense by number counting would be to use dice. Let your child roll the dice to see which number between 2 and 12 they are going to count by. Next, you roll to see how many times your child has to count by that number. Use your imagination to come up with your own counting games. As your child (and maybe even you) becomes more and more proficient at counting, raise the stakes by seeing how fast your child can count through all the numbers.

As your child is mastering this skill, they will see the connection between the number sense that is forming from this activity and the math operations it relates to. A multiplication problem is simply a fast way to add and the ability to count by numbers allows the child to use this skill to solve these problems quickly. With division problems, the child uses the factoring skills derived from number counting to see “how many of this number fits into that number”.

For children to attain proficiency at grade-level math, they must be able to perform basic math functions. Guiding your child towards learning basic number sense by number counting is the best place to start. For help in teaching number sense to your child please request a free, downloadable copy of my counting chart!

By: Joseph Pinador – For a free consultation regarding tutoring or home schooling for your child and a demonstration of my e-tutoring classroom, visit: www.tutorfi.com/joseph.

So now you know it’s as easy as learning number sense … makes sense right? (Sorry for the pun!)

Have a great day!

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Problem Solving Can Help You Learn Math

Quite often when people hear “problem solving” and math, their eyes glass over and they almost lose consciousness!

Yet even though it has a reputation for being extremely difficult, problem solving can truly help a student learn math skills as well as become more proficient at learning life reasoning skills!

I found this article at Article Alley by Dennis McLynn that I’d like to share with you.


Learning Math Through Problem Solving

Problem solving is an important component of mathematics education. It is a method that enables students to achieve a functional and logical understanding of math. Mathematics is an essential subject because of its practical role to the individual and society. Through a problem-solving approach, this practical aspect of mathematics can be developed. Problem solving is a method for students to construct, evaluate, and refine theories about mathematics.
Presenting a math problem to students and developing the skills needed to solve that problem is more motivational than teaching the skills without context. Such motivation gives problem solving special value as a method for learning new concepts and skills or reinforcing skills already acquired. Learning mathematics through problem solving can create a context which mimics real life and justifies the mathematics rather than treating it as an end in itself.

Problem solving is more than a process for teaching and reinforcing mathematical knowledge and helping to meet everyday challenges. It is also a skill which can enhance logical reasoning. Individuals cannot function optimally in society by simply knowing the rules to follow to obtain a correct answer. They also need to be able to determine which process a situation requires. Problem solving can be developed as a valuable skill in itself, as a way of thinking, rather than just the means to an end of finding the correct answer.

One of the goals of teaching math through problem solving is to encourage students to refine and build their own processes over time, as their experiences allow them to discard some ideas and become aware of additional possibilities. In addition to developing knowledge, students can also develop an understanding of when it is appropriate to use specific strategies. In this approach, the emphasis is on making students more responsible for their own learning. There is considerable importance placed on exploratory activities, observation and discovery, and trial and error.

Problem solving should be the focus of teaching and learning math because it encompasses skills and functions which are an important part of everyday life. It can also help people adapt to changes and unforeseen problems in their careers and other parts of their lives. Problem solving should underlie each aspect of mathematics teaching in order for students to experience of the power of math in the world around them.

By: Dennis McLynn

Dennis McLynn is the Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Business Development for High Points Learning. HighPoints Learning (HPL) is a leader in Web-based math education and instruction. HPL offers an online math tutoring program that helps raise participants’ math scores an average of 15 points in pre and post testing. HighPoints Learning services the 3-12 grade market. For more information visit: ehighpoints.com

So Mr. McLynn makes some good points, right? Did he succeed in making you less fearful of word problems?

Let me know!

Have a great day!

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Math Puzzles and Anxiety

Puzzles can be a great way to overcome your anxiety about math … or not!  Check out this article I read about sudoku and overcoming math anxieties.  What do you think? No more fears of learning math?  🙂

 

Math Puzzles And Conquering Anxiety
 
Ever tried the addictive number puzzle game that is a certified craze worldwide? Sudoku, or Su Doku, is a deceptively game of logic. The rules seem easy. There is a nine-by-nine grid composed of nine three-by-three boxes. Some numbers are already filled in to a few of the 81 squares. The goal is to fill in all the squares so that each row, column and box contains the numbers 1 through 9 only once.
Sudoku has a fascinating history. “Su” means number in Japanese, and “Doku” refers to the single place on the puzzle board that each number can fit into. It also connotes someone who is single. Hence, one way to describe the game is “solitaire with numbers.”

Sometimes Sudoku is misspelled as “soduko” or “sudoko.” Although its name is Japanese, its origins are actually European and American. Unlike many games which spring from one culture and are then absorbed by others, Sudoku’s development represents the best in cross-cultural propagation.

Though this puzzle seems to be very enjoyable for the math savvy, there are still others who seem not to enjoy numbers that much. Generally, when we see numbers, we instantly think of math. Math and numbers which are difficult to avoid as they are everywhere. In fact, many people get nervous at the thought of studying or using math.

Mathematics as a subject is perceived to be difficult, obscure and are only meant for the supremely intelligent. It is almost as though it is normal that one is afraid of math or is no good at the subject. Often, this perception causes people to suffer from math anxiety. Anxiety is stress, tension, and strain on one’s body and mind. Anxiety can be broken down into two types: Somatic or the loss control of body. Some symptoms are sweaty palms, pain in neck or sick to the stomach. The other is Cognitive or loss of concentration. Its symptoms include negative self-talk, feelings of doubt, or mind wanders from test or tasks.

Many students might say that anxiety in class inhibits them or reduces their ability to perform well. In the case of mathematics, they would be correct. Psychological researches have somehow ascertained that math anxiety causes students of all levels to perform poorly in math.

For some students, trouble in math is driven by problems with language. These children may also experience difficulty with reading, writing, and speaking. In math, however, their language problem is confounded by the naturally difficult terminology, some of which, they only hear in math class. These students have an uncomfortable time understanding written or verbal directions or explanations, and find word problems especially hard to translate. A common difficulty also experienced by people with math problems is the inability to easily connect the abstract aspects of math with reality. Understanding what symbols represent in the physical world is important to how well and how easily a child will remember a concept.

Some key methods to conquering math anxiety center on not avoiding the problem. Just because they believe it’s tough, one will presume that it can not overcome the anxiety. Whereas in most cases, it is seen that this is a mind block and one could be really good at math if he put his or her mind into it. Thinking things like “I don’t have a Math mind” can lead nowhere. They are self-defeating games — games you play on oneself. If a student knows what these games are, the student might be able to see oneself playing and actually enjoying them like the Sudoku. The exact cause of math anxiety are not known, but those who overcome it will perform normally and eventually be puzzled no more.

By: Alberto D Martinez

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

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Nonsensical Math!

Sometimes math just cannot be learned!

Though we try our hardest, videos like this will just confuse and confound the most brilliant of mathematicians!

Hope you enjoy this! 😉

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