Tag: Teaching 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.

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!

Can Learning Math Be Fun?

If you like something, you’ll usually be good at it, right?

So if you want to learn math, you’ll probably want to get a math teacher or tutor that likes math!

Check out this professor’s perspective on learning math and teaching math with fun. I think you’ll like it.

Making Math Fun
Math teachers need ”to know more than the text book,”says Alfred Posamentier, Professor Emeritus of City College. There are mathematical wonders beyond the curriculum that can make the subject come alive.

So what is your opinion? I think he’s right on!

Have a great day!

The Best Math Apps

In keeping with the technology theme from our last post, I was wondering what apps might be available for smart phones.

If your child is like mine, then I’m sure they ask you to play on your cell phone when driving somewhere, eating at a restaraunt or maybe just sitting at home. In order that they might not just play a game, I like to have apps that will help them learn while they play.

So I did a little research and found this article that I’d like to share with you. It’s titled “Best Math Apps” and was posted on the commonsensemedia.org website. The quick blurb from the posting is this:

“Learning and practicing math is always more fun when it’s part of a game. We like these apps for how they use creative methods for teaching math concepts to elementary-age kids.”

Here’s the link to the article: Best Math Apps

Have you found any apps for your smart phone that you have downloaded and let your child play in order to help them learn math?

Take a minute please and share with us.

Thanks and have a great day!

.

.

Here’s a very interesting article I found on teaching your child mental math via the Vedic Math system. Makes for a very good read.

Homeschool Your Child To Vedic Math – The Worlds Fastest Mental Math System

Some questions to ponder:

– How could the Aryan civilization, near the Hunza Valley, 5,000 years ago, mentally compute mathematical operations that today only a calculator could achieve?

– And if the Math could not be done mentally, how could they do everything we know today, IN ONE-LINE? eg: converting the fraction 1/19 into a decimal is an 18 digit answer that requires 35 lines of exhausting long division, how could they do it in a one simple line solution?

– Why is NASA using this MENTAL ONE-LINE SYSTEM OF ARITHMETIC in the field of Advanced Artificial Intelligence? Why is INTEL using it in chip designing?

– How can your child become a Human Bio-Calculator?

– Is the current Western Math Curriculum keeping our Children in a state of limited intelligence?

You are home schooling your 14 year old teen in Math. You feel you can instill better values, character and education to your children. You want to give the Best to your child. You want to provide quality which is unattainable in schools. Imagine how your child would feel when he immediately realizes that you are teaching him powerful ways to do Math Calculations without any extra burden on the both of you. Infact he would now want you to take the Math Classes more often so that he gets a hang on to these new systems.

This system of teaching Math can complement your family’s strong learning system and can instill the values you want to develop in your child. It requires just knowledge of multiplication tables up to 9 to start learning it and it is easy to learn, Master and teach your child without being overwhelmed. Infact once you spend 2 minutes with your child on teaching him how to do this sum (shown here) he can at once teach 5 more of his friends to do it. It’s that simple!
Here’s a quick example of one of the Technique:

65 x 65 = ?

It is quite simple since both digits start from 6, so you take 6 and multiply with the next number 7 which gives you= 42 , the first part of the answer and take 5 and multiply by the next units 5 which gives you 25,so the final answer is 4225. Try 85 x 85 now. Answer 7225. Try 95 x 95 – Answer 9025 in the similar way.

Now how long did that take? This method can also be said to be the fastest in the world in mental math.

This system has the prowess to speed up Math Calculations by up to 1500% and supposedly seemingly difficult calculations like 998 x 997 can be solved in less than five seconds flat. With this system you can home school your child into becoming a Human Bio Calculator in a matter of a week’s time.

The answers to the question posed by this article in the beginning are found by understanding the ancient Indian system of High Speed Vedic (Sanskrit for Knowledge) Mathematics. It was rediscovered by Tirthaji (1884-1960) who was dux of India in Math and Sanskrit Philosopher who wrote and spoke perfect English. He reached the position of a Respected Pope in India, toured the United States in 1958 giving math lectures in Stanford, Caltech and even MIT and discovered the math knowledge which can solve every known math problem mentally and faster. He called his book and the subject ‘Vedic Mathematics’ after the Indian Scriptures called Vedas which mean knowledge. It is absolutely mathematical, scientific and global in nature and has nothing to do with any religion. Which means any person of any religion, country, ethnicity, color or race can use it and apply it and enjoy its tremendous benefits all across the world. No wonder it is being used by students from around the Globe of every race and origin to making their math calculations easier and is increasingly getting popular. Even NASA, INTEL and Microsoft are using it for the high end applications of Vedic Math.

A Look at this High Speed Vedic Mental Math tutorials and slide shows confirms the fact that it is indeed a miracle waiting to happen to your child.

Any teenager can learn Vedic Mathematics and enhance his numerical abilities. It helps the students not only in traditional academics, but it also enhances the IQ by enhancing the analytical skills and thought processes. This happens because the system is very coherent and intuitive and uses both sides of the brain thereby giving the student the winning edge. It is very satisfying to see young children’s eyes brighten when they see and learn the High Speed Vedic system and techniques.

Thomas, a 16 year old was able to apply these techniques with ease and without confusion when he learnt the Vertically and Crosswise Formula of multiplying two and three digit numbers Mentally and in One Line. He was able to solve correctly over 75 problems in less than 10 minutes which normally takes from 45-90 minutes to solve. This is simply incredible.

So how do you get started and homeschool your child into this system in a week’s time?

First your child should be over 14 years of age and should know multiplication tables upto 9. That is the only criteria to learn this system.

Try going through the High Speed Vedic Mental Math tutorials and see if your child enjoys the new methods. Show them the slide shows. You would have live results for your self whether or not to choose this as an alternative means to learn Math.

Squares of Numbers ending in 5

Multiplying numbers by 11-19 in less than five seconds

Instant Subtractions

Speed Division by 9.

See if he shows an interest. It shouldn’t overwhelm or burden him in any way. It should be as natural as possible.

Ask Questions to us. Go through the FAQ on our website below. Clarify your doubts you would have before deciding to introduce your child to it.

If you feel satisfied and your child is showing interest order a book or a DVD Set of over 10 hours on this phenomenal system which would suit your child best. I am sure if you could do these methods and are wondering why you didn’t learn them as a child-remember you could relive your childhood by introducing them to your child now. You could be igniting such a spark in your child now that he could be using this system for all his life and even introducing them to the next generation.

Give your child the best of education unattainable in schools.

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

This Article is by Gaurav Tekriwal, who has been conducting High Speed Vedic Maths Workshops and has trained over ten thousand students across the world in the field. He is an expert in the field and revolutionizes the way children learn math.

.

So after reading this, are you ready to help your 14+ year old learn math via the Vedic Math system? Or maybe YOU just want to learn this?  😉

Have a great New Year!

.

.

Physical Activity And Math Games

Physical Math Games for Children.

More and more educators are taking a new approach to teaching math, promoting not only computing skills but physical fitness as well!

Introducing physical activity into math games adds fun for the students. They not only reinforce the math they are learning but also get playtime and improve physical well being.

To introduce a game to your math students, write rules for the game using clear language that your students will understand. Written rules can help you remember the game from year to year and also help students remember how to play it. Make sure that your rules tell the students what to do in each step of the game and that they also state the objective of the game. By providing rules you are able to circumvent arguments between students about how the game is played. In addition, students are able to practice reading for information while they read the game’s rules.

If you’re using children’s literature as an inspiration for your game, read the book to the class before introducing the game. This hooks students, introduces them to the concept and generates excitement.

Here’s an idea: Explain the ancient race of horse-drawn chariots. Replicate the Olympic games by giving each student a straw and a cotton ball. Each team member competes by blowing the cotton ball from a starting point to a finish line. Have the students time each other using a stopwatch. Allow individual team winners to compete for the gold. Challenge the students to convert the race times from minutes to seconds or to total each team’s race times for a team prize.

Math is a subject that often requires repeated practice. Because motivating students to practice math problems can be a challenge, using math games in the classroom will help to keep them interested.

Math can get repetitive and monotonous for a typical elementary school student. Keeping your students engaged is critical to their learning.

Change it up. Play some online math games too.

Did you know that Monster Online provides opportunities for students to play free interactive math games through a knowledgebox link. Players can enjoy games such as, “Baseball Geometry,” to freshen up identifying and selecting skills concerning angles. Students can practice addition, multiplication and finding coordinates on a grid, with “Cowboy Math.” Simple addition and subtraction games can be found in “Big Count Bayou” while animal counting games or fraction conversions are found in the “Fraction Cafe.” Other online sources that provide free interactive math games are Sheppard Software, Fun Brain and CoolMath4Kids.

Hope this helps you.

Computers Make Math Fun

We all know that children like playing on computers. Try combining their love of computers with some good math software to make their learning more fun for them.

Math Education Made Easy With Fun Math Software

Fun math software is a kind of software that is meant for imparting math education to children through fun ways that include interesting games and other engaging activities. The basic idea behind developing and using such helpful tools is that children find it easy to learn a subject as mathematics in an interactive manner as they respond well to such environments. Moreover, math software lets kids use the computer which they love to work on and thus they love learning math through math software.

Parents are finding this math software a very effective tool for their children as fun games help their children in learning math and also carrying out math research to learn more through interactive games. You can easily find different kinds of math software in the market for your kids and provide them with a tool that will provide them with math education without any kind of fear and that too in an enjoyable manner.

A majority of parents believe that fun math software presents some of the best ways of learning mathematics as it works like a personal math tutor. It makes use of various kinds of fun games and interesting activities to make sure that children show a keen interest in math research to learn more. It offers much better results as compared to traditional methods of teaching math in schools. In such methodologies, children are taught the subject by just providing the conceptual explanations only. There is no fun activity involved and thus such patterns fail to keep children interested in learning math. While on the other hand there are so many benefits of offering math education through a fun and interactive manner. Likewise advanced math software are also used in colleges and universities so that students can better visualize and understand the mathematics concepts. Also for young children, there is fun math software that can reduce the brainwork in solving a wide range of mathematical equations.

Education math software which is vigilantly designed by math teachers are developed with the sole aim of helping kids learn math by cultivating their interest in it. It is ensured that education is provided through fun games and other interesting activities that can hold children’s interest intact and they don’t feel fear from the subject of mathematics. The innovative games also educate children in the multi step problem solving approach, thus building a solid foundation in the subject of mathematics. A solid base in math is prerequisite and serves as a foundation of a bright career. So go ahead and give your child carefully chosen fun math software, teaching math through an interactive mode to get the best results.

Mind Research Institute is one such organization that offers a great deal of help to elementary and secondary students in learn mathematics through a varied range of math instructional software and systems. Their fun math software are highly beneficial in imparting math education to students. For more details you can visit their website at http://mindresearch.net.

Did you like this article? Drop me a note below and let me know?

.

.

Math Tutors – Ideas For You

Sometimes even math tutors need some “math” help!  Check out what Mr Hu has to say about this.

Learn Math the Fun Way  Tips for tutors

Learning mathematics can be boring for children. The reason is not because mathematics is hard to understand. Mathematics can be understood simply. The key is how the teacher teaches the subject. Thus, this is the major concern in a regular classroom setting. Teachers who teaches mathematics in the four corners of the room seldom uses traditional way of teaching the subject. Thus, a lot of students fail the subject and their common resort is for parents to hire a private tutor to assist their child to understand the concept of math effectively.

In this scene, how the child will perform in school, specifically on his math subject lies on the effectiveness of the tutor. Thus, the math tutor must be very resourceful to make every home tuition session as effective as he can. You see, teaching math subjects do not have to be boring at all. As a matter of fact, mathematics is among the subject that can be taught using different materials and teaching styles. It is up for the tutor to be creative and resourceful.

One way to make learning mathematics fun is by using simple things that can be seen around the household as an example for a math equation. For instance, if you are teaching multiplication, you can use the number of people in their household and their pair of shoes. You can ask the child to count how many are they in their house and how many pair of shoes are their. Ask them to multiply the pair of shoes to the total number of person in the household.

You can also use their favorite food. For example, you can use candies to teach them division. Ask them to divide the candies that they have to the total number of people in the house. Dividing a pie or a pizza is another fun way of learning how to divide. Blocks, sticks, board games are just few of the many educational toys that you can use in order to make learning more fun. There are also a lot of educational computer games that you can use as reinforcement in every lesson.

Student finds a hard time learning math not because the subject is hard but because the manner of teaching is not captivating at all. They find math boring. The tendency is they will not listen to their teacher, thus they will not be able to understand what is being taught. Remember that math is a cumulative subject. Meaning, every concept is interrelated with each other. You cannot understand a new concept unless you are able to understand the previous one. Therefore, in order for a student to pass his math subject, he must not miss to understand a single concept. Thus, the teacher must be able to get the attention of the student to get him to listen to every lecture.

This is where the challenge to math tutor lies. As a tutor, you need to make the subject as interesting as possible. All you need to do is to be creative and resourceful in using your learning materials. Of course, textbooks are always a good reference. But, you do not need to limit yourself to textbooks. It must be your own prerogative to explore many resources around you. The internet is another good source of information. So do not just focus on one reference. Explore more. Children are very visual. They learn more through visual and hands on activities.

Zhen Hu own and run a personalized home tuition services for student and parent in Singapore. Home Tuition Singapore aims to provide best services to help students get the tuition service that suit their needs. Feel free to visit http://www.hometuitionsingapore.net/ for more information.

Some excellent suggestions from Mr Hu! And if you’re a parent, then you’re a math tutor! So parents, please take note.  🙂

‘Til next time.

.

.

Mathematics and Games – The Fun Way to Learn Math

Games are usually something that everyone likes. Even more so with children. So if you’re trying to get a child to learn math, doesn’t it just make sense to use some games to help them along in their education?

I think it does. And so does Gregory Tucker who wrote the following article which can be found on EZineArticles.com.

Math Games to Make – Learning Math the Fun Way

Math can be difficult and even frightening at times for many students. If you’re a parent or teacher, phrases like “I hate math” or “I just don’t get these fractions”, are unfortunately, far too common! But then again, this is the real world of math teaching and math learning!

A great way to help your child develop their math skills is by adding a little fun to the equation. Using tangible ways to demonstrate skills such as fractions, as well as providing entertaining opportunities for practice and application, is half the battle!

Making Your Own Math Games is Easy

I’ll share with you several fraction math games to make, that are a lot of fun and cost little or nothing out of your pocket! Keep in mind that you can create similar games for learning all kinds of math skills! All that’s required are some helpful manipulatives to create or buy such as fractional circles, bars, squares or number lines. Also, the Internet has many great sites where you can obtain fractional and other math templates to use for free.

One great thing about these games is that you and your students are probably already familiar with the original versions of the games. This makes your job a lot easier because learning how to play the game is not a big deal, since most players have seen or played the original game. This way, kids can get into the game quicker and start building fraction skills even faster!

Concentration Games

In order to make an easy Concentration type game, you create sets of fraction word cards and their corresponding picture cards. Students lay out the sets of cards face down. Then, they take turns choosing two cards to try to find matches. If a match is found, they keep their matched cards and their turn continues. If not, they turn the cards back over and the next player continues by searching for matches. For instance a player would have a match if they turned over the fractional words two-thirds and a picture that showed two-thirds shaded on a card. The winner is the person who has the greatest number of cards.

Bingo Games

Another really easy fraction math game to make is Fraction Bingo, which is played like the original version but with fraction cards instead of numbers. As the “Caller” calls out fractional words, each player tries to cover that fraction if pictured on their card. Players can use beads, coins, buttons, Unifix cubes, or other small objects to cover the spaces on their cards. The winner is the first person to cover all spaces on a card and s/he becomes the next Caller.

War Games

Lastly, to play Fractions War, you will need a set of flash cards with fractional amounts written on them, such as 1/3, 2/3, 1/8, 5/8, or 7/8. The cards are dealt equally between players who face each other. Students “play” their card by putting down the top card from their hand and their opponent does the same. Then, they compare fractions to see which card is greater in value. The holder of the larger fractional amount collects the cards played. The play continues in this fashion until two equivalent fractions are turned over and they must have “War!” Players each turn over their next four cards as they proclaim “I-DE-CLARE-WAR!” Then, those final cards are compared and the holder of the card showing the larger fraction wins that round. The player to acquire all the cards or the greatest amount by a designated time limit is the winner. A variation of this would be to create fraction cards showing operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication or division and provide individual marker boards for students to complete operations and then determine which fraction is larger.

Great Math Learning Tool for Parents and Teachers

Learning fractions in math doesn’t have to be frightening and complicated for students any longer. Concentration, Bingo, and War are just three of the many fun math games to make that help educators, tutors, and parents teach math in a more creative and engaging way! Consider how much fun they can have while working in small groups to practice their skills. Best of all, using games is not intimidating to students like the prospect of turning in another worksheet to the scrutiny of the marking pencil!

Gregory Tucker is the owner of http://www.learn-with-math-games.com/math-games-to-make.html, a one-stop hub for parents and teachers where you’ll find all kinds of free math games and activities to help kids of all ages become successful math students. You will find a variety of math games to make that students will love!

Mr. Tucker offers some good game ideas, doesn’t he? You can take this a step further and try creating some math games of your own. Just remember to keep it fun and your student will soon find that learning math can indeed be fun!

Until next time! Cheers.

.

.

Math Isn’t All Fun And Games

Or is it?

After reading this article, I’m inclined to think that it should definitely involve fun and games when a child is trying to learn math! That’s one of the reasons that we encourage the children we tutor at Mathnasium of Cherry Hill to play with the games that we keep on hand!

So check out this article from GoArticles.com and see if you agree with Bonnie Adama (the author) and me!

It’s common knowledge that young children whose parents read to them have a tremendous advantage in school. But did you know that you can also help your child learn mathematics by doing and supporting math at home – with games?

As a National Board Certified Master Teacher, I’ve been teaching math with games to children for many years, and I see that children no longer memorize their addition facts or multiplication tables. With the math curriculum as extensive as it is, teachers cannot afford to take the time to ensure that students learn the basic facts. Parents are partners in the process, and you can offer greater opportunities for your child to succeed in math if you support the learning of the basics at home.

Many years ago I discovered that math games fit the bill wonderfully! Math games put children in exactly the right frame of mind for learning. Children are normally very eager to play games. They relax when they play, and they concentrate. They don’t mind repeating certain facts or procedures over and over. In an engaging math game, children will be more focused and retention will be greater.

Dittos or workbook pages are not appropriate if you want your child to be excited about math. Children throw themselves into playing games the way they never throw themselves into filling out workbook pages or dittos.

Games offer a pleasant way for you to get involved in your child’s math education. You may be one of those many parents who don’t feel comfortable with math, or who assume it takes special expertise to teach it. Believe me, as a veteran teacher, when I say that you don’t have to be a math genius to play a game. With a math game, you don’t have to worry about pushing or pressuring your child. All that you have to do is propose a game to your child and start to play.

Games can help your child learn almost everything they need to master in elementary math. Games solidify the achievements of children who are already good at math, and they shore up children who need shoring up.

Children crave time spent with their parents. Because learning is a social process, children learn best through fun games that involve interaction with other people. Seize this opportunity to indulge them with your own undivided attention. Try a math game with your child. A price cannot be put on the quality of the time you will have spent together. They will have fun while learning, and they will remember those times with greater fondness than the times they spent playing the educational computer game or doing a ditto or workbook page.

There are literally hundreds of fun and easy games you can play with your kids to help them learn math and actually enjoy it! Games specific to your child’s grade level are best.

Here’s an example of a great game for Second Graders called “Get Close to 100.”

Get Close to 100 is a great game for second graders. It helps children practice double-digit addition with special emphasis on understanding place value.

Get Close to 100

What you need:
– 2 – 4 players
– deck of cards, 10s removed
– Get “Close to 100? recording sheets (below) for each player

The object of the game is to make a two-digit addition problem that comes as close to 100 as possible.

Shuffle cards and place them face down in a pile.

Player #1 turns over 4 cards and moves the cards around until he/she has created a two-digit addition problem whose sum will be as close to 100 as he/she can make it. You can go over 100. Player #1 records this problem on his/her recording sheet. Player #2 checks for addition accuracy.

Example: Player #1 draws a 4, a 7, a 2, and a 5. He/she moves the cards around until she/he decides that:

47 + 52 = 99 is the closest that he/she can get.

Player # 2 draws four cards and does the same.

The points for each round are the difference between their sum and 100.

Example: A sum of 95 scores 5 points and so does a sum of 105.

Players compare scores at the end of this first round. They put their four cards in a discard pile and player #2 begins first and turns over four more cards for the second round.

After six rounds, players total their points and the player with the lowest score wins.

These games offer you and your child the opportunity to have fun together with math, think hard, and enjoy it. How often do you say that about doing math at home?

Give a math game a try! Find more math games and great tips to help your child at: www.MathGamesAndActivities.com

Bonnie Adama is a National Board Certified master teacher with many years of experience at Kindergarten, First, Second, and Third grades. The last 13 years of teaching, she co-taught a multi-age classroom of first, second, and third graders. She taught all the math and science, and her teaching partner taught all the language arts. For many years, Bonnie worked as a mathematics mentor within her school and district. She retired from the Fontana Unified School District in Fontana, California in 2005.

So are you ready? Ready to try some fun and games?  😉

.

.

The New Way To Learn Math

Don’t you just hate having to memorize things? Especially things like the multiplication tables?  I know I don’t like it much so I was very interested in this article that teaches a new way for people to learn math. Check it out – I’m sure you’ll enjoy it!

A New Way to Learn Math- The Magical Math Story
By Darren Michalczuk

Some students struggle with math. These are the students who are usually out in the hall for misbehaving, quiet and withdrawn because they don’t know the answers or complaining of headaches or stomach problems from the suffering of learning math. The signs of poor math skills come in many forms, but the message is always the same. These students don’t understand numbers.

There is a way to reach these students. To help these students a teacher or parent needs to be patient, energetic and above all willing to think outside of the box. Traditional ways of teaching math simply will not work with these students. Here you will find an example of one the methods you can use to reach a student in elementary school. It is a method that has been refined over many years and has worked with hundreds of students.

There is a story, one of several stories, which actually changes how a child looks at math. Although it is an easy story to learn, it is very specific in design. It reaches auditory, kinesthetic and visual learners and includes mnemonic devices to make numbers easy to remember. It can reach students that have struggled with math for years. It is actually more effective with younger students as it helps create an understanding of math before bad habits like finger counting develop.

The story is simple: Your mother is chasing a spider around the house when she swings and accidentally breaks the window.

For parents, this story is one you can teach to a child anywhere such as in the car on your way to soccer practice, in the living room during a commercial or while taking a walk to the corner store. You can embellish the story and make it more personal, laughing about how much Mom freaks out about the spider. You can even have the child imagine the story in great detail, talking about how big the spider is and how loud it is when the window shatters. Although the core of the story can’t be changed, it is a story that will taught uniquely by each individual teacher or parent who will add their own style and energy.

This story includes several mnemonic devices. Each image represents a specific part of a math fact, for example the number eight is represented by a spider which has a body that looks like an eight and has eight legs. It includes personal connections (Mom), imagery (a black spider), and actions (breaking the window) which will make the story stick in both the short term and long term memory. It also uses tangible images like a golf club and a spider that can be remembered more easily than abstract concepts. In short, it is a story that can be easily remembered.

The usual way for a student to learn eight times nine is to add nine together eight times. Not only is this time consuming, it is also boring. By nature this method creates confusion with other math facts as none are distinct from the others. It is easy to mix up seven times eight with six times nine. The traditional method of drill and practice takes many hours and often only reaches a few of the students in a class.

In contrast, teaching math by using vivid images of a memorable story will produce markedly different results. When asked what eight times nine is a student will recall the image for eight (a spider) and nine (golf) and the story that goes with them. They will easily remember that the house (the bigger image) represents seventy as the roof is shaped like a seven and the window (the smaller image) represents two since it has two curtains. This connects all the numbers, making it easy to remember that eight times nine is seventy two. It will work for the reverse (division) just as easily. With less than twenty unique but specific stories to learn, learning the times tables can be a fun adventure.

With all due respect to the traditions that have been successful for many students, there is a way to reach those it hasn’t worked for.

Darren Michalczuk is the founder of the Brick School. He is an experienced classroom teacher who has developed many programs and resources for math, language and music. The Brick School offers quality educational posters, programs and worksheets online for elementary language arts, math and music. Materials are designed to promote effective learning strategies in an easy to understand, straight-forward format. They offer both practical solutions to learning problems and leading edge technology and techniques. It reaches both struggling students and those who need extra challenges in class.With the latest software and leading edge learning strategies, our materials are paving the way for learning. User-friendly porgrams give students instant feedback while they practice important basic skills. Lessons and study guides also include proven learning strategies and memories techniques. Please visit our website. http://brickschool.ca

So there you have it. I told you it was interesting – right? So do you think it would be easier for you to learn math this new way as opposed to doing the old memorization techniques? Drop me a comment here and let me know what you think?

Thanks and until next time … make every day count!

.

.