What families can do to help students succeed in math (Elementary)
Helping your child learn to solve problems, to communicate mathematically and to demonstrate reasoning abilities is fundamental to learning mathematics. Practicing these skills will improve your child’s understanding of and interest in math concepts and thinking.
A Problem Solver…questions, investigates, and explores solutions to problems; sticks with problem to find a solution; understands there are many ways to arrive at an answer; considers many different answers to a problem; and applies math to everyday situations and uses it successfully.
To Communicate Mathematically…means to use words, numbers, or mathematical symbols to explain situations; to talk about how you arrived at an answer, to listen to others’ ways of thinking and perhaps alter their thinking; to use pictures to explain something, and write about math, not just give an answer. (Vocabulary link)
Reasoning Ability…means thinking logically, being able to see similarities and differences, making choices based on those differences, and thinking about relationships among things.
(Source: Helping Your Child Learn Math by Patsy Kanter. 1999. Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education. Jessup, MD.)
Games to Support Math
| Connect Four
|| Make 7
|Shut the Box
||Dino Math Tracks
| Tick Tac Tock
||Pie in the Sky
||Timing It Right
Look for the most current software in your child’s book-order forms or at your favorite store.
Questions for Working with Your Child at Home
- What are you trying to figure out?
- Have you solved a similar problem before that would help?
- Where could you start?
- I wonder what would happen if you tried…?
- I see you have an answer. Does that make sense?
- Let’s reread the problem. Have you answered the question?
Suggestions for Connecting Math to Everyday Life
- Read schedules.
- Look at data. Newspaper and magazines have tables and graphs daily. Ask your child to explain what the data shows.
- Count objects at home such as silverware, toys, laundry. Classify and sort the objects.
- Identify shapes in the environment.
- When purchasing something, determine how much change you should get back.
- Involve your child in a construction project.
- Involve your child in planning a party.
- Have your child help you when cooking or baking. To increase the difficulty, double or half a recipe.