Three out of ten students find mathematics to be a tough subject. It’s a nightmare for large percentage of kids. Maths exams are seen as a dreadful event by both kids and parents. Many children who happily show off their counting skills in early school years later consider math class the most despicable hour of the school day.
Is Maths that dreadful?
“math is no harder than other subjects, but it is different. You will succeed by taking those differences into account.” – Stan Brown
Maths is like making a big house with building blocks. Only if the base is strong building will be able stand towering above others. If the concept about numbers and the value it carries is not understood, then addition and subtraction will become difficult. Multiplication and Division will make it more harder and by the time they approach Trigonometry and Geometry the only thing they have in mind will be hatred and fear towards the subject. This is not because some kids are good with math’s and some are not, but some kids have the ability to grasp it faster than others and the class proceeds at the pace of fastest ones.
Understand how Math’s is different from rest of the subjects and give it a special treatment, it no longer will be dreadful
Look at some comparisons Stan Brown uses to highlight ‘How Maths is different from Other subjects’
Math is like sports
Have you learned a sport by just reading books and understanding it’s facts…NO….To learn a sport one need to do it and practice it umpteen times. It’s the same with math’s. One can’t just read the book, but have to practice problems.
Math is like foreign languages
The first step towards learning a new language is to learn all its alphabets and grammar. Same is true with math’s.
Understand the meaning of each and every math’s term like set, prove, hypothesis, term, solution. It would be a good idea to build up own math’s vocabulary list.
Math is like building construction
Nobody builds the second floor of the house before the first and the same is true with math’s. To understand how division is performed, first one need to learn multiplication and before that addition.
“When educators and parents create opportunities for mathematical engagement in day-to-day activities, then children will experience mathematics not just as a skill or a tool, but a way of thinking and being in the world.”
Fun Ways to Learn Math Facts
1. Start with Dice:
They are one of the oldest form of game. They help in developing counting skills in little children and help to develop quick mental addition/subtraction in older children. One would be familiar with regular ones like ludo and snake & ladder, but many interesting and complex games are possible if we bring in 2-3 dice.
This game is for kids above 5 years. As the age increases one can use 5-6 dice at a time. This game teaches all about place value and strategic thinking.
Roll the dice and put them in order to make the highest number possible.
If you roll a 5 and an 6, for example, your best answer would be 65.
Using 3 dice, a roll of 3, 5 and 6 should give you 653, and so on. Write down your answer, pass the dice, and challenge the next player to Beat That!
2.Move on to Good old Cards
Card games might remind of scenes from movie or good old solitaire. Cards can do much more than that.
Shuffle the deck of cards and deal them face down, giving each player an equal number of cards
Each player keeps his cards in a stack. Assign picture cards, such as jacks, queens, and kings, a value of 10. Give aces a value of 1.
Each player turns two cards face up, reads the number and gives the answer. For example, if child draws a 5 and a 4, he says 5 – 4 = 1. If it’s 7 and an 2, then number sentence is 7-2 = 5. Because 5 is larger than 1 the one who got 5 win all the four cards
Put them at the bottom of your pile
If each player gets the same answer, then it’s war! At this point, perform reverse math “operation” and do an addition problem. Each player puts four cards face down and turns up two of them. The player with larger sum wins all eight cards.
Set up the timer and play the game for 10 to 15 minutes. When the bell goes off, each player counts his cards. The player with the most cards wins. If one player runs out of cards before time is up, then the other player wins.
3.Get on with Cooking
The first thing to understand is that numbers are a part of our everyday life and it’s not something to be learned for exam. The moment math’s is explained with real life problems children will find it interesting. The best place to learn measurement is at the kitchen. Get weighing scales and measuring jars and get started with your kids. Also parents can introduce kids to different shapes, patterns and sizes. Kitchen exercise will help them to understand concepts like greater than, more than, less than, fractions etc. Ask them to make recipe for 100 people and then ask them to readjust it to 5 people….lot of math’s
4.Lets kids plan Shopping
Many dread to take kids to shopping. But shopping mall is the best place wherein they could learn about cost price, selling price, profit, loss and Percentages. Let them help you in buying groceries and veggies. Let them weigh it out for you. Ask them to compare prizes of similar products and determine the least expensive or most expensive one. Ask them to pick up stuff to create a fixed budget meal. Engage them with math’s and numbers during shopping.
5.Let’s Get Online
Online need not be always bad. Lots of free math games can be found online, and students will love this break in the day! Some widely used ones include Sushi Monster, Aplus Math, Prodigy, Mathville and Math Cats.