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					know in many ways. They may be asked
to keep a math journal and write about        What resources are available
the math they are learning. For example,      to help me support my child’s
after learning a new skill your child may     interest in math?
be asked to write and describe how they
would teach what they learned to a            National Education Association
younger child. Teachers want to use as        www.nea.org
many ways as possible to help them decide     The National Council of Teachers of
what students know and understand.            Mathematics www.nctm.org
                                              A Maths Dictionary for Kids
Math is everywhere! Look for it               http://mathsdictionaryforkids.com
with your kids.
                                              The Math Forum-Ask Dr. Math
Football—is it possible for a team to score   http://mathforum.org/dr.math
22 points? How many ways can they do          Cyberchase http://pbskids.org/cyber
it?                                           chase/parentsteachers/index.html
Is there an impossible score?                 PBS Parents-Early Math
                                              www.pbs.org/parents/earlymath/about.html
Driving to School—what does “miles per
                                              Education World
hour” mean? How does it help us know
how long it will take us to get to school?
What else may influence how long it takes
                                              www.education-world.com/
                                              a_admin/admin/admin339.shtml                       to Helping Your
us to get somewhere in the car?               Figure This! Math Challenges for Families
                                              www.figurethis.org
                                                                                                      Child with
Consumers—is it more cost effective to
lease or buy a car?                           Math Power: How to Help Your Child                   Today’s Math
                                              Love Math, Even if You Don’t
How much paint do I need to buy to paint      Patricia Clark Kenschaft
the front hall? Can you guess the amount      50 Simple Things You Can Do to Raise a
needed or do you need measurements to         Child Who Loves Math
figure out how much paint to buy?                                                                  This guide was developed to
                                              Kathy A. Zahler
                                                                                                 provide parents with information
                                                                                                       they can use to help
                                                                                                    their children with today’s
                                                                                                           mathematics.


                                                           1201 16th St., NW
                                                      Washington, D.C. 20036-3290
                                                            (800) 717-9790
                                                          www.nea.org/parents       74556 3/07                   www.pta.org
Math looks different these days.                Children think about mathematics in dif-
                                                ferent ways depending on their prior expe-      How do I help my child when the
                                                                                                homework is so different from
W      hen you visit your child’s math class,
       it may look different from what you
remember. For example, 2 apples + 2
                                                riences at home and school. Teachers want
                                                your children to understand how important
                                                math is and how it helps them solve every-
                                                                                                what I did in school?
apples still equals 4 apples, and learning      day problems. By allowing students to think
your multiplication tables is still impor-
tant. But, now you are likely to see your
                                                flexibly about numbers teachers encourage
                                                them to “own” the mathematics forever,
                                                                                                H     omework may look different from
                                                                                                      when you were in school and the
                                                                                                amount of it may be different also.
child solving real problems. Second             instead of “borrowing” until class is over.     Practice is still important and students
graders might:                                                                                  continue to do that. Students will still be
    • Figure out how many apples they           Parents can help out by showing their chil-     expected to memorize basic facts, and
      need for a classroom party.               dren when they use math. That may be as         you’ll still see homework that asks you to
    • Determine the cost to buy those           simple as:                                      help them do that. But, we know from
      apples.                                      • Helping your child estimate in the         research that students need activities and
    • Compare how much money they                    grocery store;                             tasks that allow for a deeper understand-
      need to have in the class kitty.             • Deciding together how many plants          ing of the math. These tasks may take
                                                     can fit into a garden and drawing a        longer to solve and so fewer problems are
Fourth-graders are learning not only that            scale plan of your garden; or              assigned. But these problems will help stu-
7 x 8 = 56, but, are deciding when they            • Discussing how the interest works          dents understand how integral math is in
should use multiplication to solve a prob-           on the mortgage.                           their lives and will continue to be in the
lem. Educators want children to under-                                                          workplace.
stand that math is not only useful out of
the classroom, but in their daily lives too.
                                                My child talks about working in
We know that every child is capable of          pairs and groups. Is this helpful?              I see fewer graded papers coming
achieving in math topics such as geometry,                                                      home than I remember bringing
data and statistics, and algebra—topics
we’ve traditionally thought of as only          R    esearch shows that students’ working
                                                     together helps with understanding. It
                                                allows more time for all young people to
                                                                                                home to my parents. How are my
                                                                                                children evaluated?
accessible to some.
                                                talk about what they know and don’t

My child’s teacher says that the
                                                know. During group problem-solving,
                                                teachers are actively listening to the stu-
                                                                                                T    eachers still use traditional paper and
                                                                                                     pencil tests to help them assess your
                                                                                                child’s progress. They also use district and
mathematics is problem-based.                   dents’ reasoning which, in turn, helps them
                                                                                                statewide tests results to help them make
What does that mean?                            better understand the students’ thinking.
                                                                                                decisions about instruction and assess-
                                                There is still time in the classroom for stu-
                                                                                                ment. However, teachers are also using
                                                dents to work independently, and teachers
T   eachers are now using activities that are
    connected to students’ real lives. Like
mathematicians, students are now solving
                                                know how important that is. Business and
                                                industry leaders say that the three “R’s”
                                                                                                tried and true methods of “kid-watching.”
                                                                                                Watching and listening to students while
                                                                                                they work in pairs, groups, or alone pro-
problems that may take them an hour, or         are still important but that new employees
                                                                                                vides teachers with valuable information
perhaps, several hours to solve. There may      also need good communication skills and
                                                                                                about your child’s progress. Students are
be many ways to solve the problem.              the ability to work in a team.
                                                                                                asked to tell their teachers what they