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Bray Elementary Parent Math Night Why is math so important? October 20, 2009 Melony Booher Why math? • Mastering math is essential for future opportunities in school and careers. • Your children will need to reach a certain level of competency in math to take many high-school courses, to be admitted to college and to have a wide variety of career choices. 1. Make sure your children understand math concepts. Otherwise, math becomes a meaningless mental exercise of just memorizing rules and doing drills. Have your children manipulate objects to figure out basic concepts. For addition, they could add one, two or more blocks to a pile of blocks and then tell you how many in all. 2. Help them master the basic facts. Mastery of a basic fact means that children can give an answer in less than three seconds. Considerable drill is required to make this happen. Use flash cards to help your children learn the basic facts. 3. Teach them to write their numbers neatly. 25% of all errors in solving math problems can be traced back to sloppy number writing. If your child is having trouble keeping their numbers in line, try using graph paper. The wrong The right way: way: 4,456 – 342= 4,456 – 342= 4,456 4,456 -342 - 342 1,036 4,114 Draw place value lines 4 4 5 6 - 3 4 2 4 1 1 4 4. Show them how to handle their math homework. Doing math homework reinforces the skills your children are learning in class. Teach them to begin every assignment by studying the textbook or examples provided by their teacher. 5. Explain how to solve word problems. Mathematicians have an expression: to learn to solve problems, you must solve problems. Teach your children to read a word problem several times. Have them draw a picture or diagram to describe it. Some problems you MUST draw a picture to get the correct answer. Briana dug a garden shaped like a rectangle. The garden was 10 feet long and 8 feet wide. Briana put a marker in each corner of the garden and every 2 feet along the edges. How many markers did Briana put in the garden? First – Briana put a marker in each corner of her garden Next – and every two feet along the edges 0 2 4 6 8 10 0 0 2 2 4 4 6 6 8 8 6. Help your children learn the vocabulary of math. They will never get a real feeling for math or learn more advanced topics without an understanding of its vocabulary. Check that your children can define new terms. 7. Teach them to do math in their heads. One of the major ways to solve problems is by using mental math. Kids should use this method frequently instead of using pencil and paper or a calculator for easy problems. 8. Make math part of your child’s daily life. Math will become more meaningful when your kids see how important it is in so many real-life situations. Encourage them to use math in practical ways. 9. Make sure your children understand math concepts. • Otherwise, math becomes a meaningless mental exercise of just memorizing rules and doing drills. Have your children manipulate objects to figure out basic concepts. For addition, they could add one, two or more blocks to a pile of blocks and then tell you how many in all. So…… how do I do all that? • Explore math in everyday life – counting out forks to set the table, pouring from a gallon of milk, telling the time when their favorite show begins are all good examples. • Model analytical & mathematical thinking. Be a problem solver, pose questions and find solutions. Encourage your child to explain his problem-solving process. • When driving to school or the store, talk about how numbers help us determine how fast we drive, the distance we drove and how long it will take to get home. • Have your children collect coins in a piggy bank and count them out regularly. • Have your child use an analog and a digital watch to learn both methods of telling time. • Post a chart of math fact in your child’s room. • Have kids help fold the family laundry. If there are 8 pairs of socks, how many are there? Is that odd or even? • Educational video games and learning software can also reinforce math skills. Activities: Grades K-5 • Let your child think of a number between a stated range of numbers while you try to guess their number. Questions that you can ask to help review math concepts: - Is it between 20-60? - Is it even or odd? - Can you reach it by starting at zero counting by 3’s? Activities: Grades 2-5 • For this activity, you will tell your child how much a certain number of coins are worth and they must guess which coins you have. • I have three coins in my pocket worth 7 cents. What do I have? (1 nickel, 2 pennies) • I have three coins in my pocket worth 16 cents. What do I have? (1 dime, 1 nickel and 1 penny) • I have three coins in my pocket worth 30 cents. What do I have? (3 dimes) Websites: • www.softschools.com -provides free math worksheets & games • www.studyisland.com -great TAKS test prep for 3rd-4th graders • www.brainpopjr.com -username is brayelementary and password is bobcats. Questions, comments, concerns….
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