Some teachers use teaching math equipment that allows students to learn while having fun, this is not the case for the entire math program, however. Often even young math learner get bored and lose interest in the subject before they have even begun. The can have disastrous effects down the line. As mathematics, like Multiplying, adding, subtracting and dividing all lay the building blocks for the maths of the future. Fractions, calculus, arithmetic, Algebraic and Geometric equations all have no chance if the foundational comprehension is lacking.
Young math pupils must be engaged with classroom activities like interactive games, and also math resources like arts crafts, role play and active play. The learning environment for children is key as to whether they want to learn something. Here are some tools that will allow you to awaken your child's interest in a more progressive mathematics education.
Implement Fun Learning
For young children who are still learning to focus their attention, the serious study can be challenging and boring. Successful learning requires motivation, focus and repetition. So to learn things well, we just want to engage with those subjects and the learning experience.
At school, kids can be taught to sit still with backs straight and eyes to the front of the classroom. But for young children, this can lead to stress and frustration, as our natural nature prefers to find enjoyable things to do.
In the book, ‘Research-Based Strategies to Ignite Student Learning’, Judy Willis MD, highlights that fun learning can improve and support the brains retention of information. This is because when we are happy and relaxed chemicals are released into our bodies, these chemicals also support better learning. Emotions of Confusion or boredom create different chemicals which tell our brains to shut down.
For children to have fun learning maths, they should have as many of their senses engaged as possible. Our main senses are sight, sound and touch.
- A child that has a preference to sight may find playing a colourful math games fun, flash cards or colouring in math worksheets with Crayola crayons may also be exciting.
- A child that has a preference for hearing may find that they enjoy a singing game, reciting numbers out loud with chanting or fun math stories.
- A child that has a preference for touch may find that they enjoy using an abacus, building blocks or putty to make geometric shapes.
Math Tools: Learning To Enjoy Mathematics
Teaching maths to the little ones is not always easy, and some children may have difficulty figuring out the numbers. Just like learning to read, some tools can help teachers or parents to support children's with their math.
An abacus is certainly a well-known maths resource used by school teachers, parents and educators alike. It is simply a set of small balls of different colours fixed on several bars within a frame. Each bar groups ten small balls in a line. This structure allows children to see concretely the addition and subtraction system in action, to learn how to count and how to approach numeration in a general way.
To use the abacus, several exercises are possible. The math teacher can work for example:
- Teach students how to build a number. The child must, therefore, put on one side the number of small balls he considers necessary to reach the requested figure.
- The child can also try to count the number of small balls set aside by the teacher.
Through these different manipulations, children discover how to build numbers beyond ten and up to one hundred in an engaging way.
Multicubes to build math structures
Multicubes work like legos, coloured Cubes of the same size fit together to build towers. This is ideal for children in kindergarten or primary school, the math game with the multicubes is part of a very effective group of educational games to help children understand mathematics.
It is also possible to play numbers games with the cubes like
- Using card games, using the cubes to represent the different numbers.
- In a battle game, for example, this is an opportunity for players to realize which figure is the largest.
Using construction games with these blocks is a way to interest each child in different styles of mathematics (geometry, algebra, etc.)
Tangram Puzzles To Understand Geometry
Tangram puzzles are used both in the classroom and at home. They are simply small (often wooden) pieces of several geometric shapes in several colours. You will find Hexagons, squares, triangles, diamonds etc. when they are put together they form colourful mosaics.
The tangram puzzles introduce children to geometric shapes.
- The smaller ones explore the geometric shapes
- The larger ones form constructions by placing the small pieces of mosaics with each other.
- Playing with these shapes help children work on their fine motor skills since they must be precise so that the shapes do not come off the board and disturb the other pieces.
- The older ones can also learn to reproduce more or less complex shapes according to a model. There is the opportunity to change the difficulty according to the age of the child.
- Building from geometric shapes is also an opportunity to introduce the notion of symmetry.
- Children can also have fun sorting pieces by colour or simply by shape.
Each student can find their own level with these useful puzzles.
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The Wooden Strips Of Colour For Times Tables
The Multiplication tables are a real pain for most students. Learning these off by heart often makes no sense, and is stressful and difficult for children. Using these wooden objects allows them to see what the results of the different times tables are.
The wooden strips of colour are convenient for multiplying numbers. The set of strips has several lines, and each has a different colour. Each piece corresponds to a specific number, sometimes noted above.
The most common game is to ask students to watch how the number work together with each other. Thanks to the size of the pieces, they have a visual cue to see that to obtain 5, it is necessary to put the 3 and 2 end to end.
- The child can search all combinations of a single digit. The can note the size, shape and colour of the strips too.
- Encouraging the child to speak during multiplicating helps students' memory work better. It also helps them feel more at ease about the calculation process.
- You can create a story around the blocks and what they do in their daily lives to create a vivid idea of how numbers work together.
- It is possible to slowly replace the strips with coins and play shop keeper. Children can draw things that they want to buy in the shop and give them a price. Then they have to buy the items with the right amount of coins. Or giving the number of accurate strips to the value requested for their product. Things like ice creams that motivation children can be great to make the numbers click.
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Learning maths while having fun is the best way to remember it. These tools promote progression in mental arithmetic and help to develop the sensory aspect of maths in students new to mathematical calculations.
The calculation chain
A little like the abacus, the calculation chain makes it possible to give shape to additions and subtractions. The string of calculation is a lace on which one can put small beads according to the number or figure which one wants to reach.
The calculation chain allows you to calculate and learn to count up to 100. The beads are coloured in groups so that students can find their way more
The games are pretty much the same as on the abacus.
- We can ask the child to add the number of beads needed to reach a number
- or to remove some to make him understand the principle of subtraction.
Don’t Forget The Rewards
Reward the children when they do well, this will also motivate them to focus on the hope of earning a treat. It's nice if you can tie the reward into the math game somehow so children understand immediately why they have been given the reward.
- You can use smarties, Maltesers or skittles as counting rewards
- You can use a glass of a drink to show simple fractions
- You can use toys and other beloved items within the games to communicate a math concept.
The fun learning method makes it a point to stimulate the children so that they can be central to their own learning. This is why the best games are often interactive. Puzzles, interactive tables of additions, these methods allow you to catch the attention of the smallest mathematician.
Using games to educate students helps them in their learning and retention. The children also make mathematical discoveries by themselves. This method breeds self-confidence and a more powerful learning experience.
Being inventive, making items, using card games, cutting, glueing, clouring, whether in school or at home, all of these activities help children prepare more important future chapters like the Pythagorean theorem and prime numbers.
You will be surprised just how effective these games are when your child actually requests to play them independently. Children are naturally curious, all they need is to have the method presented in colourful, fun and bited-sized chunks. These games awaken the interest of children who are so keen to learn. Have fun!