Select a tip from the box below to help strengthen your child's math abilities.
Tip: Use magnetic letters to work math problems.
Move magnetic numbers around on a white board, refrigerator, or metal cookie sheet. This is fun and frees up the child's working memory to concentrate on computing not writing.
Tip: Word problems.
Students commonly experience difficulty with word problems, especially how to set up the equation using the information given in the question. Try substituting the unknowns or complex variables with actual simple numbers to help set up the equation.
Tip: Addition Squres
Using a 3x3 table put any single digit number in the first two rows of the first two columns. Add down and across. Then add the totals you calculated. The sum across should equal the sum down. Magic!
Tip: Improve order of operations.
Teach your child a memorable word that will help recall the order of operations with no parentheses. The letter of every word stands for a math term. The math mnemonic, MiDAS, gives the order of operations. The letters stand for multiply, divide, add, and subtract. When using parentheses, the mnemonic device to use is "Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally." In this case each letter of every word in the sentence stands for a math operation: Parentheses, exponents, multiply, divide, add, and subtract.
Tip: Improve math facts with flash cards anywhere.
Create flash cards you can carry around in the car. White computer labels over the top of old business cards work great. Review as many math facts that can be completed in two to three minutes, 3-4 times daily. Red Rubber band the slow/error pile and blue rubber band the fast and accurate pile. The object is to move all the cards into the fast and accurate pile. Be patient as this may require several days or even months to master. Add more difficult facts as simpler facts are mastered.
Tip: Mental Math on the go.
Teaching moments outside of the classroom will have multiple positive effects. While sitting at a stop light or walking through the grocery store, ask your child to add strings of numbers. 2 + 3 + 1 = .... To make the xercise more concrete, add objects. For example 2 hobos + 3 hobos + 1 hobo = .... Later, your child may ask you to add their proposed string of three, four, or five numbers. Ask them to catch your errors if they can!