It's common knowledge that young children whose parents read to them have a tremendous advantage in school. But did you know that you can also help your child learn mathematics by doing and supporting math at home - with games?
As a National Board Certified Master Teacher, I've been teaching math with games to children for many years, and I see that children no longer memorize their addition facts or multiplication tables. With the math curriculum as extensive as it is, teachers cannot afford to take the time to ensure that students learn the basic facts.
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Parents are partners in the process, and you can offer greater opportunities for your child to succeed in math if you support the learning of the basics at home.
Many years ago I discovered that math games fit the bill wonderfully! Math games put children in exactly the right frame of mind for learning. Children are normally very eager to play games. They relax when they play, and they concentrate. They don't mind repeating certain facts or procedures over and over. In an engaging math game, children will be more focused and retention will be greater.
Dittos or workbook pages are not appropriate if you want your child to be excited about math. Children throw themselves into playing games the way they never throw themselves into filling out workbook pages or dittos.
Games offer a pleasant way for you to get involved in your child's math education. Believe me, as a veteran teacher, when I say that you don't have to be a math genius to play a game. With a math game, you don't have to worry about pushing or pressuring your child. All that you have to do is propose a game to your child and start to play.
Games can help your child learn almost everything they need to master in elementary math. Games solidify the achievements of children who are already good at math, and they shore up children who need shoring up.
Children crave time spent with their parents. Because learning is a social process, children learn best through fun games that involve interaction with other people. Seize this opportunity to indulge them with your own undivided attention. Try a math game with your child. A price cannot be put on the quality of the time you will have spent together. They will have fun while learning, and they will remember those times with greater fondness than the times they spent playing the educational computer game or doing a ditto or workbook page.
There are literally hundreds of fun and easy games you can play with your kids to help them learn math and actually enjoy it! Games specific to your child's grade level are best.
Here's an example of a great game for Second Graders called "Get Close to 100."
Get Close to 100 is a great game for second graders. It helps children practice double-digit addition with special emphasis on understanding place value.
What you need:
- 2 - 4 players
- deck of cards, 10s removed
- Get "Close to 100″ recording sheets (below) for each player
Shuffle cards and place them face down in a pile.
Player #1 turns over 4 cards and moves the cards around until he/she has created a two-digit addition problem whose sum will be as close to 100 as he/she can make it. Player #1 records this problem on his/her recording sheet. Player #2 checks for addition accuracy.
Example: Player #1 draws a 4, a 7, a 2, and a 5. Player # 2 draws four cards and does the same.
Example: A sum of 95 scores 5 points and so does a sum of 105.
Players compare scores at the end of this first round. They put their four cards in a discard pile and player #2 begins first and turns over four more cards for the second round.
After six rounds, players total their points and the player with the lowest score wins.
These games offer you and your child the opportunity to have fun together with math, think hard, and enjoy it. Give a math game a try! Find more math games and great tips to help your child at: http://www.MathGamesAndActivities.com