Effective Methods For Teaching Math to Young Learners

Published: 10th August 2010
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For a great number of students, mathematics creates an overload of anxiety. And many children dismiss math as a subject that they will have no use for in the "real world". As an educator, you know that it is important for your students to develop strong math skills, but you likely find it difficult to motivate your students to learn math. The tips that follow will lighten the load for teachers as they help their students tackle the math monster and overcome their apprehension of math in general.

Stay Positive

Are you anxious about your own math skills? Are you worried that you cannot present math lessons properly? Many people are, and a lot of professionals were poor students in math themselves. Now that you are teaching math, you must keep a positive outlook on the subject as children can pick up on your emotions and learn your secret. Remember that is your students give up on their ability to do math now, they may miss some of the rudimentary basic skills that they need to do more advanced math later on in life.

Ensure Understanding

Understanding math is challenging, and this is especially true for young children. If a student is struggling with a homework assignment or worksheet, ask the student to explain the assignment to you, or to explain how to complete a particular problem; this helps you to gauge their understanding on particular concepts so that you will know how to better help them.

Exploring Math in Daily Life

It is easy for you to incorporate math into your daily life, and helping children understand how math affects their daily routines also helps to make them understand why math is necessary. For instance, create a math problem for subtraction by having the students to count the minutes left on your classroom clock before lunch, or ask them to multiply the number of boys in the class by the number of girls. This can help to reinforce the necessity of math and how it can apply to the real life.

Make Math Fun

Kids learn more effectively when they are enjoying themselves, so making math fun is important. Create worksheets and games that will add a fun element to each math unit. Games can be played with flash cards that allow kids to use math skills they are currently learning, or you can create a "Jeopardy" type game where students compete against one another to solve problems. Computer games also provide effective means for teaching math skills.

Get Parents Involved

You will find that involving parents in the learning process and maintaining communication with parents about each student's progress in math will help motivate the student to achieve. Identifying any math problems and working with them to make sure homework is completed will go a long way towards helping the student meet the goals that are set for their grade level. Don't be surprised to find out that many parents are insecure in their own abilities to do math as well. These students may need extra classroom help to make up for the help they cannot receive at home.

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