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Saturday, April 25, 2020

Math Tips for Parents at Home

How can parents help their child with math at home?

What can parents do to support their children at home in math class?

Parents are the most important part to their child's education. They are the ones that set the tone for education. How can you help your child with math at home? There are five easy tips you can do with your child at home today.

Math Tips for Parents at Home

Does your child like math? This is one of the first statements from a child at the beginning of a school year. "I like math" or "I don't like math". How can you help your child build a positive mindset about math?

Tip #1: Be positive about math. 

Talk about math in a positive way at home. Have a supportive attitude for your child. Celebrate your child's achievements in math no matter how small. Showing them that you care that they are successful in math is important. Create these moments with your child to celebrate and motivate them to do their best in math.

Ask questions like, "How can I help you?"

Tip #2: Ask questions about topics

Show your child that you care by asking thoughtful questions. How is your homework going? What can I do to help you? Reading the homework problems with you child is helpful. Pose your questions as actionable. What can I do for you? Make sure you're not doing the work, but rather aiding with the process. If you and your child are unable to solve the problem reach out to the teacher. If your child is struggling on an assignment ask for help. Teachers want to help your child and not see them struggle for hours.

Tip #3: Watch videos for support

Sometimes a simple video can help. Have you searched on YouTube or TeacherTube before? Looking for math content and similar examples can help. Learning from videos can be insightful to figuring out your homework problems.

Play card games to develop problem solving skills.

Tip #4: Play games

Do you have a family game night? Playing games with your child doesn't have to be boring. Play Battleship, Dominoes, Monopoly, Sequence, SKIPBO, or UNO are great choices. Make it competitive and have your child keep score with a tally chart. Playing card games helps your child develop problem solving skills, which helps them become better mathematicians.

Tip #5: Practice math skills

What does a player do to become better at football? Practice. What does a ballerina do to become better at dancing? Practice. Math is no different. Set a timer for thirty minutes or less to complete an assignment. See how many problems your child can answer. Try it again the next day. Can they do it faster? Exercising with flash cards and worksheets is important to build fluency. Your child should be practicing grade level math skills regularly for mastery. 

Engaging children at home in math is essential. Practicing math skills, playing games, and having a positive attitude for math starts at home. Help your students at home and download the Parent Tips printable today!

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Parent Tips for Math at Home

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    Saturday, April 18, 2020

    Outdoor Math Project Based Learning

    Do your students like to be outside?

    Have you done a math project in nature?

    Any time of year is a great time to get outside for a math project. Project based learning engages the learner in the process. It's a great teaching method for students to gain knowledge and skills by working for an extended period of time. This allows students to investigate and respond authentically.

    Math Projects also allow students to be actively engaged in problem solving. Students think critically about math content and use their skills to solve the problem. Let your students try an outdoor math project and apply their math skills to nature.

    Outdoor Math Project Based Learning 

    Nature is a great place to find Geometry. There are lots of 2-d and 3-d shapes to be found. Students can look all around their neighborhoods for shapes.

    We took a walk in our neighborhood and found quadrilaterals, triangles, and circles.

    Recording a flower on the Math Walk printable.

    Allowing students to have creativity and independence is important. He wanted to find something in the shape of square. There were plenty of plants on our street that he found.

    Finished recording on the Math Walk printable. 

    Giving students time to finish their work and process information is key. Projects allow students to work independently on their own time. This project was easy to differentiate. Assigning only the pages for shapes on his grade level (Kindergarten) aligned to the Geometry standards for math. 

    Students in grades K, 1, 2 can work on finding quadrilaterals, non-quadrilaterals, triangles, 3-d shapes, and fractions in nature. These are all math skills that primary students can do and are aligned to their Geometry standards. 

    Students in grades 3, 4, 5 can work on finding quadrilaterals, non-quadrilaterals, triangles, fractions, and symmetry in nature. These are all math skills that upper elementary students can do and are aligned to their Geometry standards. 

    Students in middle school like to get outside just as much as elementary students. Fresh air is good for everyone. At my middle school we take a class break in the courtyard as a reward for good behavior. Students can easily use a clipboard or textbook to press on and complete work they would've done in your classroom. 

    The Middle School Math Walk project is similar to the elementary except students are asked to go a step further. They find the shapes, attributes, and then measure to find the area, surface area, or volume of the 2-d or 3-d shape. 

    This picture above is of a daisy. The daisy has a circle that can be measured electronically with your phone or with a ruler. Using those calculations the area of the flower's circle was found. This math skill can be differentiated for 6, 7, or 8 grade. Students in sixth grade may only be finding the area, whereas 7th and 8th graders would be looking for surface area or volume.

    Included in the Math Walk project are all the differentiated pages to help students complete their neighborhood nature project. This can be done at home or at school depending on your time limits. Students will learn to apply geometry to their own world and learn new math skills also.

    Your students will enjoy doing a project that is creative, different, and even mathematical. Click here to download the project for your students.

    Happy Teaching!

    Friday, April 10, 2020

    Math Addition Facts a 1st Grader Should Know

    Do your students need practice with addition?

    Do they have their addition facts memorized?

    Have your students practiced math fluency in or outside of the classroom? It's an important skill to practice and build upon. Let's take a look at the math addition facts a first grader should know before entering second grade. 

    Math Addition Facts a 1st Grader Should Know

    There are many reasons why students should be fluent in their Math addition facts. Students who know their addition facts are able to solve word problems, process mental math easily, and can learn the next math standards of two-digit addition. 

    What addition fact fluency skills do students learn in K-2? 

    In Kindergarten students should master adding within 5 before they transition to 1st grade. In first grade students should know demonstrate addition fluency within 10. Finally in second grade students should have mastered fluently adding within 20 using mental strategies. By end of Grade 2, know from memory all sums of two one-digit numbers.  

    When should students practice math addition facts and how often? 

    Practice makes perfect. Have you heard that before? When practicing fluency for math, students need to be accurate and timely. Fluency looks different from student to student. There are some students who get extra time on quizzes and tests through their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). There are also some students that are able to use a calculator as a support aide as stated on their IEP. Everyone's fluency will look a little different.

    The definition of being fluent is the ability to do something easily and accurately. Being fluent in addition facts should be easy for students to answer correctly. Fluency should be the goal for all students. Practicing math facts should be routine. Every day practice 20 problems of addition. Students will build stamina, confidence, and fluency will come naturally for them.

    How should I start introducing math addition fact fluency to my students? 

    In the beginning of fluency practice try five to ten problems. Have students practice their ones and twos addition facts. Slowly build up their stamina to twenty problems a day. This will increase their fluency and help them to easily solve word problems. The goal is individual fluency not timed tests.

    If you are getting stuck ask yourself these questions about the student. Can they answer all the questions correctly? How long does it take for them to answer the questions correctly? If they are getting stuck provide additional practice of those facts. The Math facts printables are perfect for practicing fluency. Each printable is different and the worksheets are designed into six levels of addition mastery.

    Try the math fluency printables today! Easy for students to practice and build addition fluency.

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    K-2 Math Fact Fluency Practice

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      Saturday, April 4, 2020

      Distance Learning at Home

      What are some practical learning techniques we can do at home?

      What should students be asked to do at home during distance learning?

      There are many things that students can do during this time at home. It is a time for students to be learning and trying new things. Students can do a multitude of activities at home to continue to make progress in their education. Let's look at some of the solutions to learning math at home. 

      Distance Learning at Home

      It's a different world post COVID-19. Education will look different also when students return to school. What could students do now to prepare? There are many different solutions for learning math at home. Students can learn continue to work on making themselves better mathematicians. 

      1. Study New Math Vocabulary

      Students can practice grade level math vocabulary. Have students write math sentences daily or weekly using grade level terms. Assign 4 to 8 words a week depending on your grade level. Watch your students understand and make sense of the math concepts through their writing.

      Learning the new math vocabulary is just as important as reading math word problems. When students read and write more math they become better mathematicians. 

      2. Review with Math Games

      This is easy to do at home if you already have some games in your house. Are there games with counting, strategy, or problem solving? These are all math skills that you can practice through play. 

      What games can you play at home? Here is a list of games that will help maintain or improve your math skills. 

      1. The 24 Game. This is my absolute favorite math game! Students have to add, subtract, multiply, or divide the numbers to get an answer of 24. They also have a version for middle school with Integers and a version for middle school and high school with Algebra Exponents
      2. Monopoly. Strategy games are great for kids to practice problem solving. Learn how to pay for properties and rent. Kids learn life skills also while playing. 
      3. Proof! Math Game. A fast paced game of mental math. It's a brain game that takes only 15 minutes. You will improve your mental math in all operations. 

      3. Become more Fluent

      Try a fluency printable daily or weekly. Keeping up mental math operations will help ease the transition into school later on. Math fluency is important. The only way to become more fluent is to practice it often. 

      4. Be Inspired by Mathematicians

      Students can do their own research about mathematicians. Specifically ask students to research the plague of 1666 and Sir Issac Newton. What happened while he was away from school? What did he invent? Get kids thinking and make their own math inventions during this time. 

      5. Practice Math Skills

      Students can practice grade level math skills with these engaging printables and worksheets. Continuing to practice them will keep the math concepts fresh in their minds. It's important to do this because students typically lose two and a half months of learning during the Summer, but now with the additional quarantine + Summer students will lose five months of learning. 

      How much should kids be practicing a day? Ten to twenty math problems depending on difficulty and grade level. Kids should have enough practice to maintain their math skills. Think of it like brushing your teeth. If you didn't brush your teeth for five months what would happen?

      Download the Parent Tips for Math at Home free printable.

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        Just remember. This is not homeschooling. Parents need help with teaching their children. Teachers are the professionals. Teachers know how to teach best. Help students continue to grow during this time. Make today's educational experience as humane, kind, generous, caring, and joyful as it can possibly be.

        Happy Distance Learning!