If you’re an elementary teacher, you’ve probably seen these two kinds of students in your classroom:
- Students who understand and enjoy math.
- Students who are frustrated by math because they don’t understand it.
It’s your job to help those in the second group find their way into the first group. Luckily, picture books about math can really help.
The ‘Why’ of Math Picture Books
It’s human nature to enjoy stories. By relating to a character who feels the way they do, students can gain the confidence to move through their own challenges–both in and outside the classroom.
Even more importantly, there’s a tangible link between reading and math. It stands to reason that doing one can help the other.
When teachers use picture books containing math themes (either implicit or explicit), they offer students a contextualized experience with mathematics generally.
Plus, a good story can comfort the heart of any student who’s afraid of math. Read more »
Mention the words “math” and “fun” in one breath and you might prompt a few raised eyebrows from those around you. But the truth remains that math actually can be fun. All the same, a negative view of math tends to prevail in America; even in the latest flurry over STEAM-based learning initiatives.
For one thing, too many parents’ own experiences with math were less than stellar. Similarly, teachers may feel anxious about motivating youngsters in their classrooms if they aren’t already huge math fans themselves.
What to do?
Don’t worry. Here are a few ways you can help children (and yourself) see math as a fun experience right from the start. Read more »
Let’s face it—not many kids are interested in reciting their multiplication tables or practicing addition when they’ve got video games to play, TV to watch, and technology to explore.
Unfortunately, too many parents and educators automatically assume that video games are mere time wasters, as mentioned in our earlier discussion about game-based learning.
Of course, sorting out the effective math games from the mediocre ones can be a challenge. Not every game is equal when it comes to producing lasting learning. So, what to do? Read more »
A guest post by Ben Harrison
Developer of Big Brainz math-fact fluency software
Imagine Learning now publishes monthly guest posts in order to stimulate conversations about K12 education across the country. Opinions expressed herein are those of the individual author(s) and may not necessarily reflect the official opinion of Imagine Learning.
The following article was originally posted in February, 2015 on the Big Brainz Blog.
Every once in a while I encounter a savvy educator who is opposed to memorizing math facts–or at least he or she appears to be.
Just today I saw a fearful article that exclaimed “memorization can inhibit fluency” and “memorization . . . can be damaging.”
Of course, educators are doing a wonderful job of championing number sense, comprehension, and problem-solving, but by attacking the vital skill of automaticity, they unwittingly undermine the very processes they intend to champion.
From Where I Sit
Before I go any further, let me jump to the punchline, because I know that if you’re one of these educators, you’re already getting ready to give me your very passionate point of view.
So . . . if, as an educator, you have a negativity towards memorization, I would suggest that it’s because you haven’t seen it done well. Read more »
Six in every ten Americans report having difficulty solving some type of math, and 30 percent of Americans say they would rather clean the bathroom than solve a math problem.
Yet 93 percent of Americans say that developing good math skills is crucial to having a successful life.
So why would anyone dislike something that brings success?
Most Americans develop their attitudes about math from others. For example, if parents don’t enjoy math, they may pass that attitude forward to children.
Perhaps parents or teachers nag too much. “Memorize your times tables!” they might say, “Work harder!”
Or, perhaps nagging isn’t to blame. Maybe students feel inadequate during math class because they’re just missing out on some key fundamentals.
Whatever the reasons, no one can really deny the importance of mathematics. Math is important in everyday life! Read more »