It is a new month and we are going to open with a new guest author….my sister, Laura Dominguez. Laura has worked as a auto broker (someone who buys cars for people), in the mortgage industry, and now works at a private college helping students with financial aid. She has her Masters in Public Administration and her passion is helping young people learn about personal finance in order to help them build a bright financial future. Laura brings the insider knowledge we need to better take advantage of the system. Welcome aboard Sis! Don’t forget to welcome Laura in the comments section below.
How often do your kids complain when they are learning math? “Why do I need to learn this, I’m neeeevvvvveeeeeer going to use it!” Ever wished you had some fun ways to teach kids math?
American Kids Lag Behind In Math
The New York Times reports, “Fourth- and eighth-grade students in the United States continue to lag behind students in several East Asian countries and some European nations in math and science, although American fourth graders are closer to the top performers in reading, according to test results released on Tuesday.”
Ways to Teach Kids Math
- Cooking: Every now and then my son will want to help me in the kitchen. I let him read the recipe and help with the measuring of the ingredients. When we are doubling the recipe we get to add ½ cup plus ½ cup. I then let him know that he has just added fractions (something he hasn’t learned yet in the beginning of the third grade). I remind him that we use math everyday.
- Grocery shopping: Not often, but once in a while my son will accompany me to the grocery store. This is a great place in incorporate math in everyday life. I let him mark off the items on the list (Here is a great grocery list app). We will compare the price per ounce. Is the sale price for the bigger item worth it? I’ll go though the calculations out load so that he can understand what I am comparing. I use coupons. I have him tell me the price of the item with the discount.
- Allowance: Not only is allowance a great way to teach kids responsibility, it helps them learn math as it relates to their world. When we’re spending his allowance at Walmart, we typically spend an hour in the store. I’m okay with that. He counts his money to determine how much he has. Once in the store, we walk up and down every toy aisle to see what he can afford. He has to subtract the cost of his purchase from his total allowance. If there are multiple items he has to add them up to ensure he has enough. Occasionally something will have to go back on the shelf as he realizes he doesn’t have enough money. He’s adding and subtracting while spending his own allowance.
- Flash cards: Kids are taught math in school today using charts and graphs. It helps him understand the relationship between the visual and the intangible. However, I also want to reinforce memorization and flash cards are a great way to do this.
- Games: My brother introduced me to the game lemonade stand. My son loves it. He gets a set amount of money to order his supplies. He gets comments on how his lemonade tastes (satisfaction) and can adjust his recipe. The game also has him take into account the weather and his supplies. At the end he sees his profit margin. He is learning the basics of cash flow and profit margins. I love it!
You cannot always get kids to love math but it is very important to teach kids math. Take time to make learning math fun and the benefits will be multiplied.
Do you have a fun way to teach kids math? Share it with us in the comments section below.
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