Research suggests that when we see and use gestures, we recruit more parts of the brain than when we use language alone, and we may activate more memory systems – such as procedural memory (the type that stores automatic processes such as how to type or ride a bike) in addition to our memory for events and experiences.
Children are logical creatures; more logical than you probably expect or notice. Most of their learning is cultural, though. That is to say, children learn language from repeated exposure, not from dictionaries. If you want children with large vocabularies, you’ll need to use lots of different words around them. If you want children who read, you’ll need to read with them and to be seen reading by them. We understand this in American culture, and we have robust messaging around it.
Children learn about multidigit numbers through the experiences they have in their lives. Addresses, bus routes, prices, and more—all contribute to children’s understanding that, say, 345 is greater than 78.
We can support children’s math learning by giving them more opportunities to play with math objects.
New research shows that children’s understanding of mathematical language – terms such as more, less, few, most – is important for their mathematical development, already in preschool. Preschoolers are exposed to mathematical language in preschool via teachers but also at home via parental talk. Both are important contributors to performance. Mathematical language can be effectively stimulated in preschool providing opportunities for early interventions to foster language learning at school and at home (e.g. through storybooks)
On the BBC webpage a wonderful article about how preschoolers start to count and how you can best help them. Although you cannot see the video in certain countries, they were nice enough to put the full text from the video below it so you can still benefit from all the tips they give there.
The teacher’s toolkit comes with a great short article to support parents who want to help their anxious child. It is heartbreaking to see children with anxiety and their learning is severely impacted by it. When parents follow these tips there may be some improvement, it is worth the read.
Debbie Reber, the force behind the Tilt Parenting blog, has a great podcast about what is dyscalculia. It features Laura Jackson who is on a journey through the land of learning disabilities and writes about her adventures with her daughter who is diagnosed with Dyscalculia. Great listen.
We have all heard about teaching to the test, this teacher took it to another high by rapping to the STAAR test with the students. Read this story about an unusual but apparently effective way of engaging the students in math.
In the classroom, “brain breaks should take place before fatigue, boredom, distraction, and inattention set in,” writes neurologist and classroom teacher Judy Willis, and that means they should be far more frequent. “As a general rule,” Willis continues, basing her conclusions on decades of research, “concentrated study of 10 to 15 minutes for elementary school and 20 to 30 minutes for middle and high school students calls for a three- to five-minute break.”
A wonderful way of teaching is to use examples so students can explore them and learn the material and concepts that way. Prof Julie Booth at Temple is key in promoting this approach and on the serp site they have lots of downloadable materials available.
It is important to show your children that math is everywhere and not just something they do in school. The mathbeforebed blog has wonderful resources to stimulate and facilitate number sense talks and activities with your child.
A wonderful tool created by one of the parents we work with. This is a great tool and sized for convenience. The colors exactly match the Cuisenaire rods and it has a huge number of options to teach your child all the ways the all so important number bonds.
The “we are teachers” blog has a great free program to teach children financial skills and how to deal with things they will be confronted with in real life. Adventures in Math is a super program that will help to show them that math has important practical applications.
It was known from studies that spatial training improves math performance, but what in the spatial training exactly improved that math performance most. A new study revealed that:
age, use of concrete manipulatives, and type of transfer (“near” vs. “far”) moderated the effects of spatial training on mathematics. As the age of participants increased from 3 to 20 years, the effects of spatial training also increased in size. Spatial training paradigms that used concrete materials (e.g., manipulatives) were more effective than those that did not (e.g., computerized training). Larger transfer effects were observed for mathematics outcomes more closely aligned to the spatial training delivered compared to outcomes more distally related. None of the other variables examined (training dosage, spatial gains, posttest timing, type of control group, experimental design, publication status) moderated the effects
The ADHD study, published in Nutrients, found that a prescribed amount of caffeine may increase the attention and retention of people with the disorder. They made this discovery through animal models, finding the substance “increases capacity and flexibility in both spatial attention and selective attention, as well as in working memory and short-term memory,” .
The results so far have been positive, although the team is aware that some of the other symptoms of ADHD like hyperactivity and impulsivity may be exaggerated by caffeine. More research is needed, with the team suggesting it may just be appropriate when the symptoms are purely attentional based and should only be administered under appropriate medical supervision.
This article is from the latest Neuropsychologia and describes how fMRI can show what changes in the brain when you learn arithmetic. At the start of learning you need a strategy to work out a multiplication for which we use areas in the prefrontal cortex and the Intraparietal Sulcus and gradually you can more and more retrieve the answers from memory and activate other areas. These changes can occur already after a few weeks of learning. It happens that the changes in adults differ from the changes learning makes in the brain of children.
It is important to show children that math is not just in a classroom but everywhere around you. Also you need to take every opportunity to introduce children with math in a playful manner. The Decoda Litery solutions blog brings this very nice article about math related activities in- and outside the house.
For someone with dyscalculia it is hard enough to make sense from numbers. Now if people are tinkering with statistics it gets even harder to see what is going on. Luckily Daniel Lakens from the Eindhoven Technical University, has a wonderful resource where you can learn about statistics for free.
A new paper explores, among many other things, discussion of the prevalence of MA and the need for establishing external criteria for estimating prevalence and a proposal for such criteria; exploration of the effects of MA in different groups, such as highly anxious and high math–performing individuals; classroom and policy applications of MA knowledge; the effects of MA outside educational settings; and the consequences of MA on mental health and well-being.
The International Science and Evidence based Education (ISEE) Assessment is an initiative of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), conceived as its contribution to the Futures of Education process launched by UNESCO Paris in September 2019. In order to contribute to re-envisioning the future of education with a science and evidence-based report, UNESCO MGIEP embarked on an ambitious project of the first-ever large-scale assessment of the knowledge on education.
It is important to encourage young children to be active with blocks and toys, sorting and exploring. The Fairy Math Mother blog provides a wonderful set of activities that parents can use to explore with the little ones.
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