The Education Endowment Foundation has made recommendations where there are research findings that schools can use to make a significant difference to pupils’ learning, and have focused on the questions that appear to be most salient to practitioners.
Retrieval practice is essentially the process of generating an answer to a question. Not only does it allow students to test how much they have retained of a certain piece of information, it exercises their retrieval of it.
Research has shown that not only is retrieval practice a highly effective learning strategy, but also that its effects can be seen across many different disciplines, including vocabulary, maths and science.
Modelling is very useful to teach our children the more complicated concepts. There is a whole procedure you need to follow to do it the right way and the article in the link provides five ways to make a success out of it.
In this article, Dr Helen WiIliams, an independent educational consultant specialising in the learning and teaching of Early Years and KS1 mathematics, shares with us ways to teach number bonds through play.
Susan Wagner Cook, an associate professor of psychological and brain sciences at the University of Iowa, has conducted numerous studies with various scenarios and it is confirmed that children learn better when they can see gestures while hearing the explanations.
We are not fond of the rote memory way of learning to count where the children learn 1-10 without understanding what it means, however the video in the link for today shows a great way of how to integrate singing in learning to count with your kid.
From the LDA newsletter we bring this wonderful story about ways to more effectively have children remember their math:
In their book The Kinesthetic Classroom, Traci Lengel and Mike Kuczala cite studies that show us how learning certain concepts through movement is efficient and long-lasting.
Movement gives learning experiences something fresh and new, which the brain likes. This novelty helps keep the attention of the students, making their learning efficient. It’s been my experience over years of using movement in math class that even those students who are timid and reluctant to participate at first are nevertheless paying attention and are interested in what’s going on around them. Their brains are still activated.
From the UK a new approach to learn times tables. Times tables are important and there are many ways people try to teach them. This idea centers around a stick that they use to explain the tables and groups of multiplications that fit together. They also have a youtube channel to support the method. When you have tried many methods, here is just one extra you can try.
A very comprehensive review of math apps for small children with recommendations about design and content for parents and teachers to look out for.
part of their summary:
Overall, these results demonstrate that many of the commercial educational apps for young children that are categorised as ‘maths’, are not necessarily reflective of best practices in app content and design. 58 Can Maths Apps Add Value to Young Children’s Learning? Most apps did not comprehensively capture all areas of mathematical development, nor did they adequately include features of personalisation, such as explanatory feedback and programmatic personalisation, which this research has shown maximises children’s outcomes in app-based learning. This demonstrates the limited options for identifying high-quality maths apps currently available for parents and teachers and highlights the need to improve the meaningful categorisation of educational apps on the app stores to facilitate parent and teacher choice.
The Minnesota state fair has a wonderful action for children to work with math. They can for example download a card or get one from a booth at the fair and fill the card with items they find that has the numbers it is asking for, like a dog has 4 legs, there are 20 carts on the ferris wheel etc. Wonderful idea, this can be used at school fairs, neigborhood parties, on vacation with your children. Options enough.
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.
We all know that not all children are created with similar or equal skills and knowledge, so we all realize that differentiation in the classroom is necessary to support the weaker students and not to bore the quicker students. But how do you actually implement that?
Well the TeachThought blog has developed no less than 50 strategies to make it work and they will continue to add to their resource over the coming time with comments, tips and insights.
It is always best to explain to children first why you need to know about a topic before you teach them the particular operation. Retaining the information about the operation is a lot higher when you know why you may ever need it. Mathscareers in the UK has a nice website that explains how fractions are used in the real world.
We tend to say: ” They need to get it into their hands before they can get it into their heads”. It refers to lots of math operations but the mathcoachcorner has an interesting take in how to show fractions early and have them play it out.
The Early Math Collaborative has a great page explaining the notion of Precursor Math Concepts.
Just as the foundation of a building anchors it in the earth and provides essential support for the growing structure, in the first three years of life children engage in a very fundamental way with concepts that anchor a child’s mathematical thinking and are essential for the growth of further mathematics.
Seen on Twitter from someone who saw it on Facebook, but here is the story. Our students often have difficulty grouping like terms or substituting. As soon as we change the symbolic language for pictures of something they are familiar with, their focus changes and they have less difficulty working the problems. Hence the cycle Concrete representational abstract. So if they have problems with the abstract notation, move back to the representational.
Some great tips on how to keep your pre-schooler motivated when the problems they get are more challenging.
Along with EDC’s Young Mathematicians team of Paul Goldenberg and Kristen Reed, Young has been studying mastery motivation and its relation to early mathematics development in preschool classrooms. Here, Young and Goldenberg present five things that all parents and teachers can do to foster this essential skill.”
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