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.”
A great article by Donna Boucher where she lists a number of categories of students who all at some time receive intervention for math, the question however is how effective that is and if there are better or different solutions that may be tried.
Board games are fun and a great exercise for the youngsters to help them count up and down and skip count.
Many boardgames can help you with that but here is one that you can print out and play, with a Thanksgiving theme around it. Thank you Yourtherapysource.com for sharing that with us. Get the game in the link for today.
Children love playing games and playing math games will improve their skills. Kristen Reed from edc.org puts it like this:
Math games and puzzles develop children’s problem-solving and independence and foster mastery motivation. Mastery motivation is the motivation to master new, somewhat challenging skills, and it is a key behavior that supports children’s early learning now, and then later, their academic success. By providing children with challenging activities and encouraging them to try different strategies and make their own decisions, teachers and caregivers can foster this important skill.
When providing feedback both the content and the timing are key:
Every teacher desires students to become their own teachers over time. The idea that students develop self-direction—independent of needing immediate support from teachers—and the ability to solve their own problems is a recurring dream of teachers. But how do we develop independent, self-directed learners when we have so many other demands as educators? Interestingly, one of the most powerful strategies we have at our disposal to build student independence in their learning is through our approach to feedback
From China we bring you this story about a novel way of teaching and learning math.
At Nanjing International School, learning looks different than what you would find at traditional schools in China and abroad. One of the areas where this is most evident is Maths in Primary School, where we take a leading-edge, inquiry-based approach. Why is this? A growing body of research on how children successfully learn mathematics shows that every student must become an active learner that investigates and explores, often as part of a team.
New research is presented on the page from Stanford by youcubed from Jo Boaler and it all shows how visual math can be.
our brain wants to think visually about maths. Building students’ mathematical understanding doesn’t just mean strengthening one area of the brain that is involved with abstract numbers, it means strengthening connections between areas of the brain and strengthening the visual pathways.
The conversation blog has a wonderful story about activities that you can do with a Halloween theme and that will help your little ones, see that math is everywhere around them. Happy Math Halloween, thank you theconversation.com
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Although deeper learning in current early-grade mathematics classrooms is rare, a research-based program called Number Worlds has been implemented and studied in pre-K through grade 2. The program is based on six guiding principles: § Expose children to the major ways numbers are represented and talked about. § Provide opportunities to link the “world of quantity” with the “world of counting numbers” and the “world of formal symbols.” § Provide visual and spatial analogs of number representations that children can actively explore in hands-on fashion. § Engage children and capture their imagination so that the knowledge constructed is embedded not only in their minds, but also in their hopes, fears, and passions. § Provide opportunities to acquire computational fluency as well as conceptual understanding. § Encourage the use of metacognitive processes—such as problem solving, communication, and reasoning—that will facilitate the construction of knowledge.
This bingo-like game allows children to think about numbers in different ways. Children roll a dot cube and try to find one or more matches on their board. Though the representations may look different, two dots on the cube can match a picture of two blocks, two fingers on a hand, or the numeral 2 when we think about the meaning of the number 2. The first player to match ’em all, wins!
A bit off topic maybe for our Dyscalculia blog, although Dyscalculia and ADHD frequently coincide. The ADDitude magazine has a wonderful article about measures and strategies to help children with ADHD get back to learning and help them to focus. Both help for the individual but also classroom tactics. See it all in our link for today.
Just a wonderful tweet we came across today. It shows you that you should not worry too much about the pace of development with your dyscalculic child. All those small steps add up to a huge change over time. Bear that in mind and do not rush the pace.
A few weeks ago I (Jo Boaler) was working in my Stanford office when the silence of the room was interrupted by a phone call. A mother called me to report that her 5-year-old daughter had come home from school crying because her teacher had not allowed her to count on her fingers. This is not an isolated event—schools across the country regularly ban finger use in classrooms or communicate to students that they are babyish. This is despite a compelling and rather surprising branch of neuroscience that shows the importance of an area of our brain that “sees” fingers, well beyond the time and age that people use their fingers to count.
The psychologysays blog provides an overview of dyscalculia and has a slightly different take on the treatment:
In the medium term it is known to be associated with psychological problems such as low self-esteem or the onset of symptoms of depression. However, dyscalculia can be treated from psychological and psychoeducational work. For this, it is necessary to carry out a process of cognitive restructuring linked to the use of basic mathematics and self-concept. In this way, the fundamentals of mathematics are taught without which one cannot progress, and at the same time ideas that hinder learning, such as the belief that numbers do not exist, are rejected.
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