Tips to Teach Maths to Children
Tips to Teach Maths to Children
Perhaps there is no other subject, that can create so much fear, like maths. This is often a reason why parents and teachers of young children find it so hard to develop an interest in this subject to teach maths to children.
As individuals, we all have our thinking preferences. Some are logical thinkers, while others are more emotional thinkers. Mathematics is often associated with specific types of thinking patterns. There are children who are naturally good with numbers. Research says that there are many external factors that can promote learning of maths in the early years. For instance, early exposure to counting, understanding of rhythm, and handling of materials allow an added interest in the understanding of numbers. Sometimes in the early years, children may not be exposed enough to pre-number skills. Hence it takes a further delayed time to cope with the academic curriculum in school later on.
Let us discuss a few ways that can help develop better number sense in young children:
Involve pre-number concepts
Skills like measurements, comparison of values, opposites, and estimation are important concepts. Therefore, using toys, water, sand, food, etc. are great ways to help children learn numbers better. This also promotes learning life skills.
Using more adjectives in daily communication
The more descriptive the commands are, the more cortical development is ensured. E.g., “Please use the first jar on the topmost shelf” or “pour only till the first mark on the cup”. Children also learn to use better language skills.
Surround with numbers
Using a big bold monthly calendar, a digital clock, a 0-100 chart, etc. can be highly stimulating to allow organic processing of numerical values in daily life. They learn to use resources from their surroundings.
Playing number games
This is an evolving list of fun-filled activities. Traditional games such as Snake and Ladders, Ludo, Housie, Bingo, etc. are all-time favorites in most families. In addition, these board games bring the whole family together on the same table as a bonus.
Talk in Numbers
Making lists of shopping items or activities to be done. Using house numbers, cost of a product, weather details, etc. are the most common ideas. Then age, year, weight, and height are further areas to relate with.
Involve in Calculations
Mathematics is not just a subject but a life skill. It is important for children to understand this. It’s worth noticing that even grown-ups have to calculate numbers for various reasons. Hence, paying the monthly rents, estimating traveling time, and planning budgets can be great opportunities to get the little heads working.
There is no shortcut or alternate way to skip this point. As the saying goes, “practice makes perfect!”. Examples: Writing rote numbers, comparing numbers, developing the skill to master an operation (+-X/), solving story sums, puzzles, etc.
Activities and games to stimulate logical thinking
There are lots of fun activities that do not involve calculation. But these can help in critical thinking and logical development. Some games promote the learning of number skills. These are easy to introduce as team games. Eg., Sudoku, spotting the differences, mazes, tangrams, geometric puzzles, etc.
Breaking down learning into simpler steps is always a way to win. So to go slow with a new concept and being consistent with each step is very important. This needs educational expertise. The lessons are planned according to the specific needs of the child.
All of us know the feeling of getting a sum wrong. However, children do not need to feel let down for any silly mistakes. The ideal way to learn from a mistake is to revise and self-check. There can be similar mistakes. It’s enlightening to discover the patterns of mistakes!
Many of these ideas have helped children develop their sense of numbers. They understand the importance of learning number values and using them functionally. However, there can be specific issues with children and they need direct inputs to help. Finding the right educator who can design the best suitable plan for the child is a blessing in this case. With specialized intervention, every child can bring out his or her best.