Kids and Math: Teaching Math to 1st to 7th Grade Kids
Math is definitely a challenging subject and kids naturally feel terrified of this subject due to the challenges it involves. There are more than a few reasons behind this fear among kids. Firstly, kids have distinct mental capabilities, which never allow all the students in the classroom to proceed at similar pace. Secondly, kids are often not that much inclined towards math as much as they are towards other more relaxing and somewhat entertaining subjects such as arts, music, painting, language and science, etc. Third reason is ineffective teaching technique employed by the teachers. If you teach them in an unfavorable environment such as without any tools and audio-visual aids, then the learning process become stagnant and unimpressive for kids.
You need to encourage kids on practicing math with you and never allow them to rely upon a calculator. In fact, you must not let them rely upon pen and paper too much as well. Alternately, a good practice would be of letting them count numbers by checking out objects present in the room. Another tactic would be of taking steps and reach from point A to point B along with announcing numbers. In the same manner you can teach them addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. This kind of practice will not only clarify vagueness present in their minds regarding the concepts but also will keep kids engaged in productive activities.
Games like monopoly, snooker and darts are as useful in Math as is scrabble for learning and improving English language. You must encourage kids in these kinds of creative games according to their age range so that mathematical concepts get conveyed in their true meaning.
For teaching math, teachers and parents can also adopt the strategy of asking kids to count and keep track of their pocket money. You can compel them to collect money and count it every day. A good incentive would be of telling them to reach a particular range so that they are able to buy some toy.
Applying mathematics to all the activities of your child is an interesting strategy. For instance, is your student like dinosaurs or transformers, you can inform them about math rules by giving them examples from these characters such as talking about their size, weight and width, etc. Furthermore, you can use toys that help kids in improving their command on counting. These may include a pack of cards or a bag of blocks.
You need to be creative while teaching math since this subject requires as much attention in detailing as do other subjects like arts and science. Never let it appear as a boring and pen-paper oriented subject. Use different types of tools such as play dough, animals, tiles, shells, and tape, etc. Moreover, you can use shapes like circles, triangles, squares and lines for introducing kids to geometrical concepts.
Timing is very important. You must create a timeline of activities like which activity should be performed first and which at the end of the term after considering the curriculum. Everything must gel together. Another key factor is played by the aspect of socializing. You need to teach kids that they need to perform certain tasks within groups and each group should show collective performance. This will generate sense of togetherness and kids will become friendly. This collective attitude can play a beneficial role in boosting the confidence level and breaking the shell of shyness present in those students who cannot perform well individually.