Have you ever heard of “the rule of three” (in Latin, “omne trium perfectum”)? It’s a writing principle suggesting that things coming in threes are inherently more satisfying and useful than those that come in other number sets. And that’s certainly true here today!
It goes without saying that the pandemic has disrupted every aspect of our lives — from the way we live, to how we interact, to the way we work and play. And as most parents of school-aged kids are well aware, it has also greatly impacted our children’s education. How students learn and teachers teach have changed dramatically since COVID emerged around the globe. Instead of teachers providing consistent in-person instruction to children in a classroom, a majority of schools transitioned to online learning – which proved to be challenging for a great many kids. Students had to learn to balance the distractions of home life with daily instruction and completing assignments. And many students faced physical, psychological and economic effects of the pandemic that further impacted their ability to learn.
Last week, we introduced our Math Tips series to parents with kids in grades K-5 in hopes of helping foster an understanding, mastering, and love of math in the home. This week, we’re continuing this effort for parents with older kids.
The math facts and concepts that we’ll be highlighting in the coming weeks and months should be well known by every student in grade 6 and up. They form the fabric of knowledge — the foundation necessary for success in the middle school and high school math classrooms. Most teachers assume that their students know this information. When facts and concepts are at a student’s fingertips, new material encountered becomes an extension of things they already know. Without them, it seems like every new topic has to be learned from the beginning — and the prospect of that can be daunting.
Parents often ask us what they can do to help their children understand, master, and love math. Well, this happens to be right up our alley. In fact, it’s our mission! Our team of master educators has put together some fundamental tips and strategies that you, as parents and guardians, can use with your children. In the coming weeks and months we will share a number of recommendations in hopes that foundational knowledge can grow in your homes. By utilizing these math tips and engaging your child, you’ll help them feel more confident in math, improve their understanding, and spark their love of learning math.
The following tips are for kids in grades K-5. Parents with kids in grades 6+, check back next week for tips for you!
When starting a new year, it’s always good to look to the past, appreciate what has happened, and focus on what lies ahead. Today we’re going back to the beginning of Mathnasium and invite you to take the quick journey with us!
In the 1990’s, education industry pioneers Peter Markovitz and David Ullendorff recognized that to truly be successful in school and in life, students need a solid understanding of mathematics. There was a vast disconnect, though, between students’ learning skills and the math curriculum they were taught in school.
To address that gap, they founded Mathnasium — a math-only learning center committed to providing the world’s best instruction. Their goal: teach children how to think, with the skills to succeed in math and the confidence to achieve their academic potential.
Regardless of age or skill level, there are almost always gaps in a child’s foundational understanding that, if addressed, would boost their success in math.
When we give assessments to children in our math learning centers, we see that a high proportion of their knowledge gaps stems from a lack of number sense. Number sense is “the ability to appreciate the size and scale of numbers in the context of the question at hand.” In essence, it’s the understanding of what numbers mean, how they work together and how they connect to real life. It’s critical that children have a firm grasp of number sense, because it underlies all mathematical comprehension and ability. Typical math tutoring does not teach number sense, acting as a bandage rather than a cure for the problem.
We feel like we can never have enough examples of math in real-world situations. They help keep skills sharp and make sure that we can handle whatever comes our way. This week’s word problems do just that in what we call a “mathematical mixed bag.”
Look below and choose the word problem that’s the right skill level for your child. Have them give it a try. And when they feel they’ve found the answer, check their solution against ours on the next page.
Animals in the wild are amazing! Whether it’s a sea turtle, a blue whale, a giant panda, or a lemur, they pique our interest and capture our hearts with their unique and untamed ways.
This week’s word problems focus on these fascinating creatures and give kids an opportunity to hone their math skills. Look below and choose the one that’s the right skill level for your child. Have them give it a try. And when they feel they’ve found the answer, check their solution against ours on the next page.
When you take a whole item and break it into equal parts, what you get is one — or more — of those equal parts; these are known as fractions. This may sound very math-y and complicated, but each of us works with fractions all the time and may not even realize it! Slicing up pizza for a group of friends, estimating the amount of gas in the gas tank, and calculating the number of hours slept (or not slept!) are just a few instances when we likely work with fractions.
This week’s word problems give your child an opportunity to practice fractional reasoning. So take a look below and choose the problem that’s the right skill level. Have them give it a try. And when they feel they’ve found the answer, check their solution against ours on the next page.
The great thing about word problems is that they help us understand the world around us. This week we have another “mathematical mixed bag” of questions ranging from flowers in a garden to kitten sleeps.
So look below and choose the problem that’s the right skill level for your child. Have them give it a try. And when they feel they’ve found the answer, check their solution against ours on the next page.