Guiding children through the maze of mathematical concepts can be a demanding task. Teachers, however, can use several methods to ensure the process is rewarding.
Math activities can be incorporated into other curriculum areas in many ways. Examples include an art project based on patterns made with regular shapes and using a history topic as a chance to investigate how time lines work.
In a study published in the Oct. 12, 2010, issue of "International Journal for Mathematics Teaching and Learning," Christine Suurtamm and Nancy Vezina found that children develop stronger mathematical skills when allowed to develop their own strategies. Planning opportunities for discussion supports learning and helps teachers correct misconceptions.
Providing a range of learning experiences helps to consolidate abstract concepts. Young children can use colored beads to investigate patterns. Older children can be given challenges such as finding and recording the information necessary to repaint the classroom within a set budget. Such projects promote critical thinking and problem-solving skills from an early age.
Songs, stories and games engage and encourage children's participation. Such devices can be used in many ways to teach math; some ways are linked in the Resources section.
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