Yes, I'm on summer break, but I plan to do some posting anyway. I'm going on vacation to CA in a little over a week. My daughter and granddaughter will just be getting out of school the week I arrive. I'll visit their campuses and hopefully have some good discussions about the differences in our school systems. Maybe I'll pick up some new ideas! They also have a "teacher store" I want to explore.
I've already encountered several of my students at WalMart and around town. Three have plans to move this month and of course they are children I will actually miss. Isn't that the way it works? I had hoped to monitor their progress in first grade.
In place of postings about my class, I will be posting some ideas for parents and teachers- about summer learning, about teaching techniques, about technology, and anything else that catches my attention.
We will start with a few tips for parents about math.
Math Around the House
My granddaughter enjoys math! It must be a recessive gene, that elusive “math skill” gene, because I don’t have it. I always struggled with math. Word problems left me baffled. Multiplication facts slipped from my memory as soon as I heard the word “test”. I was convinced that algebra was a foreign language. If you had the same experiences you may be dreading those inevitable words “Mom, will you help me with my math homework?” However, you may be overlooking some important ways that you are teaching your child about math right there at home. Even if your child is a kindergartner, you can help him do “math around the house”.
Cooking: I’m amazed that many children are missing this vital math and science experience. Cooking teaches measurement, one-to-one correspondence, and creating sets. It teaches sequence and logical consequences. There are many excellent cookbooks for children, or you can simply let your child help you make something simple.
Laundry: Even something as simple as folding clothes can turn into a math lesson. You can teach your child to match socks, count items, sort by sizes or colors, etc.
Shopping: Teach your child to recognize and count money. Teach him how to budget his allowance. Teach him how to make change. Teach him how to be a wise shopper. As you go through the store ask your child to carry a calculator and add up your purchases. Then compare totals at the checkout counter. Or ask your child to estimate the total in his head and see how close he comes to the actual figure. At home you can let your child figure out how much you spend on items in separate categories such as pet food, soap, toiletries, etc.
Another good shopping technique for teaching math is to let your child comparison shop for you. Children love to do this on the computer! Let’s say you anticipate buying a new television sometime in the next six months. Let your child present you with a report of the options, prices, and “best buy”.
Projects: Be sure to let your child participate in your next home decorating or remodeling project. Older children can calculate how many gallons of paint you’ll need for the living room. Younger children can measure whether the new sofa will fit in the space you have planned for it, or help you measure for drapes. Children can help plan the spacing for new garden plants, or where the swing set should be placed.
Just remember- if it involves sorting, measuring or calculating, it should involve your child.