What can I do at home to improve my maths?
A recent survey has shown that New Zealand children, aged 9 years of age, tied for last place compared to other developed countries, according to the NZ Herald. Teachers were trained and required to teach the Numeracy Project program by the Ministry of Education. The research on the effects of the Numeracy Project shows that it needed to improve in the teaching of mathematical knowledge and contextual learning. Strategy was heavily weighted within the Numeracy Project.
This is where 21st Century learning comes to the rescue! Through the use of technology, teachers and parents can provide students with the mathematics practice of basic facts that they need and provide accurate feedback through digital reporting to assist students with self-corrections. There are numerous apps and websites to achieve this. Here are just a few different ways assist your child in their knowledge of basic facts:
Whilst one does need to pay for this website, either individually or through your school, I can honestly say that I have seen the results of student's basic fact knowledge improve within a few weeks of consistent, daily practice. The important point when using tools like this, is to ensure that students are working on their correct level. All too often, I have seen older students playing on Level one because they want to beat another junior in another country and win! The administrator can set these default settings to a more age appropriate level.
2. Get involved in World Education Games
The Prime Minister of Australia has welcomed the World Education Games in Sydney, due to begin in just a few hours! Your school can get a free World Education Games trial with Mathletics.
3. World Maths Day
This is coming up really soon and is taking place on the 6 March 2013. Will your child be on the World Maths Day Hall of Fame?
4. Free Resources
The internet is full of free resources. I have uploaded a few examples on our website's free resource page.
5. Contextualised learning
Make sure that you talk to your child about everyday mathematical examples and ask them questions about everyday mathematical problems. "How much is that doggy in the window? How much have you got? How much change should you get? How much will you have to save up in order to buy that dog?"
6. NZ Maths for Families Website
There is some good information that one can learn from here, including a video on how to help your child work on their Mathematics at home.
7. Khan Academy
This will help high school students plug those gaps for homework. Khan Academy also has lessons for junior students.
8. Play a Game
Turn the learning of basic facts, like times tables into a game. I like to throw and catch a ball, so playing a game of hot potato and answering a times table question can be a lot of fun for a more active student. The last one still in is the winner! Turn it into a memory card game, snap game or any other creative game that you can think of. Again, there are numerous games on the NZ Maths website.
9. Create a Project using Mathematics
Think about a meaningful experience to you and your child, like cooking, woodwork, building or playing shop. There are so many real life activities that one can do to create real and authentic mathematical experiences, in which to include your child in. This will help them to become an enthusiastic learner.
10. Have Fun!
Of course you don't nag at your child to do their homework, but give them a break first and a snack before getting into the homework phase. Children are often hungry and tired after a long day at school. Dangle the carrot and give them an incentive to work towards. Some use chocolate, although I personally don't really like to use food associations too much. One can use time on the computer or a special outing as a reward, after the work is done. Whatever you decide to do, have fun learning together and your child will thank you in years to come!