Learning basic math facts helps kids gain confidence in their math skills and move on to harder concepts.
If a child struggles with math, chances are it isn’t because appropriate math concepts haven’t been taught. Although children might learn many math concepts, the information might not “stick” – that is, the child may soon forget what she learned. Enhancing the learning experience in innovative ways, such as providing learning on a tablet, makes learning more fun and leads to an increased attention span, which will ultimately result in increased retention. Here are a handful of specific tips and tricks that can be useful in not only making learning math more fun, but also in remembering the information so it can be used when needed in the future.
Song lyrics are easier to remember than items taught in other ways. Turning math facts into a song will help a child remember it, at least long enough for it to transfer from short term to long term memory. Another bonus to songs is that kids don’t get tired of hearing or singing them over and over again. In fact, that’s kind of the point of a song.
A mnemonic is a saying that corresponds to a set of facts that need to be memorized. Mnemonics help some kids remember facts, while others don’t seem to be able to remember the mnemonic any better than the facts themselves. One common mnemonic is “Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally,” which corresponds to the order of operations (parentheses, exponents, multiplication and division, addition and subtraction).
Games are great for practicing various operations so that they are better learned and remembered. Games can be online, board games or card games. Monopoly is great for adding and subtracting larger numbers. Some card games can also help teach basic math facts. If you find the right games, kids may not even realize that they are learning.
4. Cheat Sheets
Cheat sheets don’t seem like they would be a good thing, but they can actually improve learning by giving students repeated exposure to the material they need to learn while increasing their confidence at handling their work.
5. Coloring Charts
Allowing students to color their own math charts can help them remember how things look visually even when they aren’t using the charts. Coloring is also a fun activity that will help associate math with pleasant activities rather than unpleasant ones, which can improve learning.
Mastering basic facts is an important part of learning math.
6. Math Tricks
There are all sorts of math tricks and shortcuts to help kids remember math facts, and kids like to learn them because it feels easier than doing things the regular way. Here is a site that has lots of multiplication tricks to help kids remember those facts.
7. Flash Cards
Using premade flash cards does help kids memorize facts, but they get boring quickly and lose kids’ attention after a short period of time. Having kids make up their own flash cards is more effective at helping them learn the facts, and they are more likely to want to use them when they’re self-made, too.
Using methods like these will help children learn and memorize math facts and concepts, which are the building blocks for more advanced math. Kids who master basic concepts and facts are more likely to look at themselves as being good at math and will keep moving forward in their knowledge.
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