Math Facts – Where do they fit in building a math foundation?
While math facts get a lot of attention from parents who seems to help drill on math facts, math facts, math facts…, the reality is that the math facts are only one part, and not one of the most important ones, in building a solid math foundation.
Note, for those of you unfamiliar with the terminology, there are the addition math facts (3+5=8), subtraction math facts (8-1=7), multiplication math facts (3×7=21), and division math facts (25 / 5 = 5). Math facts appear to many parents to be the heart of math education but in fact, math facts are the epitome of the less-important rote learning aspect in a subject (math) which can only be mastered by acquiring basic understandings, not by memorizing the math facts or anything else.
Solid Math Foundations are Built on Deep Fundamental Understandings.
A solid math foundation is build on deep fundamental understandings. The math facts are like the windows or other important part of a structure. Math facts are important but math facts are not as important as the real foundation. Below Time4Learning explains an example of the proper sequence of skills to develop to have a deep enough foundation for success prior to spending time on the math facts.
Let’s start with what appears simple: “3 + 5 = 8”.
This math fact seems a good lesson to teach once a child can count. But the ability to appreciate “3 + 5 = 8” requires a set of understandings:
- Quantity – realizing that numbers of items can be counted and that quantity is a common concept whether we are counting fingers, dogs or trees.
- Number recognition – knowing numbers by name, numeral, pictorial representation, or a quantity of the items
- Number meaning – resolving the confusion between numbers referring to a quantity or to the position in a sequence (cardinal vs ordinal numbers).
- Operations – Understanding that quantities can be added and that this process can be depicted with pictures, words, or numerals.
Only after mastering these foundation concepts should a child begin learning the math facts. Trying to teach math facts prior to mastering these understandings causes confusion and can create a sense of being lost or of being weak at math. How sad is it if the child develops a poor self image or math anxiety because of poor teaching!
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Teaching Math in Sequence
It’s important to teach math in a sequence that allows children to progressively build understandings, skills, and confidence. Quality teaching and curriculum follows a quality sequence.
Time4Learning teaches a comprehensive math program so that your child progresses at a steady comfortable pace. Children are placed in the sequence based on their current skills. Math becomes fun. Parents can participate and watch how new concepts are introduced progressively and mastered through practice. Want to know more? Try the math lesson demos.
Interactive Math Education – How to Blend Fun with Education
Time4Learning’s math program helps parents build interesting diverse days. By shifting from computer-based lessons to discussion, or from paper and pencil exercises to art projects, children stay engaged and benefit from different teaching methods. Variety keeps children motivated and attentive throughout the day. Many children find that given a student-paced private math program, their anxiety about appearing slow in math disappears and they discover previously hidden talents and interests in math. An interactive online math program removes the “social” element which can often be a source of anxiety.
Learn Math with an Interactive Program that is Proven Effective
Time4Learning provides learning programs with multimedia instruction, animated interactive lessons and printable worksheets for reinforcement, has a low monthly price, does not require a contract, and provides a money-back guarantee so you can make sure that it works for your kids, satisfaction guaranteed!
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