• Ways To Challenge My Child
    Children work on simple counting skills when they start elementary school.  In just a few years, they are ready for addition and subtraction with regrouping, multiplication, interpreting graphs, and division. It is important for all children to master foundational skills in early years before they move on to more challenging material. Here are some ways to help foster your child's math ability.
    Number Sense Activities
    1. Memorize math addition and subtraction facts to 20.  It is important that all children reach mastery of math facts. This is the foundation for success in future grades.
    2. Practice fact families/number bonds at home. Know that every number is related to one another.
    3. Practice skip counting while at home or in the car. Skip count by 5's, 10's, 2's, 3's, and 4's. Ask your child for him/her to sing the skip counting songs they have learned at school.
    Estimation Activities

    1. Young children can estimate by using items like pencils, crayons, or parts of their own bodies. Older children can use regular units of measurement like rulers or measuring cups and spoons.

    2. Ask your child to guess the number of items in your home. Make a list. Then count them together.  Examples may include pillows, windows. doors, chairs, and shoes. Then compare estimates with an actual count. Make comparisons between items to help young children understand the concepts of "more" or "less" and put them into categories.

    3. Have your child complete his/her own height and weight charts. Begin by estimating, actually measure, and then graph the information. Keep a record over a period of time.

    4. Help your child to measure the perimeter (border) and area (the amount of space something takes up) of things around the house. Some good things to start with are your body vs. theirs, the rooms in your house, your yard or driveway, windows…you get the idea. An easy way to do this is to use string or rope to ‘measure’ and then figure out the length of that using a measuring tape or yardstick.

    Traveling Activities

    1. Discuss directions (north, south, east, and west) to give your child a sense of coordinates. Have child use street maps to find travel routes and addresses and estimate the time you’ll get where you’re going and compare that to the actual time it took to arrive there.

    2. Have competitions when traveling. Have child count red cars or see who can find the largest number formed by the numerals on a license plate.

    3. To help with learning place values, have your child practice, write down, and read the large number on license plates he/she sees while riding in the car. Find the largest number in a given time period of travel or per trip.

    Cooking/Shopping Activities

    1. Let your child help with the cooking by measuring the ingredients and checking cooking times and temperatures. Older children can increase or decrease recipes.

    2. Have child figure out how to cut a pizza, cake, pie, or sandwich for different numbers of people.

    3. Have your child determine how much or how many of a grocery item is needed for the entire family, or how much is needed for a given recipe.
    *adapted from Parents+Students=Math Success

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