“What’s your favorite subject?” is something you often hear adults ask young children. Reading, Science, PE, Values are common answers. Very seldom do you hear Math.
A child who says he likes Math always leaves me impressed because this tells me that the teacher is doing a great job. Teachers become very important role-models for school-age children. To a great extent, a child’s love for learning and discovery will be cultivated in the classrooms. I believe that this is especially true for Math.
In Retrospect During my early school years, I remember having so much fun counting beads and other objects, making sets, grouping, sorting, doing simple addition and subtraction, and following and making patterns. Until learning the multiplication tables and beginning division, I still enjoyed Math. When we started with word problems everything went downhill from there.
I have always believed that my difficulties with Math were my fault. I just was not smart enough, I thought. When I did my Masters, however, and was exposed to current research and new methods of teaching, I made a life-changing discovery: My inability to comprehend Math concepts and problems did not have anything to do with my intelligence, but it had everything to do with how these were presented to me.
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Math Need Not Be A Terrifying Subject for Children Teaching Math can either be exciting or it can be boring. Drills can be tedious and a turn off to most children. As the teacher or parent teaching Math it is your responsibility to find creative ways to demonstrate these concepts to children and make it applicable to their experiences. The more children are able to see Math in their everyday activities or routines, the more they will appreciate and understand the ideas.
So use actual and interesting objects when counting, making patterns, or compare sets. Use songs (even if you just make them up) to introduce concepts. Songs entice children to listen and help them retain ideas better. Make a game out of everything. Children love games and it gives the illusion of play while actually teaching important points.
Click here to see suggestions on how to make Math a fun subject.