With this blog, TutorNerds will show and explain the best math teaching methods we use that made thousands of youngsters love math. Math can create a lot of problems for the future if the basics have not been mastered correctly as most mathematical concepts build on top of each other. Math comprehension level will determine whether it will be a breeze or a struggle in the future and it is paramount to create strong math foundations for your kids.
Hopefully, this post will inspire you to try these approaches and have a better understanding of why children should learn math at a young age and how to teach basic math at home. TutorNerds is the best option to help your kids with math and below you can find out why!
5 easy ways to teach math to a kid
There are several widely available techniques for teaching fundamental math skills to youngsters that do not rely on old-fashioned approaches. Here are some ideas for incorporating math games into your everyday activities with children.
- Meaningful counting (one at a time, backward, skip counting)
- Comparing (bigger, smaller, longer, shorter, heavier, lighter)
- Patterning (what comes next, patterns of numbers, guessing patterns)
- Sorting and classifying (by color, shape, texture, and size)
Meaningful counting, the first method on our list for teaching basic math, includes counting objects that come in pairs (mittens, socks, earrings) to introduce children to skip counting. Alternatively, you can make a ‘cake,’ and have children count the candles as they place them one by one into the cake.
Comparison – arrange objects in a paper bag and have students draw two objects from the bag and identify which one is bigger, heavier, or softer. Try building a parachute by tying a piece of string to each corner of a handkerchief and attaching it to a paper cup. Put objects into the cups and assign children to determine which cup will land first.
Patterning, among other playful activities, is a fun approach to teach natural math to children. Make a necklace out of different colored cereal and create a pattern out of the colors by alternating them. Furthermore, you can lay paper over three-dimensional objects and task kids to over the paper with the side of a peeling crayon.
The final way of teaching basic math skills using everyday objects is sorting and classifying. Gather milk jug lids, feathers, beads, and sponges and ask children to determine which will float and which will sink. Additionally, you can assign the task of categorizing different buttons based on color, texture, number of holes, and so on.
Play math games
More complicated math teaching methods can be used for children in the first through eighth grades since children can easily grasp advanced mathematical ideas through simple activities. We will discuss a handful of playful activities that do not involve the use of any devices, as well as one app that has proven to be successful for math education.
Staring off, ‘Simon says: Geometry’ is a fantastic game to inspire comprehension of basic geometry. Ask your children to show angles and shapes with their arms, by copying Simon. Make varying degrees of angles, as well as parallel and perpendicular lines. Increase the frequency with which you give orders and alternate if they come from Simon or not until one child remains as the winner.
‘101 and Out’ is a dice-based math board game that uses fundamental math principles. The goal is to come as near to 101 points as possible without going over. You must divide your kids into groups (you can play with them) and give them a die, paper, and pencil. Each group must take turns rolling the dice and choose to accept the result at face value or multiply it by 10.
Divide your children into teams (you can play as well) for the ‘Math facts race’ game and present a grid sheet to fill out. The rules of the playful activity are as follows: each team will have one kid run to the sheet and write an answer in the corresponding grid.
This way kids practice multiplication by writing 12 on the grid where the third row and fourth column meet. After answering, the children take turns, enabling their teammates to rush to the sheet. Repeat this procedure until a team wins by correctly filling up their sheet.
‘Prodigy’ is an interactive software in which players compete in math contests against in-game characters and must answer questions in order to win. Prodigy adjusts information based on adaptive learning and differentiated training concepts, addressing children’s weak spots while promoting the usage of basic math. Prodigy may be downloaded to your preferred device by clicking here.
Math as daily activity
As mentioned, math is a very crucial aspect of our everyday lives and understanding how and why using real-life examples will hopefully shed some light on it. Here is a list of basic every-day activities that can explain the importance of teaching children mathematics:
Managing time refers to the knowledge of tracking time and creating a schedule of pending tasks based of that. When we get up in the morning, we take into consideration at what time we woke up and if we have enough time to finish other chores for the day. As a task, make a daily schedule for your children that includes time for school, homework, sports, leisure, and so on and have them stick to it.
Budgeting helps understand discounts, buying at the best price, and money management. Learning how much clothes or food cost after a discount and taxes or figuring out the price of items before reaching the cashier are basic examples of budgeting. Give kids pocket money and show them how to manage it properly, introduce them to calculating percentages as well.
By introducing your children to new sports on TV and asking them to figure out who might win you can help them understand the meaning behind score, time, and strategizing to win. Tracking scores can be learned through basic math while geometry and trigonometry can help children to improve their sport skills.
Driving is a good example of how math can be used to calculate distance traveled or the quickest way to a destination. How much gas is necessary to get somewhere or calculating whether a traffic jam will get you late are some of many examples. Help kids calculate how fast the school bus is going by comparing distance and time of travel.
Math is baking
Baking is an excellent math teaching method that encourages creativity by teaching different math skills as well as the fundamentals of chemical reactions, temperature fluctuations, and ingredient varieties. Hopefully, the examples below will inspire you to incorporate these ideas into your daily activities with your children.
Have children assist you with meal preparation and familiarize them with recipes. Assume the recipe asks for 4 cups but you only have a quarter cup measuring tool and a half cup measuring tool. Have them add those values to fulfill the recipe’s requirement. Let children concentrate on counting, comparing, and recognizing forms and patterns.
If you want to avoid cooking and making a mess in the kitchen, the next best choice is to buy meals that come with instructions. Children can grasp volume and measurement by reading recipes. Invite your children to help you organize the ingredients for the recipes by asking questions like, ‘If we wanted to double this recipe, how many cups of rice would we need?’.
Interacting with food can help kids develop problem-solving abilities. Get some finger food and split it into interesting shapes. Allow youngsters to arrange them together to create new shapes or to replicate the ones you have cut. You may also assign children to create and carve their own shapes to use as puzzle pieces.
Learning to read and keep track of time is a necessary skill not only for cooking but also for everyday living. Children can be entrusted with adding up the times required to prepare specific ingredients in order to learn the overall time required to create dishes. For example, show your child a variety of recipes that are similar to the one you are creating and see if they can estimate necessary the cooking time.
Teaching kids math requires a lot of ingenuity and finding adequate strategies, some of them being more or less boring than others. Luckily, there is an ancient, widely used method called Abacus that is a good alternative for teaching natural math. Appearing simple at first, Abacus can help with understanding addition, subtraction, fractions, and even square roots.
Counting is the most basic but most important skill for youngsters to master. Many counting games can be played on Abacus to teach patterns, but we are going to showcase the most common one. Simply move beads from one side to another and have kids follow your moves. Then have kids count how many beads they moved and how many are left.
After mastering counting, children will have to learn the basics of addition. ‘The 10 strategy’ is a good place to start; enter 4 and 8 on the first two rows and then move a bead from 8 to 4. By doing this you show that 5+7 gives the same result. You can also use ‘The two 5s strategy’ by entering 6 and 7 on two wires. It can be used on any situation as long as the two numbers equal numbers larger than five.
Interestingly, Abacus can be used to teach children basics of money. Create the situation as follows: the 100 beads equal one dollar, each bead is a penny, five beads are a nickel, and whole row of 10 is a dime. Moreover, you can try arranging the beads into four groups of 25 to represent four quarters.
The final math lesson is multiplication. Ask your child to enter 7 three times. With this you can explain that the abacus shows 7 taken three times equaling to 7×3, also have your child figure out the result. This strategy helps understand that 7×3 is the same as 7+7+7 so do not bother the child with remembering the outcome of 7×3.
Math is a wonderful subject that is continually used throughout one’s life. Learning math basics with these simple yet playful activities is a good way to demonstrate the necessity of mastering addition, subtraction, multiplication, patterns of numbers, etc. We hope to spark your interest in implementing some of these in your daily teaching routines with your children.