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Making Math Sense Vol. 1

Tips for teaching math basics.

Larry Martinek, the "math guru" of Mathnasium has created math tips for parents grade K-5.  Through this and our next 8 blogs we will share with you his tips to help Kindergarten through Fifth graders, or anyone who needs help with basic mathematics concepts and skills. The trick is to do these exercises both orally and visually, with little or no writing. Pictures can be uses as visual aids.  Real-world objects (coins, blocks, eggs. . .) should be used as appropriate.

The first strategy is counting.  The most basic skills in mathematics are counting and grouping ("seeing" numbers in groups).  to develop counting skills, help children learn to count from any number, to any number, by any number.  Do all counting forward and backward.
-Count by 1s, starting at 0 (0, 1, 2, 3...250...),
  -then starting at any number (e.g., 28, 29, 30...40...)
-Count by 2s, starting at 0 (0, 2, 4, 6...24...)
  -then starting at 1 (1, 3, 5...25...)
  -then starting at any number (e.g., 23, 25, 27...49...)
-Count by 10s, starting at 0 (0, 10, 20...500...)
  -then starting at 5 (5, 15, 25...205...)
  -then starting at any number (e.g., 37,47,57,67...347...)
-Count by 1/2s, starting at 0 (0, 1/2, 1, 1 1/2...5...)
  -then by 1/4s, starting at 0 (0, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, 1, 1 1/4...)
  -then by 3/4s, starting at 0 (0, 3/4, 1 1/2, 2 1/4, 3...)
-Count by 15s, starting at 0 (0, 15, 30...120...)
-Count by 3s, 4s, 6s, 7s,8s,9s,11s,12s, 20s, 25s, 50s, 75s, 100s, and 150s, starting at 0.

The benefits of this type of counting practice are strong additions skills and painless development of Times Tables.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Thomas Lotito February 06, 2013 at 10:57 PM
Chris, thank you for your honest assessment. You are 100% correct. EM & CM does not teach the basic math facts. So why then is it taught in our schools? What are your thoughts on Singapore math? If you're on facebook please join the conversation with other math enthusiasts: Coalition for World Class Math https://www.facebook.com/groups/USCoalition/
Chris Johnson February 07, 2013 at 12:33 AM
Thomas, Thanks for sending me to the Coalition for World Class Math site. It looks like they are doing some interesting and important thinking regarding how math is taught to our children. Singapore Math seems to hold promise, has strong conceptual underpinnings and puts more emphasis on math skills than EM and CM.
Thomas Lotito February 07, 2013 at 01:43 AM
Chris, my pleasure, keep writing about math on the Patch. Math runs the world and children need to learn STRONG math skills to compete in this new post modern technological age. Please connect with me on fb when you publish new material and I'll pass it along. Great job! Thank you Tom
Chris Johnson February 11, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Hi Thomas, The development of Strong math skills, confidence and a love for math is what we are all about! Please come and visit us in Mendham, at the Mendham Village Shopping Center and take a connect with us at: http://www.facebook.com/MendhamMathnasium?fref=ts I am getting ready to post Making Math Sense Vol. 2 right now. Thanks, Chris
Thomas Lotito February 11, 2013 at 11:41 PM
Chris, I will stop by, I'm looking forward to your next entry, done on fb. Thanks Tom

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