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Making Math Sense Vol. 3

These math learning strategies from Mathnasium Mendham can be started as early as kindergarten, first and second grade.

In our last blog we shared with you the second of Larry Martinek’s 9 Math Tips for Parents Grades K-5 which was about grouping. Grouping helps expand children’s thinking processes and help them “see” groups. This week we are going to share with you his third tip and it is about fractions. 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. . .) should be used as appropriate.

As counting skills begin to develop, fractions can be introduced.  Long before introducing words like numerator and denominator, teach children that half means “2 parts the same,” and have them use this knowledge to figure out things like:

-“How much is half of 6? ...10? ...20? ...26? ...30? ...50? ...100? ...248? ...4,628?”

-“How much is half of 3?...11?...15?...21?...49?...99?...175?...99?...2,001?”

As the ability to split numbers in half develops, add questions like:

-“How do you know when you have half of something?”

-“Half of what number is 4?...25?...2 ½ ?”

-“How many half sandwiches can you make out of three whole sandwiches?”

-“How much is 2 plus 2 ½?” “How much is 3 ½ plus 4?”

-“How much is 7 take away 2 ½?” How much is 7 ½ take away 2?”

-“How much is 2 ½, four times?...seven times?...two-and-a half times?”

-“How much is a half plus a quarter?”

-“What part of 12 is 6?...is 4?...is 3?...is 1?...is 9?...is 8?...is 12?...is 24?...is 30?

Don’t be afraid to ask these questions of kindergarteners and first graders.  The ability to “see” a whole as being a collection of parts should be learned in the early grades.

For more math tips, Mathnasium in Mendham is here to help tutor and teach students from pre-K through 12th grade. Stop for a free math consultation and assessment or come see us at: www.mathnasium.com/mendham.

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