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Math Tips for Home

Math Tips for Home
Posted on 06/11/2015
Glen Sherman is our Math Coach and this month's Guest Writer

All Grades, K-5 

Encourage your child to stick with it whenever a problem seems difficult, and find ways to let them see you persevere through difficult problems. This will help your child see that everyone can learn math.                      

Praise your child when he or she makes an effort, and share in the excitement when he or she solves a problem or understands something for the first time.

Kindergarten 

Use everyday objects to allow your child to count things when you’re out in the world (signs, trees, lampposts) and to group collections of objects at home. Make sure that you and your child always include the name of the things you’re counting as you count. For example: “One penny, two pennies, three pennies…” rather than just, “One, two, three…”

Encourage your child to construct numbers in multiple ways. For example, what are some ways that you can make 10? Answers might include 5+5, 6+4, 8+2, etc. Have your child explain his or her thinking.

Have your child create story problems to represent addition and subtraction of small numbers. For example, “Ann had eight balloons. Then she gave three away, so she only had five left.”

Grade 1 

Look for everyday opportunities to have your child do mathematics. For example, if you open a carton of eggs and take out seven, ask, “How many are eggs are left in the carton?”

Play math games with your child. For example, “I’m thinking of a number. When I add five to it, I get 11. What is the number?”

Encourage your child to read and write numbers in different ways. For example, what are some ways that you can make the number 15? 15 can be 10+5, 7+8, 20-5, or 5+5+5.

Have your child create story problems to represent addition, subtraction, and comparisons. For example, “I have seven pennies. My brother has five pennies. How many pennies does he need to have the same number as I have? He needs two more pennies.”

Grade 2 

Play math games with your child. For example, “I’m thinking of a number. It has 5 tens, 3 hundreds, and 4 ones. What is the number? 354.” Or, using a deck of cards, deal two cards and ask your child to add the two numbers. You can also identify a target number and ask your child to either add or subtract to obtain that target number (use a target of 20 or less).

Have your child explain the relationship between different numbers without counting. For example, 147 is 47 more than 100 and three less than 150.

Grade 3 

Play math games with your child. For example, “I’m thinking of two numbers whose product is between 20 and 30. How many pairs can you think of that would satisfy this problem?” Have your child explain the solutions. How does he or she know that all the number pairs have been identified?

Encourage your child to write or describe numbers in different ways. For example, what are some different ways to make 1450? 1450 = 1 thousand, 4 hundreds, 5 tens, and 0 ones, or 1000 + 450, 14 hundreds and 50 ones, 13 hundreds + 15 tens, etc.

Use everyday objects to allow your child to explore the concept of fractions. For example, use measuring cups to have students demonstrate how many 1/3’s are in a whole, how many 1/4 cups you need to make 1 1⁄4 cups, and how many times you have to refill a ½ cup measure to make 1½ cups.

Grade 4 

Use everyday objects to allow your child to explore the concept of fractions. For example, use measuring cups so students see how many times you have to refill a 1 ⁄4 cup to equal a 1⁄2 cup or how many 1 ⁄3’s are in two cups. Have students describe two fractions that are equal using a measuring cup (filling a 1 ⁄4 measuring cup twice is the same as filling one 1 ⁄2 measuring cup).

Have your child write or describe fractions in different ways. For example, what are some different ways to make 3 ⁄4? Answers could include: 1 ⁄4+1 ⁄4+1 ⁄4, 3x1 ⁄4, 1/2 + 1/4, etc.

Ask your child to create and describe equal fractions. For example, have students take a sheet of paper, fold the paper in half, and then unfold and shade 1 ⁄2. Then have students take the same sheet of paper and fold the paper in a half again. Unfold the paper and have students discuss the number of parts that are now shaded. Encourage your child to talk about ways to show that 1 ⁄2 =2 ⁄4. (Students may continue this process creating other equal fractions.)

Grade 5 

Use everyday objects to allow your child to explore the concept of fractions. For example, have your child divide a candy bar (or a healthy snack) between three people. Ask, “How much does each person receive?” (Each person would receive 1 ⁄3). Suppose there are three candy bars that you plan to share with two friends. Have your child describe the amount that each person will receive.

Have your child explain how to write fractions in different ways. For example, what are some different ways to write 4 ⁄3 ? He or she could answer 4÷3, 1 1 ⁄3, 2 ⁄3 + 2 ⁄3, 2 x 2 ⁄3, 8 ⁄6, 4 x 1⁄3 , etc.

Ask your child to name a fraction equal to a decimal. For example, what are two fractions that can be used to represent 0.6? Answers could include 6 ⁄10, 60⁄100, 12⁄20 , or 3 ⁄5.

Source: Council of Great City Schools, Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core Standards