Developing a grounded understanding of numbers, and number operations provides the firmest foundation for learning math. Touching, seeing, and manipulating physical objects are perhaps the surest way to accomplish that in the beginning.
Developing the practice of drawing pictures to reflect an arithmetic or story problem is the next step and soon becomes a central tool for thinking through a math problem whether represented in math and science, or encountered in life.
Finally, talking about, through, and around math, arithmetic, problems, and solutions is equally important to proficiency in math and any other area of education, socialization, and life.
It is important to recognize the preferred learning style of each student in order to achieve the best opportunity to that student’s learning and performance. Yet, excellent teaching includes multiple approaches and learning styles on the way to each student’s full facility, proficiency, and confidence. This necessary aim toward excellence achieves a strengthening and coordinating of all aspects of the royal roads to our children's learning and develops the muscles of their productive and creative imagination.
Such foundational learning is always remembered and becomes the continual basis for learning math and all subjects throughout school –– even to the university level. Though school curricula categorize learning into separate classrooms and subjects, vocabulary, critical reading skills, and both creative and analytical thinking are essential to real proficiency in math. Similarly, the discipline and critical thinking skills developed for math contribute to the best thinking and performance in any subject life, even art and music.
––– Raymond V