There are so many great math curricula out there. Some are very heavy on drills: and who can deny that drills are extremely important? Others are wonderful at demonstrating concepts....the thought processes behind working out problems. Drills can easily bore a student to death and make them feel like math is a punishment, rather than an interesting investigation. However, they seem to have some mastery of math when, in reality, they don't understand the language of math. Some children pick up on concepts so quickly that a teacher or parent begins to think the student is a prodigy and is past the drills. So the teacher tends to "zoom" through lessons, allowing the student to lose important ground that has already been gained. Eventually, this leads to a halt in the student's progress.
Obviously, this means that both concepts and drills are equally important, and a tutor should never sacrifice one for the other...
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Although I enjoy geometric constructions, as in solving geometric problems with the equivalent of a string, I find that many students have little to no interest in them. I particularly like learning about how ancient cultures such as the Egyptians used them to design Pyramids where the error in the corners are about 1/300 of one degree, much more accurate than can be seen and even more accurate than almost all houses built today. Although learning about their history is interesting there is not a lot of places to apply this knowledge in the modern world, i've solved some problems in surveying with geometric constructions but there are always more advanced CAD methods which can also do the trick; which is why I was happy to find Euclid The Game.
This is a straightforward game that applies all the basic principles of geometric constructions into a fun little game. Although it doesn't require the attention to detail the Egyptians would have...
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I created this game as a way for kids to have a fun way to practice and remember their multiplication facts. It can be played child against child or child against adult.
Multiplication War
You will need 1 deck of cards with the jokers removed.
Card Value
Ace = 1
Jack = 11
Queen = 12
King = 0
Number cards equal the number on the card
Parent/Adult versus child version
Divide the deck so both players have an equal number of cards.
When you are ready to begin both players put down a card.
The child needs to multiply both numbers correctly within a certain time period. This can be anywhere from 10-30 seconds depending on their skill level.
If the child answers it correctly within the time frame, the child keeps both cards. If he/she doesn't the adult gets both cards.
The game continues until the adult is out of cards.
The object of this...
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I have been very pleased to find that all of my current students are enjoying a game I've had for years that uses math skills. I purchased it nearly 20 years ago at a Homeschool Conference. It's made up of a wooden board with holes carved out for marbles. One side has a game called MUGGINS and the other side has a game called KNOCK OUT. Math skills have to be used for both games and the level of difficulty can be increased by using dice with 16 sides rather than 6 sides. I have an elementary student with Asperger's Syndrome and he loves the game more than anybody. My students are so pleased when they win and I keep a bag with packs of gum of various flavors and candy bars for the winner to choose from. I use the game when all of the material has been covered and we have a few moments before their parents arrive to pick them up. Sometimes the student requests to play after the hour is up so as long as the parent is willing to wait, I am so very pleased that they are doing math AND having...
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Do your children hate practicing their multiplication facts? If they are like my own children, practicing math facts is "just another chore," boring, or a waste of time to them! Since I personally don't like to do anything boring, I've gotten creative with how I teach multiplication to my students at school an how I practice with my own children at home. The transformation in their attitudes about multiplication have been magic!
PLAY GAMES!
Using a deck of playing cards, remove all face cards from the deck. Select a number of the week to practice. Flip a card and ask your child to tell the
product of the card you flipped with their number of the week.
EX. If their number of the week is 2, and the card you flip is a 7, say,"What is the product of 2 x 7?" ...
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I have worked with students who had difficulty learning math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) for years. Let's face it, it's boring to sit and learn facts, especially with flashcards! I remember sitting night after night with my mother, her flashing the problems to me over and over and they just wouldn't stick! I would cry and get so frustrated and I just wanted it to be OVER!
You don't have to do that to your children. Research states that the best way to teach these skills is through games. There are a variety of math websites on the internet that can help your child learn their facts by playing fairly easy games. Sometimes they are more challenging and time your child if they are a bit more advanced, or they initially teach them a fact family at one time. Either way, playing games on a safe website is a much more effective way than using flashcards. I can recommend some to you if you email me...
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