Suggestions for Parents & Students At Home
Parents: Use the information provided here to helps support your son or daughter's mathematics development. The Ontario Government has published two documents recently: Helping Your Child Learn Math: A Parent's Guide and Helping Your Child Do Mathematics: A Guide For Parents. Much of the information contained here refers to these documents and the monographs produced by the Literacy & Numeracy Secretariat.
Why learn math?
Understanding Mathematics allows us to:
How Can I Help my Child?
- solve problems and make sound decisions
- explain how we solved a problem and why we made a particular decision
- use technology (for example calculators and computers) to help solve problems
- understand patterns and trends in the world around us in order to make predictions (for example, keep track of how much milk is consumed to know how much milk to buy each week, notice the times when traffic is heavy to decide on the best time to travel)
- manage time and money, and handle everyday situations that involve numbers (fore example, calculate how much time we need to get to work, how much food we need to make meals, and how much money we need to buy the food)
1) Be positive about mathematics
2) Make mathematics part of your child's day
- point out how family members use mathematics daily
- let your child know that everyone can learn mathematics (because everyone can though not in the same way)
- use positive talk like: "What do we know already?"; "What do we need to know?"; "What strategy might we use to find what we need?"
- encourage and model perseverance/persistence when the problem seems difficult
3) Encourage your child to give explanations
- encourage your child to tell you how she or he uses mathematics
- include your child in everyday applications of mathematics (like measuring ingredients, making purchases, counting out plates and utensils, etc.)
- play games and do puzzles that involve mathematics. Such activities may focus on direction or time, logic, reasoning, sorting, classifying, and/or estimating.
- work with your child to solve mathematics problems
- use conventional mathematics tools like a ruler or a calculator, but also household objects like toothpicks, various sizes of containers, coloured building blocks, etc. when doing mathematics with your child
Students: One of the best things you can do away from school for mathematics is practise your operations skills. If multiplying and dividing slow you down, try an alternate mental method. Know your facts up to 12 x 12 and know how you will add and subtract including decimals and fractions.
- when you and your child are trying to solve a problem, have your child share his or her thinking aloud and talk about the strategies that he or she used to reach a solution. If some of your child's ideas are puzzling, ask your child to explain further. As children talk about their ideas and how they reach solutions, they are learning to reason mathematically
- suggest that your child act out a problem or draw a diagram to solve it. Have your child show how he or she reached a conclusion by drawing pictures and moving objects as well as by using words.
- treat errors and misconceptions as opportunities to develop reasoning skills and new ideas. Identify which part of your child's reasoning is convincing and which part is less convincing. For example, "I like the way you organized the information. Can we look at the chart again to see if the numbers are accurate?" Also, prompt your child to think of another way to solve the problem.
Mr. Silcox' Numeracy Coaching Page
Program Services ~ Math Science Technology & Environmental Education
1250 Dundas Street P.O. Box 5888
London, ON N5W 5P2