In elementary school, learning math facts is one of the most preoccupying concerns for many students and their parents and teachers. Fluency in math facts holds a lot of benefits for kids below fifth grade. Math facts are the foundation based on which all advanced math topics are introduced. Kids should ideally be fluent with basic addition and subtraction facts by second grade and with multiplication and division facts by fourth grade. However, kids experiencing difficulties learning math facts find it challenging to stay motivated enough to practice math for extended periods of time. Instead of driving yourself and your child crazy trying to master maddening math facts, try using one of these fun ways of practicing math:
Practice Math with Fun Math Games
Fun math games give kids the motivation to learn math facts and the pressure to produce the right answers without threatening the child’s self-esteem. Additionally, these absorbing games are very addictive, ensuring your child spends a long time each day practicing math. Here are some fun math games that you can try playing with your child to enhance fluency with math facts:
1. Fun Math Card Game – Addition and Subtraction War
This game is similar to the classic card game ‘War’. A deck of cards is dealt out evenly to two players and kept face-down. Each player draws the top two cards from the deck and places them in the center facing up. The player with the higher sum takes all four cards and adds them to the bottom of the deck. In case of a draw, players enter a war. The war is played by placing two cards face-down on top of the tied cards and then placing two cards face-up above that. The player with the higher sum takes all 12 cards. At the end of the game, the player with the greater number of cards is the winner. Subtraction war is played in the same way, with players subtracting the smaller number from the greater number in each round.
2. Fun Math Dice Game – It’s Dicey!
This fun math game with dice is to be played in pairs. Each player needs a sheet of paper, a pencil and a few round counters. Children write the numbers from 2 to 12 on the paper, leaving space between the numbers. Players then take turns rolling the dice and finding the sum of the numbers on the dice. The sum is covered by a counter on the sheet of paper. Once all the numbers are covered, the game ends. The first to finish all the numbers wins the game.
Exercise Those Math Skills
Moving around is another great way to practice math facts. Unlike the fun math games, there are no strict rules for this method. It is based on the principle that children learn math facts better when they are being active at the same time. Have your kids learn a few math facts while playing with a jump rope or just dancing around. You can even create your own fun math games involving physical activity to get your kids trying this method out. Systematically focus on a few math facts each day to slowly learn an entire set.
Learn Math through the Day
Do not wait for your child’s math practice hour to start practicing math lessons. Teach your child math through everyday situations like doubling a recipe or going grocery shopping. While fun math games work by creating motivation to practice math, this method works by giving students a context in which they can understand and relate to their math lessons. This is also essential for getting good at mathematics. Use a simple opportunity like snacking on goldfish to give your child practice working out simple math facts using concrete objects like the snack.
Use your creativity and presence of mind to come up with other fun ways of practicing math, and very soon your child will be solving math problems with the ease and expertise of a pro!
- Math Games Bolster Achievement (howtolearn.com)