5 STRATEGIES TO BUILD MATH CONFIDENCE

This year is just like every other year.  There seems to be one BIG issue facing our students.   Last year, we are seeing a flurry of children with reading fluency and spelling issues.  The major concern I hear from parents this school year has been their child’s math struggles.  Math can be a challenge for students because they are faced with mathematical skills that are difficult to learn and typically this is caused by a lack of foundation in basic math concepts and difficulty with number sense.  If your child happens to be one of the students with math anxiety, here are some strategies to build math confidence.

1.  Practice math DAILY!  Ever heard the saying, “Math is all around us?” Well, it is true!  Look for opportunities to involve your child in everyday tasks such as making dinner (measurement, counting, estimating), walking to the park (calculating distance & time), putting away laundry (counting, sorting), or going shopping (money, calculation). There is always a way to incorporate math concepts with your children.  You don’t even have to set aside time to practice.  Let it happen naturally!

2.  Math is FUN!  Seriously, there are a dozen ways to have fun without knowing you are actually doing math.  Math concepts are naturally designed to be made into a game!  Sometimes you need to be creative and not rely on traditional board games. Try playing blackjack to work on adding, designing an obstacle course to build time skills, playing war to practice multiplication facts, playing computer games, creating guessing games, and even using Ipad apps. The possibilities are endless!

3. Review, Review, Review!  Weekends are a great time to go back and work on the skills that have posed a problem in the past.  If your child has never really mastered addition (yes, this is where they are still using their fingers to count), take the opportunity to take a few steps back and work on this skill.  It is the perfect time because their classmates are not around to compare what one another is doing OR not doing!

4. Get a head start!  We have all been there before…staring at a math problem that we have no idea how to solve.  I remember mine, it was the nine’s times tables.  Even the best and brightest child is going to come up against a problem that is new and challenging. Suddenly, math doesn’t seem to make sense. These can be crushing moments that end your child’s interest in math.  Look ahead into the upcoming lesson, make sure your child has the prerequisite skills necessary to be tackling the problems so they are not faced with such a large hurdle when the lesson begins.

5.  Ensure your child is not missing crucial concepts!  Sometimes kids miss concepts that are essential building blocks for understanding later concepts. If your child misses critical math milestones chances are your child is going to fall behind with related concepts.  This is a major blow to anyone’s confidence.  Start with the simple math activities and work slowly through math connections. This will lead to confidence, strength and a positive outlook about math.

Children learn best with consistent opportunities and exposure to math concepts.  These opportunities will develop a deep comprehension of the concepts and strategic problem solving skills. It is important to assist children by providing them with the necessary background knowledge to find the correct solutions. Little Scholars has math coaches to bring these skills to your child.  If you would like to learn more about how our math coaches can help your child, please contact us at 804-241-6006 or 703-259-3434 or sjefferson@littlescholarsllc.com.

©2012 Little Scholars, LLC  All Rights Reserved

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