Thursday, March 10, 2011

How To Motivate Our Children In Mathematics

According to Jo Boaler, author of, What’s Math Go To Do With It, all children start life being excited by mathematics, and parents can become wonderful resource for the encouragement of their thinking. Mathematical ideas that may seem obvious to us, such as the fact that you can count a set of objects, move them around, and then count them again and you get the same number, are fascinating to young children.

If you give children of any ages a set of pattern blocks or Cuisenaire rods and just watch them, you will see them do all sorts of mathematical things, such as ordering the rods, putting them into shapes, and making repeating patterns. At these times parents need to be around to marvel with their children, to encourage their thinking, and to give them other challenges. One of the best things parents can do to develop their children’s mathematical interest is to provide mathematical settings and to explore mathematical patterns and ideas with them. All children start their lives motivated to come up with their own ideas about mathematics and other things, and one of the most important things a parent can do is to nurture this motivation.

Below are some ideas to help encourage children to think mathematical and creatively:

1. Colored beads of different shapes and string
2. Nuts, bolts, washers, and colored tape
3. Cards from the game SET
4. Dice of various colors
5. Snap cubes of various colors
6. A square lattice grid with colored pegs
7. Sticks of different unit lengths with eyelets and string
8. Measuring cups with simple fraction volumes and a bowl of water
9. Pine cones of various shapes and sizes


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