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ages 2-7: THE best single math resource

 
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Bob Hazen
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 7:34 am    Post subject: ages 2-7: THE best single math resource Reply with quote

What is, in my humble opinion, THE single best math resource for ages 2-7? Read on...

I teach high school math in suburban St. Paul, MN. I see kids in high school every day who are mathematically HOBBLED and sometimes even CRIPPLED... simply because they still have never mastered their basic arithmetic facts - especially the multiplication facts.

Multiplication is the foundation for things way beyond sheer fact recall - it forms the basis for number sense, for estimation, for mental math, for algebraic factoring, and for other operations in higher math such as binomial expansion, power functions, exponential functions, and both derivatives and integrals of polynomial functions!

So what is THE best math resource for ages 2-7? The skill of skip counting, which is best taught using skip counting songs. This resource can be found at my website at www.AlgebraForKids.com where you can click on the link to "Audio Tapes & CD's" to order some of these. If you have kids ages 2-7, please DON'T cripple them for advanced math by failing to have them master basic math facts.

Bob Hazen
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Theodore
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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2006 2:37 pm    Post subject: Re: THE best single math resource Reply with quote

Not to detract from your post in any way, but I'd like to list a second resource as well, Barnum Quartermile. We've used this a lot for lower level math drills, and it massively increases your computation speed and memorization of basic math facts, while being quite addictive and fun. If your children are more visual than audio-based, this may the better choice.

Number Munchers was also quite fun, though it's a DOS-based game and you have to install a DOS simulator to run it at this point.
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sgreenwa5
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Joined: 24 May 2006
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PostPosted: Wed May 24, 2006 11:06 am    Post subject: To teach basic math facts: Reply with quote

As an educator, I also have always stressed mastery of the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. I also realized that unless the facts are automatic, children will have difficulty learning more advanced math skills and with solving word math. My suggestion to anyone teaching the math facts is to first determine which facts the child knows automatically, that is without hesitation. Make a pack of cards for each of those correctly answered facts. Each day, have the children answer those facts and praise them for being able to answer quickly. Then assign a few new facts to learn, and repeat the process so that over time, all of the facts will be mastered. When the stack of cards becomes too large to do all every day, separate the newest ones from the mastered ones and then practice the mastered ones only once a week.
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Moti
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 1:48 pm    Post subject: Re: To teach basic math facts: Reply with quote

sgreenwa5 wrote:
As an educator, I also have always stressed mastery of the addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts. I also realized that unless the facts are automatic, children will have difficulty learning more advanced math skills and with solving word math. My suggestion to anyone teaching the math facts is to first determine which facts the child knows automatically, that is without hesitation. Make a pack of cards for each of those correctly answered facts. Each day, have the children answer those facts and praise them for being able to answer quickly. Then assign a few new facts to learn, and repeat the process so that over time, all of the facts will be mastered. When the stack of cards becomes too large to do all every day, separate the newest ones from the mastered ones and then practice the mastered ones only once a week.


You are certainly right Susan (I have checked your website naturally). The reason is that without the basic facts mastered kids cannot see the path from the beginning to the end and thus are afraid to even start. I am writing a book on Word Problems now and one of the points I explain is exactly that: you need to know the basic facts (and knoweldge) well to make solving word problems easier. It is not enough in it by itself, but it removes an unnecessary block, which can be a big one at that. I have done so with all my students in the past and it is always amazing how better they do on problems they didn't do well before, once they have mastered basic arithmetics.
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