(9 x 4) x 5 = ______ x (5 x 9)

*In case you don’t know, you solve the equation by using the Associative Property of Multiplication.

This video on Edutopia’s YouTube channel is a great introduction to teaching elementary math.

 

Math is not all that scary!

For many elementary students, math can be a scary subject. Addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, decimals, and the list goes on… these elements make up math. I admit that when I was in school, I did not like math. It wasn’t my best subject (but also not my worst). But as I continued on, I learnt that math is not merely numbers and equations, but patterns and problem-solving skills.

Math can also be taught as a social activity:

 

What are some strategies for teaching elementary math?

  • Use visual aids and graphics – Elementary students are often more visual learners than purely audio (meaning they need to see what they are learning rather than merely hear it). Using objects and pictures to help convey the different operations allow the learners to make connections between the numbers and the operation being used.

 

  • Use manipulatives – Manipulatives are hands-on objects. They work well best for young learners (PreK- grade 1), but older elementary students can benefit from them, too. Hands-on objects such as marbles or blocks are perfect for displaying patterns, or showing multiplication or division facts.

 

  • Use verbal thinking – After the students solve the math problem, ask the students to verbally explain the steps involved. This step-by-step process of explanation helps students understand the logical processes they used in order to arrive at the correct (or possibly incorrect) answer.

 

  • Give specific feedback – If a student incorrectly solves a math problem, do not just give the correct answer without saying why. As the teacher, you should work through the problem with the student, as you guide them to get the correct answer. This method helps the student see where he/she went wrong, and how to fix the mistake. After you assess your students’ skills, you should point out areas where they excel and areas where they can improve.

 

For more strategies, go to the blog, Strategies for Teaching Elementary Mathematics.

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Filed under Elementary Education, Kids, Math, Teaching, Thinking, Video, Young Learners

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