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Math learning toy numbers counting

It’s common to hear preschoolers reciting alphabet letters and even numbers. Many can even recite or “count” to 10 on their own. But is this really counting? Does it actually teach them anything about math? Recent research shows that this ability is simply memorization and doesn’t teach them to count or learn differences in amount any more than reciting the alphabet teaches phonic sounds. So, what should you teach them?

Give Real Examples

To actually learn any real math skills at a young age, a child needs to experience actual number sense. This means that instead of showing them the number, having them trace it and repeat its sound, they are given one object, like a toy car. Then give them another one and so on, counting as you add or subtract. When they begin to learn in real life situations like this, they begin equating a specific situation or setting to a specific number.

Sort

By age two, toddlers have the ability to sort or organize and even subitize. This helps to teach them comparisons and form the ideas of patterns and relationships. You will see them separate toy animals by kind, color, or size. By teaching your child to count and recognize the number of objects in those small groups and how they relate to one another, you are building their scientific inquiry skills.

Measure

Measurement Concept

This is continued even more when we draw on a child’s attraction with size. As we work with them to form relationships of bigger and smaller, we can begin to introduce the concepts of measurement, such as miles, inches, and/or pounds. This is one of the best and simplest ways to teach your child about math, as we use size constantly in every day life. And this helps to create a more compounded sense of logic and reasoning in children.

Speak of Space

Also important to early math skills is the language of space. Words like behind, over, under, in, circle, deep, next, front, triangle etc., not only allow children to understand the world around them better but also teach them spatial representation, giving them a foundation of math vocabulary terms. Make sure to point out spatial relationships when reading books, walking through the park, or even eating dinner.

Picture Patterns

Patterns are largely impactful on a young child’s mathematic abilities as well. Things like dance, visual art and movement patterns such as stop, drop, and roll help children to learn about making predictions, guessing and understanding what may come next and using reasoning skills, which is the basis of multiplication.

Encourage

The most important factor for any child learning math, or any subject for that matter, is a can-do attitude. If a child is to learn and master any skill, they need to be encouraged that they have what it takes to succeed. This attitude of self-efficacy that is learned as a child will most often carry them through their entire life, no matter what situation or subject they are dealing with. Be a constant support and place of encouragement to help them along.

Give your child the skills to succeed, give them encouragement and you will constantly be surprised at the accomplishments they can make. Sometimes, it all begins with just a few math lessons taught at a young age.

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How To Teach Persistence

At some point, every student finds a subject, an activity, or a situation that they no longer want to continue. It could be the new book they have been assigned in class or maybe the algebra problems they were sent home with. Maybe it’s a sport or musical activity. But we can’t let them simply quit. This is their education and it's too important. A little persistence can go a long way, but how you can get your middle or high school student to understand that and put it to good use?

Don’t Rush to the Rescue

As parents, it is difficult to see our children struggling, no matter what it is. And often times we find it tempting to come to their rescue and make it all better. However, that doesn’t teach them persistence. We all learn by trial and error. That means we have to give them a chance to fail and succeed on their own.

So instead of doing it for them, work through it together and ask them to do the thinking. If they never learn to do it on their own, they will never be able to solve their own problems. Life, in general, isn’t always fair or easy. Letting them work through these situations will teach them to persevere even if life isn’t being gentle.

Don’t Rush to the Rescue

Talk About it

Sometimes the best way to help them understand is to just talk about it with them. Hearing about the importance of persistence often can greatly benefit your child. If they are constantly hearing phrases such as, “I can do it,” “I won’t quit,” or “It’s always hardest the first time,” it’s much easier for them face problems with your positive voice in their heads. You might think of a family persistence mantra to say often, such as “Mistakes won’t get us down.”

Give them a Gentle Nudge

Pushing your child can be difficult for both parents and children, but it can make a world of difference. As creatures of habit, many of us, including our students, tend to stay in our comfort zone without straying too far. However, you can help your child by pushing them to try just a little harder, practice a little longer, and make it a little more challenging.

The key is to not push too hard or make expectations too great. A child will easily get discouraged and the lesson will be lost to them if are never able to reach your goals. A simple kitchen timer can work wonders here. For example, instead of only practicing their band instrument for 10 minutes, add another five minutes. And when they complain or grumble about it, remind them of their past achievements and give them encouragement.

When your child is feeling defeated and begins to say he can’t, make sure to remind him of all the times that he has. Use your family persistence mantra and give her a little nudge in the right direction. Your child needs to hear this from you and will benefit greatly from these persistence lessons that will last a lifetime.

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Math Practice

When we talk about teaching math concepts and ideas, repetition is the most common method used. Children are given sheets of the same type of problem to figure out, having them repeat the same actions over and over again. But is this the best way to learn such things?

Repetition and Simplest Form Learning

It’s a proven fact that learning happens as synapses fire. The brain does change structurally when we revisit ideas and learn deeply but repetition is not the only way to learn. Recent studies show that practicing the same functions over and over is, in fact, not helping you to learn the concept as a whole.

Those who are taught primarily this way learn to apply those concepts to one situation type only and it typically causes students to dislike the subject altogether. They learn to produce mindless and impractical answers and relationships, instead of being able to connect and reason as a whole.

This is further complicated by the fact that many teachers and/or text books only offer the most simplified version of the concept in isolation to anything else. These simplified versions are then practiced and drilled, causing boredom in most students as they learn to just accept the concept and repeat it, instead of learning the why behind it and where it might actually be used in the real world.

This can be seen when we look at how simple shapes are taught as well as mathematical equations and more complex ideas.

For example, students were asked to name the following shape.

Hexagon

It is a hexagon (a six-sided polygon), but most students couldn’t give this answer because they were taught that the proper shape of a hexagon looks like this.

Regular Hexagon

They were taught the simplest form of this concept and not to relate it to any other form. Over half of all students who took part in this study couldn’t give the correct response to this and other questions about similar shapes and concepts. When students only learn these simplest versions, they are not given the opportunity to really learn what the concept or idea is all about and easily form misconceptions about it.

Non-Example Learning

Teaching a variety of situations and definitions is important to learn and master each concept. So is the teaching of “non-examples.” These are definitions of what a concept is not. For example, when teaching the concept of the above-mentioned hexagon, teachers should also include examples of other polygons or shapes that are not hexagons. When teaching about mammals, giving examples such as a sparrow and teaching why it is not can be much more efficient than simply showing many examples of dogs and cats.

Giving students a more comprehensive and comparative learning method teaches them to differentiate between what is and what isn’t in a realistic way. They can then learn to apply that method to multiple situations and not just the simplest form or a perfect model.

Let’s make sure to teach in a way that gives children realistic expectations of what they can apply these important math concepts and ideas to. To learn more about Math help click here.

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Mother hepls her child in homework

Time management can be stressful for any adult, especially if you have children. Think about it. How often do you have to ask your child what is taking them so long or tell them to hurry up? If you are anything like most of us, its pretty often. However, you can help gain some of your sanity back by teaching them some basic time management skills.

Measuring VS Telling Time

This is teaching them to tell time, this showing them how to measure it. Even if they already know how to tell time, most kids struggle with measuring how much time certain tasks take. This why there is such exaggeration among youngsters when it comes to this topic. Set a timer during a math project or task they are working on. Or keep an eye on the clock and give them a countdown as they work. This helps them to get a better feel of what one hour or even one minute actually feels like. As they get better adjusted, you will be able to say things like “We are leaving in 15 minutes,” and they will understand that they don’t have time to watch TV, get a snack, and take a shower first.

Make A Calendar

This is a great way to teach children about what it takes to schedule your week and your day. While this can be family fun, art activity, it also teaches each child about what other members of the family have going on. It also gives them an idea of how they need to prioritize their time to make sure everything and everyone can work together. In addition to a calendar for the whole family, having one for each specific child or member of the family is a great idea. This allows a child to be even more creative with their schedule. Work with them to list daily activities, chores, and homework and prioritize them accordingly.

Don’t Be Too Busy

A common mistake for many households is that they feel the need to be involved in everything at once. This leads to double booking, miscommunication, and a constantly revolving door. Children quickly get worn out and frustrated if all they do is go, go, go. While this does teach them to watch the clock, it doesn’t give them the opportunity to learn time management skills the right way. Instead, make sure to not overbook your kids’ schedules. One of the best learning tools for children is free time and free play. So, make sure to schedule down time into your week and day. This enables the child to focus on more than just the ticking clock.

It Has To Be Fun

Time management for a child is not just about a clock and learning to tell time. Its learning to prioritize activities, free time, homework and much more. The best way to get them to understand it is to make it fun for them to do. Use kid friendly tools like colorful magnetic calendars, a bright and cheerful to do list that they can color and design themselves, or apps that are geared for children for those that love technology. Use stickers, make tasks a game, try to beat the clock. The more fun they have completing tasks, the more likely they are to learn the importance of time management and be able to utilize it.

For more tips and tricks click here.

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St. Patrick's Day

Saint Patrick's Day or the Feast of Saint Patrick is the Day of the Festival of Patrick. This is a cultural and spiritual day held on the17th of March, and this day is also the death day of Saint Patrick (c. AD 385 –461), who was the foremost patron saint of Ireland.

Saint Patrick's Day is an official Christian feast day celebrated since early 17th century. This day is observed by the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communities — especially the Church of Ireland, the Eastern Orthodox Churchand the Lutheran Church. The day commemorates Saint Patrick and the arrival of Christianity in Ireland. This day celebrates heritage and the culture of the Irish,whichare seen in general on this day along with public parades and festivals, cèilidhs, and wearing of green attire or shamrocks is involved in the celebrations.

Saint Patrick's Day is a public holiday in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador- for provincial government officials, and the British Overseas Territory of Montserrat. It is also commonly celebrated by the Irish Diaspora around the world, especially in Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand and Australia. While the modern celebrations have been very much influenced by those of the Irish Diaspora, mostly those that developed in North America.

St. Patrick's Day

History

Saint Patrick was a 5th century Romano- British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. He is one of the patron saints of Ireland; much of what is known about him comes from the declaration, which was allegedly written by Patrick himself. Patrick was born in Roman Britain in the 4th Century, into a wealthy Romano-British family. His father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest in a Christian church. As per the declaration, Patrick was captured by Irish raiders and taken to Gaelic Ireland as a slave when he was at the age of sixteen. It says that he spent 6 years there working as a shepherd and during this time he "found God". While the Declaration says that God told Patrick to flee to the coast, where a ship would be waiting for him to take him home. After returning to his family, Patrick entered the church like his father and grandfather to become a priest. Patrick later returned to Ireland as a missionary and worked in the north and west of the country. He is said to have died on March 17th in or around the year 493.

According to a popular legend, St Patrick rid Ireland of snakes. However, it is a thinking that there have been no snakes in Ireland since the final ice age. The "snakes" that St Patrick banished from Ireland, may possibly refer to the pagan or druids worshipers of a snake or serpent gods. He is said to be obscured down under Cathedral in Downpatrick, Ireland.

What Do People Do & Eat

St Patrick’s Day is celebrated in many parts of the world.  Especially in the Irish communities and organizations. People wear an item of green clothing on this day. You can eat Irish food and drinks that are dyed in green food color. It is a great time for children to indulge in sweets. Many restaurants and pubs serve Irish food and drinks, here are some that include:

  • Corned beef and cabbage
  • Irish brown bread
  • Beef and Guinness pie
  • Irish coffee
  • Irish cream chocolate mousse cake
  • Irish potato champ, also known as poundies, cally or pandy
  • Irish stew or Irish potato soup

St. Patrick's Day

The most famous St. Patrick's Day symbol is the shamrock. A shamrock is the leaf of the clover plant and a symbol of the Holy Trinity. You can see many people wearing the color green and the flag of the Republic of Ireland on the St Patrick’s Day parades around the world.

Sacred symbols include snakes and serpents, as well as the Celtic cross. As per a famous saying,Saint Patrick added the Sun, a powerful Irish symbol, onto the Christian cross to create what is at the present called a Celtic cross.

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National Pi Day

Pi is the Greek letter“π”. Its isthe symbol used in mathematics which represents a constant and it is also the first letter of the Greek word, περ?μετρος, meaning perimeter. Pi Day is an annual celebration day celebrated in favor of the mathematical constant π (pi), this day is observed on March 14 (3/14 in the month/day date format) while 3, 1, and 4 are the initial three significant digits of π — the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter — which is more or less 3.14159. It was founded by the great Physicist Larry Shaw in 1988. In the year 2009, the United States House of Representatives supported the title of Pi Day.

While the Pi Approximation Day is observed on July 22 in the date and day/month format was - 22/7, as the fraction ?22⁄7 is a frequent approximation of π, which is precise to two decimal places and dates from Archimedes.

Pi has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As a transcendental and irrational number, it will go on infinitely with no replication or different patterns. While only a handful of digits are required for typical calculations, Pi’s infinite character makes it a fun challenge to learn by rote and to computationally calculate even more digits.

In recent years, mathematicians have called for replacing pi by tau (τ) as a method to explain the association between a circle’s perimeter and its radius. In order to increase the word about the recompense of tau over pi, mathematicians around the world recognized this day and celebrate Tau Day on June 28.

Observance

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology has frequently sent its request letters to potential students for delivery on Pi Day. Starting from 2012, MIT has announced that it will post those decisions (in private) online on Pi Day by 6.28 pm; which they have called "Tau Time", this was to honor the rival numbers pi and tau evenly. But whereas in 2015, the standard decisions were put online at 9:26 AM, following the year's "pi moment".

The town of Princeton, New Jersey, hosts many events to celebrate both Pi Day and Albert Einstein's birthday, which also falls on March 14. Einstein lived in Princeton for more than 20 years while working at the Institute for Advanced Studies. In addition to pie eating and performance contests, there will be annual Einstein look-alike contests held in the city.

While on March 14th, 2016 the Monterey County Skeptics held a pi day challenge; the goal is to just get the people off from their computers and meet each other in real life. They also challenged skeptic groups across the world to do the same. Several groups from across the world follow this event through their Facebook page. The Monterey County Skeptics is in hopes to make this an annual event and is once again putting out the challenge to all the other pessimist groups on Facebook to program a social network and event groups on March 14th, 2017 to celebrate Pi Day.

National Pi Day

How to Celebrate?

  • Pi is a homophone of pie - both the words are marked similarly but are spelled in a different way and mean different things.
  • Celebrate Pi Day by having your favorite pie.
  • Find out and participate in the pie baking contest, and bake different pi shaped pies.
  • Arrange a pi performance contest, tell the people who can recite the most digits of the constant gets to take a pie home.
  • Wear a t-shirt which has the numbers of pi on it, you can also wear accessories, earrings; etc.
  • Gather with your peers and eat foods which start with a pi, like pizza, pineapples or foods that are circular shaped like cookies, pancakes, and brownies.
  • Watch the Darren Aronofsky 1998 movie, Pi.

Other famous Mathematical Dates

The Gregorian Calendar is full of dates that were written in a extraordinary manner and these dates represent a mathematical or scientific concept. While some of the days and dates include: Yellow Pig Day, Fibonacci Day, Mole Day, Square Root Day, Sequential time, Palindrome Day and e-Day.

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