Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today

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Counting apples is a great math lesson, but counting apples, oranges, and watermelons together expands the thought process. The child is connecting counting with various objects, instead of running through a routine numbers game of 1, 2, 3. There are plenty of games on the market that promise to aid you in teaching math. Hi Ho Cherry-O and adding dice teach simple addition. The game Chutes and Ladders introduces children to the numbers 1 to Advanced math board games come and go, so check stores for today's hot games.

Classics like Yahtzee, PayDay, Life, and Monopoly are always good resources for addition and subtraction. Some of the best math games come from your own imagination. Play a math scavenger hunt. Use chalk to scribble numbers on the driveway and quiz your kids with math questions they have to answer by running to the correct number. Begin basic counting skills with blocks.

Math can become an activity they enjoy rather than an educational drill.

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Soft cookies make excellent teaching tools. While you can count the cookies you bake for simple math, a fresh batch is also perfect for teaching fractions. With a plastic knife, kids can learn how to cut a cookie into eighths, fourths, and halves. The act of visually seeing a fourth created as well as them getting to cut that whole into fourths makes an impression in a child's mind. Use those small cookie pieces to teach your child how to add and subtract fractions.

Put the pieces together so they can see the cookie half. An alternative to baking cookies is to use raw cookie dough or make your own play-dough. Of course, you can't eat your fractions when you're finished learning math, but you can reuse the cookie dough or molding clay. Even the smallest hands love sliding abacus beads back and forth along the wire.

An abacus can be used to teach kids addition, subtraction, multiplication , and division. With an abacus, kids develop problem-solving skills. There's a logic behind using an abacus, so be sure you know what group of numbers each colored bead represents to accurately use it. Evaluate your child's learning preferences by trying both flashcards and hands-on experience.

How to turn every child into a “math person”

Some children learn better by seeing the answer on a card or counting pictures on a card. Others won't truly get the concept of math until you let them count physical objects. Mix up your math lessons to see which method seems to be working best for your child. At the front, where the teacher stands, is a whiteboard, a projector, a Singapore flag and a clock. I am later told that other decorations had been removed to avoid distracting or aiding students during a round of tests. The subject is English, a second language for most of the children here, who speak either Malay or Chinese at home. At the front of the class, the teacher, Wendy Chen, is showing a film of migrant workers responding to racist comments.

She hands out a newspaper cutting, again about migrant workers, and asks them to analyse it. The atmosphere is industrious. Throughout the day, the children work quietly at their tasks with relatively little chatter. Corporal punishment is permitted as a last resort — for boys only — at Singapore schools. When the teachers need to command attention, they strike an insistent note rather than raising their voices.

Help Your Child Develop Early Math Skills

Further absorbing discipline, many of the children join police or military cadet organisations, and can be seen dressed in uniform and standing to attention in the schoolyard after class. Science is next. The children are being taught programming using a small circuit board, hooked up to an LED. Last year, students in this class built a robotic arm. This year, the goal is to build a miniature driverless car — a palm-sized robot with wheels. The lights might be incorporated into the driverless car project as part of an LED messaging system, he says.

The science teacher, pacing around the lab, says that the children are becoming so familiar with the computer code that some are experimenting with it.

Its whitewashed walls are relieved by occasional stripes of blue or yellow paint. Ceiling fans stir the air and the chatter of other children sometimes drifts through the open windows. Pupils at Admiralty are gently steered away from the humanities and nudged towards science, Toh Thiam Chye says.

Help your child master the addition facts for good in just 6 weeks!

After-hours activities such as a robotics club are intended to instil a love of scientific inquiry, as well as prepare for a more automated future. A spokeswoman for the ministry of education later clarifies that this is not a matter of policy and that Singapore values the arts; children are encouraged to pursue their strengths, she adds.

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Admiralty has a strong emphasis on science, while other schools favour humanities, she says. Nevertheless, older Singaporeans I spoke to describe being pushed in the direction of science if they were deemed bright enough to pursue quantitative subjects. In a maths lesson after lunch, the teacher gets pupils out of their seats as their attention begins to flag in the mounting heat. She invites volunteers to stand at the whiteboard and solve algebraic equations in front of the class.

In the closing minutes of the class, the children are set a test. They work on tablet computers and as they answer, their scores are projected on to the screen at the front. One boy, working fast, lifts his tablet in the air with pride. Hardly any wrong answers. A classmate high-fives him.

The city-state spends about three per cent of GDP on education, compared with about six per cent in the UK and nearly eight per cent in Sweden. But the Singapore system is remarkably effective at offering teachers the freedom to improve their practice. A successful teacher is not pushed towards management, as is often the case elsewhere, but given opportunities to be a mentor or take a hand in designing the curriculum. East Asian countries tend to favour bigger class sizes, he adds, which means teachers spend less time in front of the class each week. In Korea and Japan, secondary school teachers spend about 15 hours a week teaching, compared with nearly 20 hours in England and more than 27 hours a week in the US.

Privately, parents confide fears that the exam-oriented system places too much strain on their children, and worry that the emphasis on academic achievement from an early age can come at the expense of a balanced upbringing. Children are often tutored after school for hours in order to pass their exams. Within Singapore, there are also concerns that the existing system sharpens inequality, and that streaming skews the system against late developers. It is one of a few state-funded but independently run elite schools on the island.

But independent schools can set higher fees, as well as restrict class sizes and design their own curricula. Like many other east Asian nations, Singapore has a thriving tuition industry. A few years ago, a survey by the ministry of education found that more than half of primary school pupils were receiving private tuition in subjects they were already doing well in. Meritocracy is an element of the glue that binds Singapore together.

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Alongside the promise of shared prosperity and security, the idea that the brightest can rise to the top is a component of the political bargain that the city-state has struck with its citizens, under which some political freedoms are restricted in exchange for significant material benefits. Social mobility is diminishing in Singapore because of the rising cost of education, says Michael Barr, an associate professor in international relations at Flinders University in Adelaide. It costs money to engage in tuition.

It costs money to engage in extra-curricular activities. A Singaporean bank executive and father of three, who asked not to be named, criticised a narrow focus on achieving top grades, which he regarded as the product of hard work as much as intelligence. In his experience, children were marked down for using their own methods to solve maths puzzles, even if the answers were correct, he said.

Singaporeans frequently use the Hokkien Chinese word kiasu to describe themselves. When applied to education, kiasu refers to parents who push their children hard from a well-founded fear that they will lose out to their peers.

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But it is also used as shorthand for a concern that Singaporeans lack imagination and enterprise. Then again, this is a small island. They wanted to spur independent thinking and encourage students to follow their passions.

Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today
Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today
Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today
Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today
Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today
Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today
Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today Math 4 Kids: Teach your kid math today

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