Bedford, NY-- Bills, taxes, and household repairs could seem somewhat simple to parents compared to helping their child deal with the ever-changing subject of math. Property tax? Understandable. Lattice multiplication? Maybe not.
Teachers in the Bedford Central School District, though, are here to help; not only inside the classroom, but what you can do outside it to make your child sure-handed at the math table.
Donna Swift, the Elementary Math Consulting Teacher of the Bedford Central School District, believes that parents mostly need to help kids practice the basic forms, the facts of math: addition, subtraction, and multiplication.
Whats most important is to support them in fact fluency. From 2nd grade on, it can include reciting facts aloud, listening to facts to music, writing them out, says Swift. Addition and subtraction in the 2nd grade, then multiplication and division in 3rd grade. It doesnt have to be flash cards, you can be creative.
The ECL of the Bedford Hills Elementary School, Susan Bretti, agrees, and knows that it can be a slippery slope for kids who do not understand the basics.
As the kids move up in grades, there is less time to devote in class to knowing the basic facts, and if they don't know them well, its hard to continually get new understanding when theyre stuck, Bretti says. Just like it is hard to teach reading comprehension skills when theyre stuck on decoding the meaning of words.
Swift suggests that a routine of five to ten minutes a night to practice the basics of math is very beneficial to kids in the 2nd grade and above. And with parental support, it makes the experience more consistent and powerful. Meaning, do not let the learning stop once they step on the bus home.
I would say its great to let the school be the guide to which math lesson is taught when, says Swift, but you can always support your childs number sense at home.
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