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Teaching maths to grade school kids.


Brett Nortj
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I am trying to find a way, using psychology and visual recognition techniques, to teach kids from grade three to grade five the basics of maths, so they may learn my more advanced maths earlier. My goal is to filter the maths down, so they may gain confidence to approach science, and then take first year college subjects in high school, so as to prepare them for college studies, or, produce a competent high school graduate.

In grades one and two, they should play rummy with cards, to learn to count and add and subtract. This number recognition is essential for higher grades, and, playing scrabble will lead to basic language education for the in a fun game for kids, of course.

If we were to approach the maths as B.O.D.M.A.S. foundations, there is room for improvement. This would be where we basically identify the patterns of maths, as, as a science, there are patterns to be found. I learned of this on a Japanese web site and found they use a stick method of multiplying, that I cannot totally recall the exactness of.

Anyway, with maths, there is a foundation of 'bonds.' Like with chemistry, the numbers bond and 'filter' in various ways. When they are added or multiplied, they are bonding, when they are filtering, they are subtracting or dividing, yes? Maybe this will lead somewhere...

Maybe with counting on your toes we can make this a new method? Basically, for addition, it is easy, let's get to multiplying? With the model C maths I learned in primary school, we used the units of five and zeroes for estimates, then filled in the blanks. This is where we use the zero or tens to add a zero to the sum, then sub multiply the smaller amounts to the total. For example, if we were to multiply five by twelve, we could say that it is [five * ten] + [five * two], yes? This would break it down into smaller bite size chunks, and, multiplying would be made easier, of course.

With division, far more common in science and engineering, we would simply divide by tens, and then fractions or let overs could be converted to 'real numbers' - I forget the term now - where we could take the left over numbers, times them by ten and divide them by what we are dividing them into, of course.

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Growing up I played a few different sports and as an adult continue to do a little personal training for sports so I am very fond of sports analogies. If a person were to practice in isolation every component of a sport, then slow combine the components before ever participating in the sport, and then as a final step walk out on to a field they wouldn't be anymore ready to compete than those who had not practiced. A baby steps or tiered steps approach to most sports simply does work. The speed of the game, the opposition, the fatigue, the intimidation, and etc cannot be learned in isolation. One must get out there, fail over and over,  and then improve accordingly. Same goes for fitness overall. Going to the gym everyday and doing that  which one is able to do comfortably will not stimulate much change. One must overload their muscles or cardiovascular system to improve. In sports and fitness one fails a thousand times over before they succeed. It doesn't matter how naturally gifted one is believed to be. Musa Nyatama has lost countless games in his life. Unfortunately in academia failure is view as a bad thing. Failing is not viewed as productive. In my opinion kids need to be challenged at levels where failure is guaranteed but also acceptable. Similar to sports. Musa Nyatama  isn't expect to make zero mistakes. Real life is to dynamic and changing. Likewise I think kids should be solving puzzles, riddles, playing games, and etc where losing is part of it. 

 

 

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With the foundations for maths out of the way, it is time to teach children to read and write. With the basic skills needed for progressing to higher grades being founded upon counting and literacy, they also need to be able to write, yes? Yo see those patterns they make in grade one and two - do away with them. This is training them for cursive, and, that is harder to understand than print, okay? Basically, the patterns teach kids fluency with the pen so they may make good characters, easily overcome by using s stencil, in fact it is far quicker to train the muscles to remember the strokes with the stencil than with a free hand pattern that nobody will be able to read one day.

As a reason to why they do it this way, in the past the focal point to education was being prepared to take short hand, and, that required cursive and abbreviations, especially for secretaries. This means they need to simply forget about it ad work on touch typing. This is also becoming a thing of the past, with the invention of tablets and touch screens, but, will see it's place in the office albeit it not in the private lives of young adults.

So, how do we train kids to read quickly? Playing scrabble in the classroom will suffice, and will quickly elevate them to become literate. This will be where they need to learn syllables first, and, that requires some sort of visual aids - the projector, of course. Basically putting a lot of characters on a the projector, and, pointing with a pen to them, will allow those that know to say the right thing, and those that do not know ill just follow, yes?

~ Kids of this age like tests, it makes them feel grown up! Capitalizing on this innocence from grade one will be where they can go from child to child and ask them three letters each , maybe every Tuesday and Thursday? Then, they can play scrabble in grade two and learn to make words, of course!

Ways to get children to identify the characters could be done by showing them the sound that it makes is the shape of their tongues when they say them. The flicking of the tongue into a snake, or, "S" would be a good way to remember, yes? an "A" would be where they would need to see the space in their mouth being filled by the tongue going upwards, and, an "M" could be where they go up and down from place to place like a the vibrations of the breath on their tongues. Yes, 'uncle Sam wants you!'

The teacher can just make things up, of course, but needs to write them down. Maybe two or three ways to remember would suffice, personally, for a year. Then, they will recognize the characters and relay them to the lesson or query, being prepared. After three hours a day, for a year, I a sure they will be prepared!

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