Where to Start When Filling in Math Gaps

Where to Begin ?

Ok, so your child is in Late Elementary school or Middle School, and he isn’t doing well in math, but you’re not quite sure where to begin? In this post, I outline some areas you can use as starting points when trying to figure out possible gaps in your child’s math education.

There may be some beginning concepts that you may need to go back if he hasn’t mastered them yet.

After your child can do things such as count and recognize numbers, knows shapes, understands addition and subtraction, understands that subtraction and addition are opposites, can skip count by 2s, 5s, and 10s, can tell time, make sure that he:

  • Has a Number Sense.
  • Understands Beginning Mathematical Words
  • Has Memorized his Addition and Multiplication facts

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Does Your Child Have Number Sense?

Make sure that your child understands for example that 1 and 3 are close together relative to the numbers 1 and 20.

You can do things such as drawing a number line for him, so that he can see how far apart numbers are.  In the grocery store you can show him the difference between what $1 can purchase versus what $20 can purchase.

Does Your Child Understand Commonly Used Words in Math?

When you are teaching concepts such as adding, reinforce the word sum.  When you are teaching subtraction, reinforce the word difference.  When you teach multiplication, reinforce the word product.  When you teach division, reinforce the words divisor, dividend, and quotient. Help your child to learn the math language.

Has Your Child Memorized Their Addition Facts AND Multiplication Facts?

After your child thoroughly understands the concepts of addition and subtraction, he needs to MEMORIZE his addition facts.  He needs to also be able to quickly tell you his subtraction facts.
After multiplication has been introduced, his multiplication facts need to be MEMORIZED.
You may be thinking, is it REALLY necessary for my child to have his facts memorized??  I have years of experience teaching and tutoring math, and in my opinion, it will be very difficult for your child to do well in higher levels of math such as Pre-Algebra and Algebra if he does not memorize his math facts.
Even something as simple as calculating something such as 807 – 529 can pose a problem for your if he has not memorized his addition facts.  At the very least, in most situations, the child will probably take longer to calculate this answer than necessary, if he has not memorized his addition facts.
So there you go. If you have a child struggling in math, but you had no idea where to start go back and make sure your child thoroughly understands the concepts mentioned above including the concepts assumed to be a part of the child’s foundation.

Do You Need Additional Help Filling in Math Holes?

If you need additional help with figuring out possible holes in your child’s math education, stay tuned for my book coming out soon called 20 Possible Math Holes in Your Child’s Math Education.

 

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