Published at Tuesday, 22 September 2020. Addition Worksheets. By Xavierre Lacroix.
In my first year of teaching and for many years that followed, I spent an inordinate amount of time preparing my own first day of school handouts. I thought it was the "hook" that students needed. I thought that teacher dominated discourse represented learning. But it really wasn not. It was actually a cover up for understanding the true purpose of what a good handout actually is all about.
Play a magnetic fish game with cardboard fish with a paper-clip and a piece of dowel and string with a magnet on the end as a fishing rod. Count the fish in the pond. When one gets caught subtraction how many are left? Division can be as simple as a sharing exercise. "There are 4 people here and I have 8 counters. Let us see how many we will get each". Use play dough or counters or blocks to make groups of items. Talk about what happens when you put groups together (multiplication). Make the terminology you use simple. This age group need simple language instead of mathematical terms. These activities are laying the foundations for further learning.
Many teachers do not appear to know how to harness the power of play to effectively lead children to an understanding of math concepts. This is hardly surprising as teachers strive to meet externally imposed targets with little emphasis or guidance given on how to implement play based learning in the math class. The text book and worksheet rule the day. Until schools are allowed more freedom to adopt a more child-centered approach children will continue to struggle in math and many will ultimately disengage from learning altogether. Is this the fate your child could face? More to the point, are you prepared to take that risk?
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