# Number books make a good bedtime read!

When you are selecting books to read to your kids at bedtime, consider a book that deals with numbers and calculations.

Children love to hear the same familiar story over and over and this adds to their memory of the numerical content.

Making and rereading their own Math Bedtime book is great (obviously you have gently aided in correcting any mistakes to prevent those taking root in your child’s memory). For our Number Walk and Bedtime Book activity go to the ‘Free Activities and Downloads’ menu.

Children learn by doing

Research in education tells us over and over that hands on activities have more impact than verbal or written explanations alone. Simple manipulatives and pictures are used as key elements to illustrate math concepts.

Download our free guidelines and templates for games, outright playful and more serious activities to develop the math centers in your children’s brain. There are sample activities to develop number sense, visuo-spatial activities and templates. Have fun!

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 Number sense activities Math concept Rules of Thumb General approach for teaching your child Number walk and Bedtime book Learning number words, counting, one to one relationship, starting with the numerals Take a guess before you count Subitizing, small quantity estimation, quantity comparison Learning to count on the kitchen tiles Counting up and counting down, numerals First, Second, and Third place Play a game to learn the cardinal numbers Number cards counting and sorting activity  NEW Counting by ones and tens, and sorting by tens Number-line addition and subtraction Number-line, distance, counting, skip counting, addition, subtraction On the Double Introducing the concept of multiplication by doubling Conquer the Multiplication Tables Basic understanding of the multiplication tables till ten Help with fractions Help your child to grasp the concept of fractions Understanding fractions and Fractions Booklet Explanation how to make the most of the Fractions Booklet Fractions Booklet My fractions book: whole and parts, add and subtract like parts Fraction Notation activities and cards NEW Understanding Fraction notation and concepts Cross out cross-multiplication Prevent confusion with cross-multiplication by showing all steps Visuo-spatial activities Math concept Symmetry activity: looking left and right Symmetry drawings: sizes and shapes, line of symmetry, symmetrical shape Ruler number sense activity NEW Estimating size of numbers Thinking about Area by folding Fold to divide an area in similar parts, area is width times length Pegboards Copy patterns and shapes Patterns from concrete to abstract From patterns with concrete objects to number patterns Templates Math concept Counting place-mat Counting to five Number-bonds place-mat Number-bonds to ten Number cards Color coded number cards 1 – 100 Base ten template Ones, tens, hundreds Domino Doubles cards Learning the Doubles from 0 – 9

# Learning math is only a few clicks away

Nowadays kids want social media and computers for everything, including learning, and to be frank the older generation would probably have wanted it too, if it was available…

The BBC has always been a forerunner when it comes to quality programming and their free math learning activities are no exception. Here kids have a choice off activities to engage in and this will make them enjoy the learning:

Visit us at www.dyscalculiaservices.com

# Math Anxiety

It hurts teachers to see students struggle with Math. Clearly, those students come into the classroom anticipating to go through an hour of discomfort or outright stress.

Those clear verbal explanations, colorful graphs, and easy to understand formulas or diagrams that work for the majority of students go over their head.

Starting the lesson with the mindset that it will be another ‘failure’ becomes a self fulfilling prophesy.

Heartfelt encouragements are met with disbelief.

Obviously, you are trying to break the downward spiral of Math Anxiety. Emphasize a positive attitude and minimize student embarrassment.

Unfortunately, just as in reading, students come to the classroom with different independent, instructional and frustration levels in math. Here are some suggestions for differentiation that might be helpful:

• Math teachers need readily available tools to evaluate the level and possible gaps for the individual student and time to do this.
• Knowing your students’ abstraction level and learning style allows you to choose or design assignments to fit the ‘rule of thumb’: every five questions can have one hard one, or four compliments can balance one comment/correction.
• Temporarily going back to a level just below where the student is really proficient has worked wonders. It gives the student the feeling that he can do math, it’s even easy!
• Textbooks that have built in differentiation in content and workload are time efficient and can help your students regain their confidence and start trying again.
• To explain a new concept or guide a student through a given problem, it can be amazingly effective to backtrack one or more levels in the developmental sequence of mathematical abstraction:
2. providing concrete manipulatives to represent the problem and modeling or having the student ‘act out’ the problem
3. providing pictorial representations and having the student make drawings
4. providing abstract representations and having the student write numerical answers to problems
• The golden rule still applies that it is best to minimize the time between an error and a correction or to explain every mistake as quickly as possible to prevent that the misconception can take root. For older students providing the answers (not the procedure) to homework can be helpful. Even better than giving the explanation is having the student explain to you why he thinks it’s not the right answer and how he can correct it. Ask the student to write down what went wrong next to the problem and what he can do to prevent it.
• Working in pairs or small groups gives you the option to team up a student who needs help with a more advanced student.
• Allowing more time and quiz or test corrections for half or a third of the regular credit is another way to focus on working towards improvement instead of being stuck with a failing grade. Recent research suggests that timed tests are related to the early development of Math Anxiety. Ref: Jo Boaler in Teaching Children Mathematics, NCTM, Vol 20, #8, 469-74, April 2014.
• Keeping a record of error corrections in her/his math journal that also highlights accomplishments is highly effective to boost self confidence in math.
• Making a graph of personal progress is very motivating and eliminates the negative comparison with other students in the class.
• When personal tutoring is not an option, consider online math tutoring programs, they can be very economical and beneficial.

Teaching is often a time balancing act and it is obvious that this approach takes a lot of extra time from both teacher and student, but you can expect great leaps and to have happy faces in your classroom.

# What is dyscalculia?

How often did you hear adults say: “I always struggled with math in school” or even worse “I am just not a math person” basically accepting that it will always be hard for somebody to do things such as keeping a checkbook and other important math related activities?

Were you one of those kids struggling and giving up on math? You could well have dyscalculia or Math LD yourself.

Do you like to prevent your child from struggling with math in the same way? Read on: Recent research shows that learners can be confident and successful in Math with an individualized approach from early on! Even love it!! Much like we know that children with dyslexia benefit from special dyslexia instruction using sequential structured phonics lessons and can become good readers and even love to read!

What does the word dyscalculia mean?

The word dyscalculia has Greek and Latin roots: dys (the Greek part) means badly and calculia (the Latin part) comes from calculare: making calculations, so dyscalculia is ‘badly calculating’ or having trouble with making calculations, or ‘dyslexia with numbers’. Compare dyslexia ‘badly reading’.

Dyscalculia is a Specific Learning Difference or Disability (Sp LD) involving all sorts of numerical tasks. It is listed in the DSM IV.

Dyscalculia in children often involves struggling with one or more of the following:

• simple mathematics  memorizing and applying math facts: addition and multiplication
• the order of operations
• the ability to visualize a small or large quantity
• to mentally connect a number with a size or quantity (number sense)
• learning to tell time

Dyscalculia in adults often involves one or more of the following difficulties:

• uncomfortable with all sorts of number related activities
• mistakes in copying and memorizing numbers  trouble with everyday calculations like estimating shopping total or change given
• difficulty keeping a checkbook and managing a bank account  getting directions and using a map is often confusing
• time related issues

The brain of a person with dyscalculia is wired slightly differently and a mathematical stimulus is processed differently. This is pictured with functional MRI: when a child or adult with dyscalculia does a math problem the areas in the brain that are best equipped for numerical tasks are bypassed and other less efficient areas are used instead. We also know that that the brain can be trained to unleash that previously hidden capacity.

Watch a ten minute youtube video by one of the leading experts in dyscalculia, Prof Brian Butterworth