Teachers are engaging your child in their classrooms by solving high-level tasks and developing conceptual understanding, thinking, and reasoning. Traditionally, we as parents have helped our students by showing them "steps" to get an answer- this isn't the case anymore! To support the way your child is learning math, your role is to help them solve it by asking questions, such as:
- What are you being asked to find out?
- What does the problem tell you? Can you describe it in your own words? Have you seen a problem like this before?
- Is there any part of the problem that you already know how to do?
- Is there anything you don't understand? Where can you find the answers to your questions?
- Will it help to make a list, a chart, a table, a drawing, a diagram? Can you act out the problem?
- What do you estimate your answer will be? Why?
- Is your strategy working? Why or why not?
- Is there another way to check your answer?
- How do you know if your answer is right or wrong?
You can also support your child by:
- Practicing basic facts. Children are expected to develop immediate fact recall as well as understand the meaning for operations. Immediate recall requires practice, in addition to understanding—and time for practice in the school day is limited. You can help in a variety of ways, especially since orally presenting facts promotes immediate recall more effectively than worksheets or flashcards. Perfect times to practice are while driving, walking, waiting, and so on.
- Playing games. Games are a great way to give children practice with mathematics concepts and skills and develop strategic thinking, while also promoting positive family relationships.
- Posing contextual problems. Mathematics problems are part of everyday life. Parents help children see that math is all around them when they pose problems that arise in everyday situations.
Some useful internet resources:
Figure This - Math Challenges for Families
Helping Your Child Learn Mathematics from U. S. Department of Education
Parent Roadmaps to the Common Core State Standards in Mathematics