I have written before about my son who is intuitively “smart” in all things math and science. He is the type of kid who frankly, doesn’t need to memorize his math facts. He just ‘gets it’ and the extra reinforcement isn’t necessary. However, my daughter needs the reinforcement of drilling through math facts in order to gain ‘number sense’. Unfortunately, I think it goes against every grain in my being to do rote drills. I don’t even like workbooks because I think they are too “rote”.
Just because you want your kids to learn their math facts though, doesn’t mean that you have to offer up drill sheet after drill sheet. Here are 5 ‘tricks’ to get your kids to learn math without making them hate math.
1. Learning Wrap Ups and Cuisinere Rods
There are a variety of ways to use these and actually when you buy them, there is a parent sheet that offers suggestions. Tristi Pinkston has already written two excellent explanations of ways you might use learning wrap ups, or cuisiniere rods.
2. Math Dice
You can actually use a regular set of dice or one die or there are also special 12 sided math dice that you can buy. I buy math dice once a year to replace what my children have lost the previous year. In any case, you can roll the dice and add, subtract or multiply your way to mastery. The other option is the roll one die and the add it to the same number each time.
3. Shut the Box
Shut the Box is an excellent game that involves math operations and logic. It is a great way to get kids to learn math facts and use their logical thinking skills as well.
4. Just a Little Every Day
So you don’t have time to work on math facts every day? Try doing just a little every day. A little every day will add up to mastery at the end of the year!
5. Shout it Out
Some kids just cave under the pressure of having to race a clock. Other kids just hate writing out the answers. Instead, have your child shout out the answer orally. You might be surprised to find that your child knows a lot more math facts than you thought he did.