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Why Do MathSticks Work?
MathSticks are physical representations of numbers that children can pick up, examine, and compare. Learning math becomes fun in a board game-like setting allowing children to discover relationships between numbers. They see that 1/3 is greater than 1/4. My easy-to-follow practice exercises empower parents to help children understand basic math operations. The fun, stress-free setting when working with MathSticks carries over to pencil and paper representations.
My 3 ½ year old daughter can count to 10 and recognize letters.
Can I start to use MathSticks with her?
Can I start to use MathSticks with her?
Yes! Begin by showing your toddler the numerals on the number line. When your child can recognize numbers, move on to the sticks and have your toddler measure the one sticks that match (ex. 2, one- sticks equal two units). After daily practice, move on to measuring all the sticks, by comparing with the number line. Each week I will be posting new activities for you to share with your daughter. Plan to spend 10 minutes a day, 3 days a week, and you will see amazing results. Your toddler is bright and will get it!
I homeschool my second grader. How can I use MathSticks in my curriculum?
MathSticks will totally complement your math curriculum. Each week I will post exercises covering addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, fractions, and beginning algebra using MathSticks. You can incorporate the relevant exercises into your current study topic. I am sure you will be using your own creativity to devise ways to use MathSticks to enhance your child’s course of study.
If my child did not start using MathSticks at an early age, can he still benefit?
Yes, now is the time to start using MathSticks! Every child can benefit from MathSticks. After your older child sees how the sticks are measured, your child will be able to discover many things for himself. Also, with a little instruction, and the posted activities, your child’s understanding of many different types of computation (equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, common denominators, prime numbers, etc….) will be strongly enhanced. There is no substitute for being able to visualize math.
Our child, who is in the Third Grade, has always struggled with math. As the class begins to move into fractions and beginning algebra, I am worried my child will fall further behind. How can I use MathSticks to help my child?
Go back to the concepts shown for beginning instruction with MathSticks. Start with measuring the sticks then move slowly through addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Write the equations that you model, so your child can see their written expressions (ex. The seven stick divided by the two stick equals 3 two sticks with a remaining space of the one stick, equation 7/2 =3R1. Closely follow the posted activities for modeling fractions and finding unknowns (beginning algebra). I think you will be pleased with the results.
How much time should I spend working with my child?
The weekly exercises, which I will provide, can be completed in less than 10 minutes. What is important is to spend 10 minutes a day, 3 or 4 times a week to work with your child. We all know how important it is to read to our children each night. It is just as important, and can be even more rewarding, to work with MathSticks.
My three kids range in age from 5 to 8. They are on their iPads playing math games all the time. Do they still need to use MathSticks?
Computer math games are wonderful! Don’t take their iPads away! Many games are practice activities that are extremely valuable to your kids after they understand basic concepts. MathSticks are hands–on demonstrations that you are sharing with your children to enable them to fully understand basic concepts. As you know, there is a lot more to math than just memorizing basic facts. MathSticks give kids a visual reference to things that they see online. I especially recommend beginning MathSticks with your 5 year old. Your older children will benefit from multiplication, division, fractions, word problems, and more in combination with their online activities. Remember, you are your child’s best teacher.