Tips on Creating Fun and Interactive Math Lesson Plans for Kids

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It’s an open secret that not everyone is a fan of Math. While some children are blessed with the natural skill of solving Math problems, some also find it boring and difficult. This may seem challenging but there are ways to make the journey through numbers a fun and enjoyable experience for the children.

Move with the Numbers

One of the reasons why most children hate Math is because it’s a mental subject. They have to memorize so many things that at the end of the class, they feel so exhausted from too much brain activity. Change things up a bit by incorporating games and movement during the class. For younger children, ask them to write the numbers using their whole body. Bring out the skipping rope when teaching the multiplication table to older children. This way, they are not glued to their seats during the class plus the movement of their bodies makes it easier for them to memorize different Math concepts.

Tell a Story

Tap into a child’s imagination by using picture books during the class. These stories can be used in teaching counting, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and eventually Algebra. You can also ask the children to read the story out loud so they can participate in the activity.

Solving Number Puzzles

Come up with simple problems or number puzzles that the kids can work on after the class. When they come back the next day with the right answers, commend them for doing a good job. If they fail to provide the right answer, appreciate their efforts. These encouragements will motivate them and make them look forward to each Math class.

Enjoy the Process

Children will learn to enjoy solving Math problems if they can also see that you enjoy teaching it. Create a healthy learning atmosphere by using your imagination and creativity during the class. Incorporate arts and crafts if necessary, so the kids will see that the numbers can be their friend.

Challenge of the Week

Find a corner in the classroom and put up Math Challenge each week. Take note of the children that approach the board and attempt to solve the problem. If you notice that children are finding it difficult to solve the problem, guide them or drop hints every now and then so they do not lose interest. Show them that they have it within them to solve these problems.

Freedom to Solve Problems

There is no one way to solve a Math problem so avoid imposing methods and formulas on the children. If they wish to draw or use their fingers when solving problems, give them the freedom to do so. You can also guide them until they come up with their own solution. When the teacher allows the children to participate and share their inputs during the class, both parties learn from each other.

Stick to a Routine

The key to teaching children is repetition. Children love routines, and this makes learning difficult concepts a lot easier for them. A routine allows children to set their expectation, so it’s easier for them to be present during the class. Furthermore, you will be hearing lesser complaints during the class because they already know what to expect.

Authenticity plays a huge role in a child’s learning and development. Use their names when creating Math word problems to inspire them to come up with a solution. You can also come up with Math activities that will serve as an opportunity for them to introduce themselves and share their story. Make them feel that they genuinely matter and you will have Math experts in no time.

Keep it Organic

Teachers often use plastic toys when teaching Math concepts. Try to avoid that and keep things organic by using objects from nature. Children are sensitive to how things feel and they can easily sense if something is real or not so it’s best to use organic objects during class. You can use this when teaching graphing, counting, measurement, and a whole lot more.

Take it Online

If at some point you find that you are already running out of ideas, don’t be afraid to do a little research online. You can even take help from lesson plan tools to see what suggestions they have to create your lesson plan. Just decide, how you can make your class even more fun. Don’t be afraid to customize things a bit before applying the tips to your Math class.

A Partnership with Parents

Your ultimate partner in teaching children are their parents. Talk to them, share your ideas with them, and give them tips on some hands-on activities that they can do with their kids at home. By doing this, the children become even more open to learning Math.

Announcing SpringBoard 2018

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SpringBoard 2018 – The most awaited math contest in the USA and Canada kicks off March 5, 2018.

Designed to help every classroom win, SpringBoard is a nationwide contest organized for K-5 math classrooms every year. Building on last years’ success (over 150,000 students participated in 2017), SpringBoard 2018 would have a wider reach and more rewards than ever before.

SpringBoard will run for 10 weeks from March 5 to May 13, 2018. Weekly rewards would be unlocked as soon as the classroom achieves weekly practice goals, plus bonus rewards for extra achievement. This is a great way to keep your students engaged and motivate them to practice consistently. Grand prizes would be awarded to 3 top performing classrooms on May 18th.

All elementary math classrooms in USA and Canada can participate in SpringBoard 2018. Existing Splash Math users can enroll directly from their dashboard. Teachers who do not have Splash Math account can sign up using the link below, and receive full access to Splash Math until June 2018.

Enrollments close on March 2nd. Sign-up early and pep-up students for the 10 weeks of math fun.

Spring is the best time to master math skills, build confidence for the final exams, and end the school year on a math high. SpringBoard helps schools achieve just that, but with a flair. Don’t miss out!

Share the Love of Splash Math

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Hope your students are enjoying Splash Math. We are doing every bit to make your experience better. As June approaches, a number of teachers and parents look out for online math programs. School websites are generally a good reference point for them. We are making efforts to provide a heartsome math practice for elementary kids to help them stay sharp over summer.

Your school website is a great resource to showcase Splash Math in form of a simple logo or text. Typically schools list useful programs on pages such as: ‘Useful Links’, ‘Student Links’, ‘Math Resources’ etc.

One simple step to make it happen:

Depending on your school website’s schema, copy and paste the respective HTML code for Splash Math Text or Splash Math logo. You may simply forward the following content to the IT manager or the decision maker of your school website.

• Splash Math Logo – HTML Code
• <a href=”https://www.splashmath.com/”><img alt=”Splash Math Logo” src=”https://d1n5c9e0gk9gm5.cloudfront.net/assets/home/v5/logo-6d226703868da14993367ccc06f09b55.png”></a>

Few examples on how other schools in USA have shared Splash Math on their website:

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Familiarity with the non-standard units of measurement makes understanding standard units of measurement easier.

In grade 1, the students explore the concept of measurement with non-standard units which involve measuring objects using blocks, clips, hand spans etc. In grade 2, the students begin exploring the standard units of measurement. They use rulers, yardsticks and other measuring tools to measure lengths in customary and metric units.

Digital Ruler: A Teacher’s Tool

Rulers are mainly used to draw straight lines and measure lengths. Teaching students how to read a ruler in an innovative way can make classroom a fun place. The embedded digital tool by SplashMath aims to make the process of understanding ruler, simpler and quicker.

Key Features of the Tool

• A ruler marked with customary and metric units of measurements

• Option to drag objects on the ruler and place them on any number

• Can be used to teach measurement in whole units, to nearest half units and quarter units

• Can be used to teach comparing lengths of different objects

Common Misunderstanding while using the Ruler

• Starting somewhere other than 0: The students often begin measuring an object either from the edge of the ruler or from 1. But when they consider the number on the ruler where the end of the object reaches to record the length, they end up recording incorrect length of the object.

• The length of an inch varies from ruler to ruler: The students often believe that the length of each inch/cm mark is different on different rulers. It is important to emphasize the fact that the length of an inch is universally fixed.

• Measuring length of objects longer than the ruler: In order to measure lengths longer than the ruler, the students may flip the ruler over and over. This may result in recording incorrect length of objects. To avoid this, the student must put some mark on the object after each iteration of the ruler and should begin the next iteration where the previous ended.

Other Length Measurement Tools

• Meter stick: Meter stick is a one-meter long measuring stick marked with millimeters and centimeters. It is mainly used to measure small distances: like length of a lobby, depth and height of a room.

• Measuring tape: Measuring tape is a flexible ruler which have centimeters scale on one end and inches on the other. The flexibility enables measuring curved surfaces with better precision. It is most commonly used by carpenters, tailors, and do-it-yourselfers.

• Yardsticks: As the name suggests, yardsticks are used to measure yards, where 1 yard = 36 inches. It mainly comes in use while measuring vehicles, furniture, and houses etc.

5 Easy Ways to Make Math Fun For Kids

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Kids often find mathematics daunting, but many such experiences are influenced by the general consensus among adults, rather than their own contact with it. Everyone talks about mathematics being hard rather than interesting, so how can we expect kids to love it? Here are our top five tips on making math fun.

1.     Don’t talk about how math was boring for you

Many parents often say that they weren’t good in math or that they disliked math, thinking this would decrease the pressure. But instead, this just puts in children’s head the idea that they will never be able to do it well, and that takes all the fun out of it, mostly because it focuses on the results rather than procedures. The first rule is, in order to keep your child interested in mathematics, you have to be positive about it.

2.     Make it practical

Especially in the earlier years of math education, you can easily find projects that will support the topics studied. Your children can help you with shopping or the bills, and in that way practice simple mathematical operations. When discount tag says 30% off, ask them to calculate whether the new price is true or are you being cheated. Or let them convert that jar of pennies into dollars and then imagine what it would be in converted into Euros – would it be enough to buy an ice cream in France? Google it together! You can be very creative with the most mundane activities, and your child will love it much more than a textbook full of exercises.

Drawing is a very good activity as it encourages understanding the concept of space and proportions. This can be incredibly useful for geometry, but visual representation can also help understanding other math problems. If your child is interested in drawing, suggest to them that if they can’t understand a certain math problem, they should draw a picture representing all the data they were given. Having a representation can help them understand what the next few steps for obtaining the correct answer are. Drawing can add fun to learning, and is a very good study technique for visual people.

4.     Use apps

Instead of fighting against apps and Youtube videos, use them to your advantage. There are many apps recommended that could introduce practicing math into children’s ‘gadget time’. Youtube is full of videos explaining exercises which can serve as powerful tool against poorly explained units in school. Children can pause the video and re-watch it if they didn’t understand something. Moreover, there are many different tutors so they can find the one they like best. Even if sceptical, give it a try because online learning might just be more fun than classic notebook exercises.

5.     Tutor your child or find a good private tutor

We’ve all had a bad teacher at some point in our lives. Sometimes the problem is the math teacher. They are a crucial figure in making your child interested in mathematics, and if that is not working out as it should, offer some alternatives. You can either tutor your child by yourself, or find a very good private tutor that will explain different operations with enthusiasm and focus. Your child needs a supportive figure who will encourage learning even when the task is not solved at the first go, and who is also good in explaining concepts that might seem foreign and abstract.

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Summer’s almost here! While you plan family time, beach trips and lemonade stands, don’t forget summer slide – the learning loss in kids in the summer that typically needs 2-3 months of re-teaching when they get back to school.

There are many ways to prevent summer slide. If you haven’t already, check out our infographic 5 Ways to Avoid Summer Slide below.

Also, Splash Math Summer Program 2015 is launched. Prevent math summer slide – sign up open for teachers and parents. Continue reading

Splash Math SpringBoard Contest Winners Announced!

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Mrs. Julie DeFelice’s class at Barksdale Elementary School (Division A: Grades K-2) and Mrs. Ruth Howell’s class at Lyman Elementary School (Division B: Grades 3-5) have won the first prize in Splash Math SpringBoard! During SpringBoard the students in these classes solved 86,000 and 78,000 math problems respectively – that’s stupendous work, congratulations!

Many congratulations to all our Grand Prize winners, leaderboards below:

Division A
Rank Teacher Name School Name
1st Julie DeFelice Barksdale Elementary School
2nd Delia Mac Vicar Carleton Village Sports & Wellness Academy
3rd Monica Martin St. Theresa School

Division B
Rank Teacher Name School Name
1st Ruth Howell Lyman Elementary School
2nd Vivian Martinez Conchita Espinosa
3rd Jessica Monroig Marthasville Elementary

We are also delighted to share that 353 classrooms won the Challenge Yourself prizes! That is, all these classrooms reached their weekly math challenge, achieving the objective of doing more than ever before.

Here are some other interesting SpringBoard numbers:

• 15 Million math problems solved
• 100% – 200% increase in math skills mastered
• 75% classes improved their score by over 50% (and 30% classes improved it by over 100%!)

Spring is an important period in the school year, when students prepare for tests and assessments and get ready to move up a grade. Directed focus on math at this time helps make this period a success in classrooms. This was the objective of this Splash Math contest – for teachers to help students springboard into the next grade. The SpringBoard experience across teachers tells us that this objective has been more than met!

Thank you teachers and students for the amazing participation. And wish you a great end of school year and summer ahead.

p.s. Have you signed up yet for the FREE Splash Math Summer Program? Yes, it’s free for all students in your class and school – stop summer slide and ensure students come back after summer math-ready for the next grade!

Splash Math Levels Math Learning for Boys and Girls: SpringBoard Lead Showcase

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Research shows that with no cultural influences, there are negligible gender differences in math learning, with girls doing as well as boys right through the school years. If anything, in the early years of education girls tend to do somewhat better.

There are ways to level this playing field even in the elementary years though, and many parents and teachers say Splash Math is a great tool to achieve this. Sister Monica Martin, one such teacher using Splash Math, shares more with us.

Sister Monica Martin, St. Theresa School, Kauai, HI. Questions done by her students in the six weeks of SpringBoard ~ 23,955!

Sr. Monica is an elementary school teacher at St.Theresa School, Kekaha, Kauai, Hawaii, the westernmost Catholic school in the United States. This private school is in a lower population rural area resulting in small class sizes, Sr. Monica’s 2nd/3rd grade combined class for instance consists of only 12 students, 7 of whom are girls. Her small class packs a punch though, currently placed #4 on the SpringBoard leaderboard!

You have a small class, with a predominance of girls. How does math learning play out in your class, and are there any differences in the way girls and boys learn and perform in math?

My experience has been that at the 2nd/3rd grade age, girls tend to do better when we use the traditional methods of math teaching and learning. By traditional I mean books, worksheets, and practice with straightforward question and answer formats. Boys are not intrinsically disadvantaged in any way in their ability to grasp concepts or practice, it is just that those methods are less conducive to engaging and motivating them. Continue reading

Splash Math Perfect for Test Preparation: SpringBoard Lead Teacher Shares

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It’s the season for standardized tests and end-of-year assessments. Teachers and students are gearing up for these tests by finishing up curriculum and reviewing concepts. First Grade teacher Mrs. Julie DeFelice shares with us how she is using Splash Math, very effectively, to prepare her students for their end of year standardized test coming up soon. Her class is currently Number 1 on the SpringBoard K-2 leaderboard.

Mrs. Julie DeFelice, 1st Grade Teacher at Barksdale Elementary School, GA. Splash Math problems done by her students in one month ~ 64,000!

Mrs. DeFelice loves integrating technology in the classroom, in fact the focus of her Doctoral study is ‘creative application of technology in education’. She has in recent years received the Technology Teacher of the Year and Teacher of the Year awards at her school.

How are you preparing your students for assessments and standardized tests using Splash Math? A guide from you would be very useful for other interested teachers.

Splash Math is a very effective math learning program for my class, but it is the perfect test preparation tool as well – proving very useful for these last weeks of the school year.

In our school district, we are required to administer and test the students using the Georgia Department of Education (DOE) approved Student Learning Objectives (SLO) tests. SLOs are grade level learning objectives aligned to common core standards, and test for growth in student learning in the school year. Continue reading