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How Parents Can Help with Math at Home

At the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board, we are committed to improving our students’ achievement in mathematics. As partners in your child’s education, we will continue to work together in building strong, positive attitudes about learning math.

Math is on the Move!

Math is on the Move is a resource produced by the Brant Haldimand Norfolk Catholic District School Board in order to inform parents about what mathematics learning looks like in today’s classroom. This five part series will take you on a journey to look at some of major ideas that teachers are using in our mathematics classrooms to improve student learning. The videos were also designed with you, the parent, in mind so that you can use these same ideas when supporting your child with Mathematics learning.

Math Talk

1) Math Talk Moves - In this video parents will see the strategies teachers are using to build learning communities where students share their thinking and talk about Math freely. Parents will be given insights into how they can develop these skills while working with their child on Math.

Prove It

2) Prove it vs. Got It – Rather than just asking students to get an answer and the teacher telling them whether they are right or wrong, students today are being asked to not only provide an answer, but to also provide proof as to how they know they are correct. Parents can support this learning as well by asking the same types of questions of their children as they engage them in Mathematics activities

Math Everywhere
3) Math is Everywhere – Parents can help their children with Mathematics by engaging them in a variety of Mathematics activities, especially by pointing out and solving the Mathematics that they use in everyday life.

 More than one way

4) More than One Way – Parents will be invited to journey with students through open ended problems and support the development of their creative Mathematical thinking.

We are all math people
5) We are all Math People – Research has shown how having a growth mindset (understanding that everyone has the ability to learn and succeed) actually improves a student's achievement. Parents can use the simple strategies outlined to help foster a growth mindset in their children.

 

Helpful Tips for Parents and Guardians

Believe that every child can be successful in math. It takes good teaching, coaching, encouragement and practice.

  • Talk about math in a positive way. A positive attitude about math is infectious.
  • Encourage persistence. Some problems take time to solve.
  • Encourage your child to experiment with different approaches to mathematics. There is often more than one way to solve a math problem.
  • Encourage your child to talk about and show a math problem in a way that makes sense (i.e., draw a picture or use material like macaroni).
  • When your child is solving math problems ask questions such as: Why did you...?  What can you do next? Do you see any patterns?  Does the answer make sense? How do you know? This helps to encouage thinking about mathematics.
  • Connect math to everyday life and help your child understand how math influences them (i.e. shapes of traffic signs, walking distance to school, telling time).
  • Play family math games together that add excitement such as checkers, junior monopoly, math bingo and uno.
  • Computers + math = fun! There are great computer math games available on the internet that you can discover with your child.
  • Talk with your child’s teacher about difficulties he/she may be experiencing. When teachers and parents work together, children benefit.

Adapted from information provided by the Ontario Ministry of Education.

Parents and guardians play an important role in supporting success when thinking, talking and problem solving in math. For more great ideas about how to help your child with mathematics visit the Ontario Ministry of Education website (www.edu.gov.on.ca). A great resource to check out is Doing Mathematics with Your Child, Kindergarten - Grade 6, A Parent Guide.