News from the Math Room
Symphony Math at BCHMCPS
Recent research regarding effective math instruction has found that, there should be a focus on developing problem solving, reasoning, and critical-thinking skills. This will lead to the development of a deep understanding of important math concepts, mathematical fluency, and an ability to generalize. To this end, we began piloting Symphony Math with students receiving BCHMCPS Math Intervention services in the Fall of 2016.
Symphony Math is an educational software program designed to help students develop a profound understanding of the most critical mathematical concepts, fluency with number relationships, and the ability to apply this knowledge to solving story problems. This is a supplemental program that is used in conjunction with classroom instruction. The program analyzes student progress and branches through the curriculum to ensure that every student is working at her/his appropriate level of challenge.
Recent data showed that BCHMCPS students using this program have made wonderful gains. As a result, we have begun to use Symphony Math across all grade levels as an effective tool to differentiate instruction and build a stronger understanding of foundational math skills.
Students’ effort and achievement is encouraged and celebrated through sticker “Badges” that are adhered to Certificates. Completed Certificates will be sent home. Please support your child’s hard work and accomplishments by praising him/her when he/she brings a Certificate home.
Students may also choose to log into Symphony Math at home. Because we want students to practice skills correctly we ask that parents make themselves available to check for understanding and provide support as needed.
Should you have questions regarding Symphony Math, please email BCHMCPS Math Specialist, Mrs. Milne: email@example.com or your child’s classroom teacher.
Top Ten Math Tips for Parents
Adapted from an article by Kelly J Thomas
Math can be a difficult subject for many students. Most children loose interest in mathematics, simply because they think it's too hard. Parents and teachers may find it difficult to motivate their students to complete their math assignments. Here are some suggestions to help your students in solving their math problems and overcome their fears:
1. Encourage Them!
You can improve your children's learning ability by providing them a positive environment. Many teachers (and parents) often forget to encourage the efforts of their students. Children should be appreciated when they correctly solve their math problems. Keep your tone and attitude positive, since children can easily pick up signs of negativity. Avoid statements such as: “I was never good at math” or “I hate math”.
2. Follow up on Homework
Teachers (and parents) must ensure that children understand their homework. If the students are facing problems then the teachers should properly explain the assignment to them. Children will feel easy once they know what they have to do. Teachers can further assist by guiding them on what they should do the difficult parts. They should be able to judge the students response: do they understood the problem or not? Children must be provided further assistance if they need it. Parents need to monitor the progress of their children to make sure that they are doing fine. They should encourage them for their good performance. Be sure to communicate homework difficulties to your child’s teacher or any other concerns you may have.
3. Demonstrate the use of Math
Parents can also use real life examples to teach math to their children. School going children can learn a lot from every day examples. Simply ask them to calculate the money you have to pay for tickets, next time you go out to the movies. Try multiplying the number of cars of two different colors.
4. Real Life Math
Explain to your children how they can use math to solve their problems. They should understand that math is not about using simple arithmetic skills like addition and subtraction; it is much more than that. Children can use their mathematics skills to solve every day problems. They can find out how many pieces of pizza you need to cut so that it can be shared in your family. Just go beyond the daily assignments and let your children explore the real world problems to improve their mathematics. This will show them the true value of math in their lives.
5. Get them to talk!
Encourage your kids to talk. Tell your child to solve their math problems by talking about the correct steps. This will allow you to monitor what he or she is thinking. You can detect the problem areas while your child is talking his way through the steps.
6. Everybody loves money.
You should teach your children money skills. Your kids can use fractions and percentages to find out how much savings they have made on a particular purchase. For example if your children went to a movie that costs $30 and they have saved $10, so in terms of fractions they have saved 1/3 of the amount or 33%.
7. Telling Time
Teach your children how to tell the accurate time. Use digital and analog clocks for this purpose. You can talk with them about, seconds, minutes, hours and days.
8. Make Math Games
Learning mathematics should be a fun activity for your children. You can combine math with various games to make it interesting for your children. Other effective methods of teaching involve use of flash cards that test the child's math skills to help him get better in mathematics.
9. Use Computers
You can increase your child's learning speed by using computers and notebooks/iPad. Today's children are much more familiar with computers than their parents were at the same age. There are many computer games that involve the use of math skills. 10. Talk to Teachers
Parents and Teachers should communicate with each other on a frequent basis. They should assist the students in learning the proper mathematics skills. Parents can play an essential role in improving their children's performance by regularly communicating with the teachers. They can work with the teachers to solve their children's problems.