Math happens

When we think of math, we often remember our own school days: multiplication facts or geometry tests. We say things like “I was the best in the class at long division” or “I hated Algebra. I could never solve for X.” There seems to be an emotional connection to our math learning.

But did you realize how much math you used just this morning? You compared grocery ads to see the best price for oranges; 5 lbs. for \$3.98 or \$0.69 per lb.?  You added up the cost of the uniform for your child to join the soccer team or calculated the miles per gallon your car got on its weekend trip to Grandma’s. These are all common experiences in our lives. And all math.

Help your child be a math learner. Give her opportunities to use math in practical ways throughout the day. Let her study the grocery ads with you and make comparisons. Explore these math concepts together. Does one store have a better price on apples than another?  If the movie starts at 5:45, how much time do we have until it begins? Which is farther from our house: the playground or the shopping mall? How do we know?

These simple experiences help your child build competence as a math learner. As you encourage her to use math each day, you will find her making new comparisons and exploring new connections. For additional math activity ideas, try the PBS site or ask your child’s teacher for ideas to support her classroom learning. She may be the one to say “I’m the best in the class at Math!”