Published at Sunday, August 18th 2019. by Solange Hebert in Kids Worksheet.
Sites offering free math worksheets abound on the Internet. So what should free math worksheets look like? Are you searching for worksheets that have lots of problems for paper-pencil completion? Or is the illusive long division worksheet your quest? Find answers to these questions depends largely on personal preferences and more importantly who will be completing your freely printed math worksheets. Here are 10 criteria to keep in mind when selecting free arithmetic worksheets to use with students.
Verbal problems allow you to practice your knowledge of mathematics in problems of everyday life and school problems. Problems train understanding, translation into the mathematical language (e.g. equations), solve it, check the accuracy and solution discussion. "Practice makes perfect!" This is true even in math! If you want to become better at working math problems, you have to practice working math problems!
When my daughter was young, she did something that needed attention. I no longer remember what it was that she did, but I told her to write the sentence I will not disobey my parents again 50 times. I should have known better, but I did not check on her at the beginning and then I got busy. So, sometime later, she brought me 50 sentences of I will not disobey my parents again. This issue of not practicing mistakes is extremely important. Parents should not give worksheets as busy work and teachers should only use them if you are going to have a non-math teacher substitute. White boards with supervision are always a better way to practice skills. If you need some time to do chores, your child will get much more benefit by helping you with the chores. And maybe you can work in a little discussion of numbers or counting while you do chores together.
There are some new materials being developed now based on what we are learning about how the brain learns. These brain-friendly materials should be an improvement over what has existed. I recently bought a book by Marcia L. Tate titled Mathematics Worksheets Do Not Grow Dendrites. I highly recommend her book. She gives a great deal of information on alternative activities that are better for your child has brain development and for learning. No matter what materials you choose, it is most important that you supervise your child constantly so that mistakes get caught rather than practiced. I learned this particular lesson the hard way.
For example, since I want to make sure my students get accustomed to reviewing the various math concepts and standards we have learned all year, I have them practice regularly. I want them to get to a point where they are so familiar with grade level math content, that solving these types of problems becomes automatic. However, caution must be taken into account when review is repeatedly covered in your classroom. You do not want your students to become bored or frustrated with the repetition. Another important point I keep in mind is that I never want this regular math review time to take up and hour of class time. I want it to be quick but effective. This is not instructional time, but time for the students to review material they have already learned.
The main problem with what I see with my students and my own children is that kids are taught concepts and are not taught skills--unless they are lucky enough to have a teacher who knows better. Most particularly, children are not taught mastery of arithmetic with fractions. Unfortunately, virtually all of their future math education depends on being able to do fractional arithmetic. Most of even beginning algebra depends on being able to do two things-one, doing multiplication quickly and accurately in your head, two, knowing how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide fractions.
There are several standard exercises which train students to convert percentages, decimals and fractions. Converting percentage to decimals for example is actually as simple as moving the decimal point two places to the left and losing the percent sign %. Thus 89% is equal to 0.89. Expressed in fraction, that would be 89/100. When you drill kids to do this often enough, they learn to do conversion almost instinctively. Ratios and proportions are likewise wonderful math lessons with plenty of interesting practical applications. If three pans of pizza, one kilo of spaghetti, two buckets of chicken can properly feed 20 hungry friends, then how much pizza, spaghetti and chicken does mom need to prepare for birthday party with 30 kids? Would not it be great if your child learned how to mathematically figure this out? To help train him, start by giving him lots of free math worksheets!
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