# Math Teaching Tips for Elementary School

Teaching math to elementary students is critical for establishing a foundation of success in mathematics. There is a need for some basic memorization of facts, because students who do not memorize arithmetic functions struggle in upper grades. However, math must be fun and interesting.

Math should be fun and interesting. When students become involved in math learning, they retain more than just rote memorization of math facts. Instead of just using worksheets and completing problems on the board, make math fun and challenging.

Math Teaching Tips

Problem solving, critical thinking, mental math, math games, technology, interactive websites, and more:

*Asking Questions* – write the word “ten” on the board. Now ask students if there is another way to express “ten.” A student may write “10,” now ask is there another way to express “10.” A second student may write “llllllllll,” now ask is there another way to express “llllllllll.” This can be continued until most possibilities are exhausted. Students are using critical problem solving skills and eagerly participate.

*Collect Own Data* – instead of using data for graphing from a text book or worksheet. Let them collect their own data. For example: measuring the lengths of various objects in the classroom or counting the number objects in a box placed on their desk.

*Positive and Negative Integers Game* – divide students in groups and give each group a deck of playing. Red numbers and face cards are negative. Black numbers and face cards are positive. Aces equal “1” and face cards are Jack “11,” Queen “12,” etc. Now then play a game similar to war by attempting to be the first in their group to reach 25.

*Multiplication Challenge* – have all students turn their seats to face the front of the room. Then have a student walk around the room and stand next to another student. Both students stand are asked a multiplication problem, whoever gets it correct first moves on to select another student.

*Real World Geometry* – take students outside and have them draw pictures of all the geometric shapes they see. Then have them share after reentering the classroom.

*Weekly Word Problems* – once a week begin math class with a word problem students must answer related to current concepts being studied. This is a key step in learning how to develop problem solving skills.

*Interactive Math Websites* – take students to the computer lab or use learning centers for students to study math concepts using these interactive math websites, such as: Illuminations and NVLM.

*Math WebQuests* – develop your own or find some already prepared and have students work in groups to solve math problems or develop a better understanding of math concepts.

*Use Math Tradebooks* – use tradebooks in connection with concept being studied, such as: *Anno’s Magic Seeds, Very Hungry Caterpillar, Sir Cumference, Grapes of Math,* and more (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, Best Trade Books)

*GeoBoards* – use geoboards for students to design their own shapes and describe them to each other using correct geometric terminology.

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