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Math Students
Techniques Activities
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN ASKED, do we have to do this?" Studentsoften need a reason for doing a math assignment.This article will help you discoverways to motivate students.Most of the activitiesapply to the upper grades,although some can be used with youngerchildren. Two important conceptsfor teachersto keep in mind are these: (l) The importanceof firsthand experiences assiststudentsin learning to math conceptscannot be overstated;and (2) the way you packagematerial makes all the difference in whether it appealsto pupils or not. Studentsseemto have considerabledifficulty with decimals, fractions, percentages, and metrics. Therefore, this article will concentrateon activities and methods for enhancingstudent learning in theseareas. "why File-FolderActivities for Decimals when my studentshave difficulty with decimalsand place value, I use a colored file-folder activity for each of the difficult areas. This folder has pocketsfor ones,tens, tenths, hundredths,et cetera. Using cards with decimalswritten in words (i.e., three hundred sixty-seven thousand/lzs), studentschoosematching numerals from a pocket and try to place them in the correct pockets. The folder is second self-checking, since studentscan turn the card over to find
T h e a u t h o r i s a m a t h a n d s c i e n c e e a c h e ra t B e r r i e n S p r i n g s M i d d l e S c h o o l , B e r r r e n t S p r i n g s , M i c h i g a n . S h e h a s c o n d u c t e dw o r k s h o p s o n L e a r n i n g C e n t e r sa n d I n d i v i d u a l i z i n g I n s t r u c t i o n f o r A n d r e w s U n i v e r s i t ya n d M i c h i g a n S t a t e U n i v e r s i t y .

By Judy Zimmerman


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the correctanswer.(SeeIllustrationNo. 1.) ln a similar activity, pupils place felt numeralson top of a felt-coveredbox. I call this "Decimal Delights." Students receive points for completing various activities using thesematerials. "Freaky Fractions" is the theme we use when we study fractions. Each student gets to make a freaky character with a fraction such as % or % on it. We then combine these to create a giant bulletin board with headings such as "proper," "improper," and "unalike" fractions. This also includesa file folder activity in which studentsmust place fractions on cards in the appropriate reduced fraction pocket. Students are encouraged to explore ways fractions are used in everyday life. They receive extra points eachtime they bring in such material.

LearningAbout Percentages When our classworks with percentages I ask the studentsto bring departmentstore catalogs from home. They then create by advertisements cutting out pictures and writing story problems that offer percentage discountsjust as they might be usedin newspaper advertisements.The student has to as decide on a percentage well as figure the cost after the discount has been deducted. Studentsthoroughly enjoy seeingthesecolorful projects posted on the walls as well as working on one another'sstory problems. Another percentage activity involves cutpatterns of an ice cream cone with ting out severaldifferent color scoops. The cone is the fraction written out while the scoops have the percentage,decimal, and fraction

I havefound that file-folder qctivitiesare my bestresource since they can eqsilybe stored and pulled out for individual studentswho qre having difficulty with s specificmoth concept.

in numerals. If the teacher feels that this activity takes too much classtime, he or she can make the parts and have the students put them together correctly. However, I have found that studentsrememberthe relationshipsmuch betterif they make the cones (SeeIllustration No. 2.) themselves.

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I have8. Who has this times 3? lhave24. Who has this plus 4, divided by 4? I have7. Who has this times 2? I have 14. Who has this less3, times 2? lhave22. Who has this plus 3? I have 25. Who has this less6? I have 19. Who has this less9? I have 10. Who has this plus 5? I h a v e1 5 . W h o h a st h i s l e s s ? 2 I h a v e1 3 . W h o h a st h i s p l u s 8 ? I have2l . Who has this divided by 3 , plus 4? I h a v eI l . W h o h a st h i s t i m e s3 ? I h a v e3 3 . W h o h a st h i s l e s sl , d i v i d e db y 4 , p l u s 9 ? I h a v e1 7 . W h o h a st h i s p l u s6 ? I h a v e2 3 . W h o h a st h i s p l u s l , d i v i d e db y 3 , p l u s2 ? I h a v e1 6 . W h o h a st h i s p l u s l 0 ? I have26. Who has this plus 8, less6? I have28. Who has this and 4 more? I have32. Who has this lessI ? I h a v e3 l . W h o h a st h i s l e s s ? 2 I have29. Who has this less29? I have0. Who has this and 6 more? I have6.

lllustration No. 2.

Interesting Flash-cardActivities Have you ever wanted to get out of the boring flash-card mode and still drill children on mathematics facts? The following activity allows you to do this. Best of all, the studentslove it. Materials neededinclude a set of 3 x 5 cards. one for each statement from the list below.

(Addition-Subtraction-MultiplicationDivision Drill) Statements: I have6. I h a v e1 8 . I h a v e9 . I h a v e3 6 . I have20. I h a v e5 . I have 30. I h a v e3 . I h a v e1 2 . Ihave2. I have4.

Who hasthistimes 3? Who hasthisdivided 2? by Who hasthistimes 4? Who hasthisless 6? Who hasthisdivided 4? by Who hasthistimes 6? Who hasthisdivided l0? by Who hasthistimes 4? Who hasthisdivided 6? by Who hasthistimes 2? Who hasthistimes 2?

Shuffle the cardsand passthem out to the class.Have one child read his question.The person who answers is the one whose I HAVE statement is the correct response. Consequently, every child must do each calculationas the questionsloop around the class.When the loop is complete,collect the cards, reshuffle, and play again. Problem solving is another important aspectof math. In this area, choosing relevant work is crucial. One activity that our students enjoy is finding out how long a pencil lasts.Each studentis given a new pencil and requested record the date when he to or she usesit up. After we collect the data, we make graphs to see whose pencil lasted the longest. This activity has an added side benefit-students tend to guard their pencils and use them sparingly. Learning About Metrics When we introduce METRIC MADNESS I wear a T-shirt that has "Think Metric" written all over it. The students then par(To page 43)


struction are no better than the materials they contain,"3, classroom teachers, curriculum specialists, learning theorists, and computer programmers need to work together to developsoftware t h a t n r a k e st h e c o m p u t e r " a n i n teractive, flexible, and powerful medium for teachingand learni n g . " ' u S o m e b e l i e v et h a t b y u t i l i z i n g t h e u n i q u e c a p a b i l i t i e so f c o m p u t e r s ,e d u c a t o r s a n i n d i v i d c u a l i z e i n s t r u c t i o n " t o a c h i e v et h e goal of mastery learning, where everyonelearns all material essentially perfectly."r'

When educators consider the use of computers in the classroom, they should "not be thinking about computers" but "should be thinking about education.",' tr
RECOMMENDED READING Viggrr P. Hansen, ed., Contputers in Mothemqtics Lducution (Resron, Va.: 1984 yearbook of t h t ' N a t i o n a l C o u n c i l o f T e a c h c r so f M a t h e n l a ti c s) Sc) mour PaperI, Mindstornts: Children, Cont, pttter.\, and Powerfull&a.r (New York: Basic B o o k s ,I n c . , 1 9 8 0 ) FOOTNOTES Mike Lally and lain Maclcod, "l)evclopment o f S k i l l sT h r o u g h C l o m p u l e r sA c h i e v i n ga n E f f c c : tivc, [njoyable Learning Environmcnt," /rnpacl o.f Scien L'e o n Sot'iety-, 32:4 (October-Deccmber, 1 9 8 2 )p . , 1 5 8 . , 'Bevcrly ts. McConncll, Lvaluation of Cont puler A.tsisted In.ttrudion in Math, Pusut St,hool Di.ttnct, Finol Rcporl (Pasco, Wash.: Pasco S c h o o lD i s l r i c ( ,S e p r e m b c r , 9 8 3 ) , p . l , 2 5 . ( T h i s p 1 rcport ls on microfichc, ERIC--Educational R c s o u r c e sn f o r m a t i o n C c n t e r , E l ) 2 3 5 9 5 9 ,p p . 3 , I 1? \ '(ieorgc W . B r i g h t , " L . l n d e r s t a n d i n gh e , C A I r Phcntrmenrrn,"' tlEDS pnxeedings: l'he Tomor ntx in.\t'w Ttrhnologl-, l-'rontiers in Adminr\trut!\( ( otnputing, Adventures in Inslructional Cotrrputing (Hereallcr abbreviatcd AEDS proe(lutg.\.) (Washington, D.C.: Association for []ducalional Data Syslems,l9ti2), p. 220. (1'his r c p o r t i s l r o m E R I ( l r n i c r o f i c h e ,E I ) 2 2 3 2 3 9 . ) 'Kalhlcen J . S t e e l e ,M i c h a e l T . B a t t i s t a , a n d Cerald H. Brockover, "Using Micro assisted N,Ialh Instruction to Dcvclop Computer Literacv,'r ^lchool St'ient't' und Mathentatics, 84 (Fcbruary,l9tt4), 123. ' M a r i l y n N . S u y d a m , " W h a t R c s e a r c hS a y s : N ' l i c r o c o m p u t e r s n d M a t h e n r a t i c sI n s t r u c t i o n , " a S<'hrxtlSciente und Math?noti6, ll4 (May-.lunc, 1 9 8 4 ) ,1 4 2 . o [,awrence P. Grayson, "An Ovcrview of C o m p u l e r si n U . S . E d u c a t i o n , " T . l l . E . J o u r n s ! , l 2 ( A u g u s t , 1 9 8 4 ) ,l i 3 . ' An Agendufur A./lor, (Reston, Virginia: Na t i o n a l C o u n c i l o f T e a c h e r s f M a t h e m a t i c s ,l n c . , o 1 9 8 0 )p p . l - 3 . , ' Donald T. Piele, "Conrputer A s s i s t c dP r o b lem Solving in Mathematics," The Computer; L-rlension oJ the Hunon Minrl, Procecdings, Annual Summer Conference, College of Educal i o n , U n i v e r s i t yo f O r e g o n , 3 ( J u l y 2 l - 2 3 , 1 9 8 2 ) , 1 3 2 . ( H e r e a f t c ra b b r e v i a t e d : E H M . ) C o Peter Kelnran, cl al., (-utttputers in Teaching Morhenati6 (Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley P u b l i s h i n gC o . , 1 9 8 3 ) ,p . 6 5 . ' Bob Undcrhill, Teuching Elententary School Mothemotics (Columbus, Ohio: Charles E. Merrill P u b l i s h i n gC o . , l 9 8 l ) , p . 4 . 'James S. Cangelosi, "lncreasing Student Engagement During Questioning Strategy Sessions," Ifte Mothemuics Teocher, 7'7 (Septem:6 b e r , 1 9 8 4 ) ,4 7 0 . r J a m e sH . W i e b e , " N e e d c d : Good Marhemarics Tutorial Software for Microcomputers, " Sthool Scienceund Mothenutics,83 (April, 1983), 285. " Ibid., p. 281. '' Harold Abelson and Andrea di Sessa,Iarlle Geomet! (Cambridge, Mass.: The MIT Press, l98l). ' ' K e l m a n ,e t al., pp.95-137. '6 Wiebe, p. 287. '' Henry F. Olds, Jr., "The MicrocompurerAn Environment That Teaches: Exploring the Hidden Curriculum," C:EHM, 81. (ERIC 2 1 9 8 5 9p . 8 8 . ) , 'r McCraw-Hill. '' Olds, p. 8l; Mari E. Endreweit,,'Kids and Computers: A New Kind of Sociabiliry," I/orcester (Mass.) Telegram (Augusr 19, 1984), 38.

Studiesindicatethat drill-and-practice software generolly producessmall but stst ist icaIly significant gains in student computqtionslskills, possibly os a result of pupils spendingmore time on task when using the computer.
Quality coursewarefor teaching mathematicsthat reflects Seventhday Adventist philosophy needsto be selectedand/or developed for c h u r c h s c h o o l s .A f e w d e n o m i n a tional educational institutions should be delegated the responsibility of evaluating software, including field testing, and then d i s s e m i n a t i n gh e r e s u l t so f t h e s e t e v a l u a t i o n s .F u n d s m u s t b e p r o vided for this purpose. Careful coordination among the institutions involved can prevent duplication of costs and effort. B e c a u s e o m p u t e r s r es o n e w i n c a schools, in-depth research is n e e d e dt o s r u d y r h e i r i m p a c r o n the mathematics curriculum, the learnerand the learningprocess, as well as on the role of the teacher.

Drill and Practice," C:EHM, 216. (ERIC microfiche,ED 2 1 9 8 7 9 ,p . 2 2 1 . ) 'r Wiebe, pp. 283, 285. " Charles E. Mirchelt and Grace M. Burton, -Developing S p a t i a lA b i l i t y i n Y o u n g C h i l d r e n , " School Science and Mathematics, 84 (May-June, r984),395. " Wiebe, p. 291. 'o Robert Sylvester, "Krds Are Learning More Than Their A, B, C's," A+ Mogozine,2 (September, 1984),36. " Judith A. Threadgill-Sowder and patricja A. Juilts, "Manipulative Versus Symbolic Approaches to Teaching Logical Connectives in Junior High School: An Aptitude x Trcatmenr lnteraction Study," Journal -ftr Reseorch in Mothemati('s Edutalion, ll (November, 1980), 371. r r S u n b u r s tC o m m u n i c a t i o n s . '* Learning Company'. 'o Sunburst Communications. '' Sally A . S l o a n , " l n s t r u c r i o n a l U s e so f C o m p u t e r s :T h e C i o o d ,t h e B a d , a n d r h e U g l y , " , 4 E D . S Pro<'eedings, op. cit., p. 24. " Wiebc, p. 283. " Kelman,et al., p. 16. t Underhill, . 5. p " Grayson, . 8|. p 'o Kelman, et al., p. 2. " Allrcd Bork, "Thc Fourth RevolurionC o m p u t e r sa n d l - e a r n i n g , " C : E H M , 1 7 . r* Sloan, p. 24.

'o Kelman, et al., p. 65. " Ibid., p. 66. rr Joanne B. Rudnytsky, "Beyond

Motivating Math Students

(Continued from page 7) ticipate in various hands-on experiences, such as taking bites out of a graham cracker until they think what is left is a gram mass. They then weigh it and the student w h o c o m e s t h e c l o s e s tt o a g r a m wins. We also measure the room all over with a meter stick or try a ball-throwing contest in which students measure in meters the distancethe ball has traveled. Another invaluableaid that I use with students who have not yet learned their multiplication tables is math sticks. This activity involves ten craft sticks and some grosgrain ribbon. The numerals l - 1 0 a r e l i s t e d a c r o s st h e t o p a n d down the sideof the first stick. The other sticks list vertically multiples of the number at the top of each stick. When the sticks are completed, they constitute a multiplication fact table. The student can use the sticks to assisthim in mastering facts he has not yet learned. An added benefit of the sticks is

that by taking sticks like 3 and 4 and putting them side by side, the s t u d e n tg e t sa l l t h e m u l t i p l e so f % . ( S e eI l l u s t r a t i o nN o . 3 . ) Rewards Whenever I have students who work slowly or fail to turn in their assignments,I give them reduced assignments a folder. Each day in they complete the required problems I give them l0 points until t h e y h a v e a c c u m u l a t e d 0 0p o i n t s . 1

At that time they receivea previously agreedupon reward, such as a sticker, free day, or a pencil. I have found that stickers are an excellentsourceof motivation and cost little compared to the results they accomplish. Sometimes I enlist parental help in providing some of the rewards if there is a need for more tangible reinforcem e n t . O f t e n a s t u d e n tn e e d st h e s e added incentives for only a few m c n t hs .

I have found that file-folder act i v i t i e sa r e m y b e s t r e s o u r c e i n c e s they can easilybe storedand pulled out for individual studentswho are having difficulty with a specific math concept. (See Illustration No. 4.) Listed below are some sources for materials I have found to be practical and easyto use. You can develop similar resourcematerials yourself. It is not necessary do to this all at once. Choose one math concept with which your students are having difficulty and develop r e \ o u r c e st o e n r i c h y o u r i n s t r u c tion. Soon you will have a vast supply of materials from which to c h o o s ej u s t t h e a c t i v i t y n e e d e dt o motivate your students. tl Resources Centers Galore l4l I Mill Street EducatioCenter n Greensboro, 27408 NC G o o dA p p l e ,I n c . Box 299 Carthage, 62321 lL Mathematics M ichigan in Volume IX, No. 5 X ( J u n e ,1 9 8 0 ) SotvingProblerns Kids CareAbout (t 9 8 1 ) G o o d y e aP u b l i s h i nC o . I n c . r g 1 6 4 0 i f t hS r . F SantaMonica.CA 90401

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Math Disabilities
(Continued from page l0) before, ofter, between, up, and down are employed. Numbers can be matched with their word equivalents (l with one). Telling time can be taught by showing the actual times for class activities on a large clock with moveable hands. At noon the teacher tells the student that lunch time begins at l2:N and ends at l2:30, showing where the hands of the clock will be at both times and