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# HOW TO MAKE MATH FUN FOR ELEMENTARY STUDENTS?

## BY: ALEXIS LEWIS

Contents
Making Math Fun for Kids (Slides 3-4)
My Thoughts (Slide 5) Math Problem Games for Kids (Slides 6-7) My Reflection (Slide 8) Math Learning Games (Slides 9-10) My Reflection (Slide 11) Conclusion (Slide 12) Works Citied (Slide 13)

## Making Math Fun for Kids

Math can be either a really fun subject to teach or really boring . It doesn't have to be boring though, since its the easiest subject to spice up for the kids by simply relating it to their lives.

## Use real money, when doing money problems

This is a a-ha moment that I got from the author Kurt Schwengel. I picked this quote, because I have had some bad experiences with math and because of this math was always boring and useless.

## Here Are Some Tips

1)

Give the kids real-life objects to count rather than the same old plastic teddy bears they have been counting all year. Kids love counting objects that they are familiar with like cereal or funny-shaped pasta
Use sports statistics to teach formulas and statistics. Have the kids use the sports page to calculate winning percentages and batting averages.

## 2) Use real money (if possible) when teaching about money. 3)

4) Relate the math to the kids real life interests. Kids love to eat snacks. Allow them to use edible items such as popcorn or M&Ms. 5) Create fun word problems for the kids to solve. Place the kids name in the word problems and use real life experiences.

6) Instead of measuring everything in inches and centimeters, use some fun, edible manipulative to measure items, such as marshmallows or licorice.

My Thoughts
This has always been one of my biggest concerns. I have never really liked Math. So I always wondered would I be able to teach it. I want to make sure that I make it so fun and interesting as I can. I wouldnt want to be teaching something and make it so boring that the students would fall asleep or make it so confusing that they wouldnt understand. So since I want to be a Elementary teacher I have to be able to teach every subject in a fun way. So reading this article has given me some really helpful tips that I will definitely use in my classroom.

## Math Problem Games for Kids

Mastering math skills does not have to be a chore. Sitting at a desk doing drills will help a student become proficient in math, but such tedious tasks will not instill a love of learning. Make math enjoyable by playing games to reinforce the lessons taught each week. Playing games will help students strengthen their math skills while showing them that learning can truly be fun.

Math can get really boring if you are just sitting at a desk.

Make math fun and make games out of it, to make it fun for the students.

This a-ha moment came from R.J. Bowman. I picked this because math just like other subjects can become boring if all you are doing is sitting at a desk. Kids need to move around to get motivated.

Math Games
Mother May I? Math Edition: In the math edition, students simply ask, Mother how many steps may I take? The teacher says, You may take two plus three steps. The student then takes five steps. If the child does the math incorrectly, he or she must go back to the starting line. Around The World: Children sit at their own desks with desks arranged in a circle in the classroom for this game. Choose a child to begin the game. He stands up behind the student seated at the next desk. Hold a math flash card up, or say a math problem out loud. The standing student and the student sitting in front of him compete to be the first one to shout out the answer. Math Bingo: Write a math problem on the board. Call on one student to answer the math problem. If she is correct, she gets to put a bonus chip on any space on her board. Everyone else puts a bingo chip on any square with the answer to the math problem. You can play either until one student gets a straight line of bingo chips or until someone covers his entire board.

My Thoughts
I believe that Math can be educational and fun, now I know you cant make it all about fun. But you dont want to just stay at your desk and do worksheets and take test. I also believe that all children have different learning styles, so I cant teach just one way, or everyone will not learn. So making any subject into a game, is definitely what I would choose to do. It will make children feel better about the subject and maybe even help them learn more. Besides you always need a break from worksheets and taking test. So I will use these games and any more I find to help my students as much as possible.

## Math Learning Games

Math learning games can take place outside the classroom in a way that is fun and educational for elementary school students. Parents and teachers can help children be successful with basic math skills by providing real life examples of how to use basic math skills and encouraging kids to take part in hands-on math activities.

This a-ha moment came from Rachel L. I picked this quote because I definitely agree with it. Sometimes kids need to learn things hands-on to really understand it.

Hands on Experiences
Have a Lemonade Stand: Lemonade stands are a fun summer activity for kids
but they also teach valuable math skills including money handling skills and the ability to count change. Teachers should encourage kids to set their own prices and count of the change themselves. Then they should have the kids count out how much money they earned and subtract any money they started with to use as change.

Online Math Games: Online math games are a great way to brush up on basic

math skills that kids may be struggling with at school. Online math games give kids immediate feedback on their answers and help kids understand the method behind basic math skills.

Wooden Unit Blocks: Elementary school aged kids can use unit blocks to build structures as a cooperative group. Using blocks will help kids understand the method behind basic math skills. Math in the Kitchen: Following a recipe requires quite a bit of math and can

help kids understand the basics of fractions in a very hands-on way. If cooking cant be done in the classroom, you can still follow the recipe and do the math and pretend that you are making it.

My Thoughts
As I can remember all my math classes were book work and taking test, if I didnt understand I just gave up. It was not until I started college that I got a great math teacher. My How to Teach Elementary Teachers Math professor (Miss Kitt) was the best, she taught us not only how to teach math to kids but she taught us how to explain it to them. She made sure that whatever she taught us she used real life experiences, she made story problems with our class in it, and we did projects that had to do with life experiences. She helped us see how math is used in the real world. I mean without her I would be so confused as in why do we need math. So thanks to her I will make sure that when I am teaching math to my students that I will use hands-on assignments and projects, so they can see it threw their eyes.

Conclusion
Doing this assignment has taught me a lot. Math is a language. Some kids learn math quickly while others struggle with the concepts of numbers and symbols. So what can be done to help. Fortunately, learning math facts and computation generally respond favorably to role practice and repetition. For elementary students, practice should be periodic and for short intervals rather than tackled in marathon sessions. It is best to review what a child does know, and gradually add in new items or levels. Using counting chips or beans can help a child visualize the numerical relationship being mastered. For young children, early exposure to numbers and reallife counting tasks is important. Lots of language and hands-on, sensory experiences foster early math learning. Teaching math should extend from a childs natural exploration of the environment. While doing this you should always remember to make it fun, so play games, doing projects, and let them use candy to count and measure. I am sure making math fun, will make it more enjoyable for the students, which will make them want to learn more.

Works Citied
Schwengel K., How to make math fun for kids,
http://www.ehow.com/how_2188095_math-fun-kids.html

## Bowman R.J., Math problem games for kids,

http://www.ehow.com/way_5251964_math-problem-games-kids.html

## eHow Contributing Writer, Math learning games,

http://www.ehow.com/way_5242523_math-learning-games.html

## Flynn A. (2008), Why is math so hard,

http://blog.masslive.com/nie/2008/03/why_is_math_so_hard.html