Sunday, August 22, 2010

Math Facts: Be Wise, Memorize!

Peppermint Patti’s Pointers—Just for Kids

Why Practice Basic Math Facts:

Having a quick recall of basic facts comes in handy when you’re doing long division or multi-digit multiplication (not to mention algebra and more!). Knowing your basic facts lets your brain think about other important math stuff.

How to Memorize Basic Facts:

• Get Flashcards – write basic math facts (one operation at a time, please—addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division!). You can make them or buy them; they’re not expensive.

• Have a grownup flash the cards to you at a fairly fast pace—you don’t want to have too much time to think or use your fingers!

• Your grownup will put the cards you answered quickly and correctly in one pile.

• Your grownup will put the cards you hesitated on or got wrong in another pile.

• Now focus on the pile you didn’t know.

• On a separate piece of paper, write down the entire fact (4 + 7 = 11). Write fairly big.

• Next trace the entire fact with one color crayon as you say the fact aloud.

• Repeat the above step with a different color crayon. (This memorization technique is called “Rainbow Writing” and is useful for memorizing spelling words, too.)

• Now have a grownup flash the hesitation cards, again making two piles.

Did you increase the number of automatically answered facts?

Only work for more than 10-15 minutes.
The brain likes to work in short bursts!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Beat the Timer Game

Timers are a great way to get chores/homework done! Playing “Beat the Timer” is really fun and you can earn free time!
Here’s how you play:
  1. Choose a task (chore or homework assignment)
  2. Decide how long it should take you to do if you’re focused and on task (no fooling aroun
  3. Decide what you want to earn for every minute you beat the timer (how many minutes are left) when you’re done with the task
  4. Get all the materials together to finish your task
  5. Set the timer; push the start button and go!
  6. Make sure you’re not rushing so much that your work is a sloppy mess! This will make you redo your work and lose time.
  7. When you’re done, stop the timer.  Write down how many minutes are left on the timer.  Suppose the timer says 7 minutes.  That's how much free time you have earned!
For homework tasks: Check over your work and put it in your “Take Home” folder.

Keep playing “Beat the Timer” until all of your tasks are done. Add up your extra minutes and enjoy your free time—you earned it!

What’s your best “Beat the Timer” score?  Leave a comment below.


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Agenda Books

• Agendas are a great tool to help you succeed in school and beyond.
• Agendas are like the appointment calendars that grownups use.
• At school, when the teacher gives you an assignment:
     1.Write your name on the paper and when it’s due!
     2.Write the assignment in your agenda book for that day.
     3.Write when the assignment is due in your agenda if it is not due the very next day.
     4. Put your assignment in your “Take Home” folder.
• When you get home, show your agenda book to your grownup during the “After School Routine”
• Be sure to point out any notes to your parents.
• If your parents write a note to your teacher in your agenda, be sure to show your teacher the next day!

Have you ever used an agenda book?  Has it helped you?  Leave me a comment below.