Bringing Math Home: A Parent's Guide to Elementary School Math : Games + Activities + Projects

By Suzanne L. Churchman | Go to book overview

Introduction

From birth to age five you, as a parent, are your offspring's primary mentor. Then, this relationship abruptly changes. Your child goes off to school, and he or she is no longer just your baby. You are embarking on one of life's most important quests: the formal education of your child. Even though you have handed off your child's formal learning to someone else, you still have a large part to play. Just as a child's reading ability is affected by how often he or she is read to and by whether reading is a common activity at home, a child's math skills are also greatly enhanced by using math during everyday activities. Parents can provide these experiences.

Perhaps you have fond memories of your own early years in school, when you were learning to write your name, say the alphabet, and count to 100. But wait a minute! School no longer looks like you remember it. You might find yourself saying, [We never had any math like this when I was in school.] You might worry how you can assist your child if you don't even understand what's being taught—especially when your child has progressed to the upper elementary years, when the subject matter becomes more difficult. This book will shed some light on the new methods and terminology being used and simplify the confusion caused by these ongoing changes.

In the last 15 to 20 years, elementary mathematics has changed drastically, to encompass much more than simple arithmetic. From the 1940s through the '60s, mathematics in the elementary grades was based on the factory model. During this period, a large segment of the labor force worked on the assembly line. The math needed for this work was basic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. The needs of the business community were reflected in school curriculum.

But beginning in the 1970s, and continuing up through the present, our economic base has gradually shifted from manufacturing to service-related jobs. The manufacturing tasks once done by human labor are now completed by robots, with humans in charge of the machinery. While everyone needs to understand arithmetic, employees no longer need to rely on computational skills. That now falls to the realm of calculators and computers. Prospective workers now need higher-level thinking skills to meet the demands of industry and service-related occupations.

-v-

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Bringing Math Home: A Parent's Guide to Elementary School Math : Games + Activities + Projects
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Acknowledgments iii
  • Contents iv
  • Introduction v
  • How to Use This Book vii
  • Content Standards 1
  • 1: Numbers and Operations 3
  • 2: Algebra 35
  • 3: Geometry 57
  • 4: Measurement 97
  • 5: Data Analysis and Probability 129
  • Process Standards 155
  • 6: Problem Solving 157
  • 7: Reasoning and Proof 173
  • 8: Communication 181
  • 9: Connections 189
  • 10: Representation 195
  • Summing It Up 201
  • Appendix 203
  • Glossary 223
  • Bibliography 229
  • Index 230
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