Welcome to the last week in my series on problem solving strategies! There are so many different ways to approach math word problems, but it’s important that we share these various methods with kids so that they can be equipped to tackle them! This week I’m explaining a strategy that doesn’t sound overly mathematical, but can be extremely useful when done properly: solving problems using guess and check! As with the other strategies I’ve Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Finding a Pattern

One important math concept that children begin to learn and apply in elementary school is reading and using a table. This is essential knowledge, because we encounter tables of data all the time in our everyday lives! But it’s not just important that kids can read and answer questions based on information in a table, it’s also important that they know how to create their own table and then use it to solve problems, find patterns, graph equations, Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Making a List

As I’ve mentioned many times, one of the main goals in mathematics education is to raise up confident problem solvers. And while there are many ways to go about solving math problems, and we as adults may often see strategies as common sense, these are things that need to be taught. Giving kids as many tools as possible will set them up for success so that you can “let them loose” and see their creative minds work and explore. To continue my Keep Reading...

## Problem Solving by Working Backwards

As I’ve shared before, there are many different ways to go about solving a math problem, and equipping kids to be successful problem solvers is just as important as teaching computation and algorithms. In my experience, students’ frustration often comes from not knowing where to start. Providing them with strategies enables them to at least get the ideas flowing and hopefully get some things down on paper. As in all areas of life, the hardest Keep Reading...

## 5 Things You Should Never Say to the Child Who Struggles with Math

It can often be hard and frustrating trying to teach a child who struggles with math. No matter what you do or how you teach a concept, they just seem to fight to grasp the concepts. I know that in those moments it can be easy to lose patience, or join them in their frustrations, but in the long run, saying the following when they are frustrated or struggling will not help them. Here are some common things you should never say to the child who Keep Reading...

## 8 Reasons Making Mistakes in Math is a GOOD Thing!

Far too often, math is seen as a subject that is either right or wrong, and so you better get the answers right or you’ll fail the test. And while it is technically true that we want students to understand math concepts deeply and be able to correctly solve math problems, creating this kind of mindset can cause students to feel frustration and a sense of failure anytime a mistake is made. The reality, however, is that mistakes are a part of the Keep Reading...

## Brilliant Ways to Use a Hundreds Chart

In my shopping for homeschool curriculum this year, I was able to find all sorts of wonderful math manipulatives at really amazing prices (thank you, consignment sales). *Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. Feel free to read our full disclosure policy here.* One small thing I picked up is a hundreds chart. It doesn't look like much (mine especially, it's rather well used), but it's an incredibly useful tool for Keep Reading...

## Understanding the Distributive Property {FREE Lesson!}

I distinctly remember the week in 7th grade pre-algebra that was spent learning and (supposedly) understanding the distributive property. I remember this week so vividly because, for some reason, it made NO sense to me. None. At. All. Eventually I understood what it meant, and how to use it and apply it in the wonderful world of Algebra and solving equations and working with expressions. But I never forgot how confusing and nonsensical it Keep Reading...

## Math is a Foreign Language: So Treat it Like One!

*This post contains affiliate links, which support the work of this site. Feel free to read our full disclosure policy here.* Math is one of those subjects that strikes fear in the hearts of students everywhere. It is a four letter word that dare not be uttered. As a teacher, I often got complaints about the difficulty of this crazy subject that made no sense. Math was supposed to be about numbers, and yet here were all these letters-x,y, even i Keep Reading...

## The 20+ BEST Math Card Games

A great way to engage kids who would otherwise loathe math practice (and also just a fun way for anyone to review important skills!) is to play a game. My son has a hard time getting motivated to do school work, but he is always more excited and engaged when I turn whatever we're doing into a game. Here you will find some of my favorite math card games, organized by topic! *Please Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Keep Reading...

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