Teaching core math skills should be fun for students AND teachers, but…
I remember being bored in math class. A lot.
It’s not that I was a bad student at all. Even though I struggled through my math classes in school, I still managed to get good grades. But it bothered me that I didn’t feel interested and excited about math like I felt about my other classes.
Like, psychology class. I was all over that. Sparks and light bulbs went on when we talked about emotion and motivation. Those things made me ask questions. In math class, I was just asked to memorize formulas.
PreAlgebra math is the foundation for future math skills.
Somehow I managed to get into a good, very very mathheavy business school. It was hard, even though I’d prepared during my years between undergrad and grad school. Calculus made sense to me the way Algebra did. It’s just writing sentences. So, I studied on my own, letting my curiosity lead me. In the process, I found courses taught by excellent teachers. The math was clear, interesting and… fun.
Yep.
Nerdy, too.
My point is that I struggled with even being interested in math (and I’m a curious person) because it wasn’t taught in a way that made sense. I’m sure some of your students or children ask “why are we learning this?” and “what does this have to do with anything?”
Arithmentic, exponents, order of operations–all of those are foundationbuilding skills. If your students don’t get those, they’ll really struggle in high school and beyond. So, please, take it from a real person that’s somehow surmounted the mountain of math fear and make math more fun–from the beginning.
Students’ skill levels in any classroom will always vary, of course. Some students need a little bit of practice than others. No matter what their skill level, they need to master the basics–addition, subtraction, multiplication and division–before moving on to more advanced topics.
I’ve put up some of Chuck’s core math, prealgebra FUNsheets on this page–check them out and see if you can use any of them in your classroom. These are mostly for middle school students (in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade) that want to go deeper into their areas of interest, or practice the skills they’ve already learned in class, but you never know. There are many young kids out there that are ready for more math challenges, and many older students that need the practice…



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