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Time to Tune Up on Math

on August 22, 2011

Although most of us believe in learning through day-to-day life year-round, the start of a new school year, is a great time to refocus on core academic subjects and explore new skills. Many parents and educators worry about loss of math proficiency over the summer months, and some students feel a little intimidated when it is time to return to more-traditional math studies. Whether your students are a little rusty, they need a little fun motivation to get in the swing again, or you merely want to evaluate their current skills, we hope you will benefit from the following mathematics resources.

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Dianne Knesek of Conceptual Learning Materials, Inc. has shared some useful free math exercises and ideas at http://www.amonco.org/creative/montessori_fall2.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/creative7/montessori_fall7.pdf.  At her website, http://www.conceptuallearning.com, you can find many more math products which focus on mastering incremental concepts rather than repetitive drills. The products span kindergarten through 8th grade, and cover subjects such as place value, sequencing, time, money, decimals, percent and pre-algebra.

For free algebra exercises, check out Dr. Borenson and Associates’ submissions from Hands-On Equations at http://www.amonco.org/creative3/montessori_fall3.pdf and http://www.amonco.org/creative6/montessori_fall6.pdf. The Hands-on Equations system for “demystifying” algebra can be used for students as young as 3rd grade.  Find out more about the research behind Dr. Borenson’s system and how you can implement it with your students at http://www.borenson.com.

Younger mathematicians can benefit from the Math Board program from Insta-Learn.  Students can work their way through different levels of self-paced and self-checked exercises, which teach numbers, sums, money counting, and more. See more details at http://www.insta-learn.com/html/math.html. Insta-Learn also offers similar programs for perception and language skills.

Excellence in Education offers a wide variety of educational materials, including a wide variety of mathematics curriculum offerings. Find respected names like Saxon in levels from early elementary to calculus, as well as many interesting products that relate math to other academic subjects, use humor to teach, and/or give students a hands-on experience.  Also, don’t miss their interesting Game Curriculum, which uses fun board games to help hone student skills. http://www.excellenceineducation.com

Another great hands-on learning method for math and other academic and social lessons is Story Time Felt. This classic learning toy offers children a quiet play/lesson time that can be stimulating without over-stimulating. Perhaps you remember felt board activities from your own educational, Sunday school, and other home-play past. If not, we predict a few minutes’ worth of play will have you hooked on this open-ended, creative learning product. Find counting and other number-oriented sets here– http://www.funfelt.com/math.html — but don’t miss their felt boards on other subjects, their “quiet books”, and other old-fashioned, low-tech, American-made products.


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