A hands on approach to mathematics helps to make it as tangible and understandable as possible. Learning aids are highly effective tools for contextualising numbers and helping to visualise when problem solving.
Whilst supporting a student in their learning of new mathematical concepts, multi-sensory approaches and visual images have been shown to stimulate learning. From reinforcing counting and showing how addition and subtraction work, equipment is key. Use number lines to help students to develop a sense of number order, and number squares to reinforce patterns for times tables and division.
One of the magical things about home learning is the opportunity for cross curricular activities. Introduce cooking in your mathematics classes. Fractions can initially be tricky to grasp, but make a pizza or a cake and things can become clear before you know it! The added benefit of measurement and counting when preparing the food is invaluable.
Analogue clock faces are a must in the home classroom in order to help children grasp the concept of time and to learn how to recognise what time it is and to understand schedules. Alongside stop watches and sand timers the student’s understanding of time and timings will grow.
It may seem obvious or even basic but mathematical equipment such as compasses, set squares and protractors are vital for building towards future mathematical concepts. The geometry of calculating size and area along with measuring angles can be very important life skills.
Multilink cubes are great for repeating patterns of colour or for teaching shapes. Metre sticks and trundle wheels can be used to practise distance and number order. Getting outside with this equipment will further enthuse you and your student. Other practical equipment to support counting and general maths skills might include dice, rulers, dominoes and even sports equipment such as beanbags, balls and hoops for estimating, measuring and basic counting. Play money can be used to teach monetary value and real-world application, without breaking the bank!
Use your imagination and mathematics will become interactive and fun!