# 1st through 3rd grade

```How to Help Your Child with Mathematics
Create a homework routine.
Familiar routines help work go smoothly at school and at home. With your child,
decide on a time and place to do homework, along with a few rules. A typical routine
might be as follows:
Come home, have a snack, clear a space at the table, start math homework. Create a
place for homework supplies. Always have a sharp pencil, and circle problems you
want help with. Once homework is complete, put it in your book bag.
These pages describe what your child is learning so that you can help. They also
suggest fun and easy math activities you can do at home. Consider keeping all of
these pages in a special folder to refer to later.
Communicate with the teacher.
You are the link between your child and school, and it is your responsibility to share
your thoughts and concerns with the teacher. Call or write a note if your child has
had trouble with homework, ask questions if you or your child do not understand
something, and share good news when you see progress.
Encourage your child to teach you the day’s math lesson using the problems in the
Home Links. Ask questions about the steps your child uses to solve a problem, such
as Why did you put that number there? or What does that zero mean?
Use questions to help.
Although it’s tempting to give children answers when they’re confused, they learn
more if you help them discover the answers for themselves. Try doing this with
questions such as these:
!
Have you seen problems like this before? Is there an example anywhere that
might help?
What is the problem asking you to do or to find?
!
What’s one idea you have for finding an answer?
!
Can you draw a picture of the problem? Can you use objects (like coins, beans, and
so forth) to show the problem?
Be accepting of mistakes.
Let your child know that every mistake is an opportunity to learn. When your child
makes a mistake, ask him or her to explain how he or she arrived at the answer,
give praise for the correct steps or thinking, and gently point out where the error
occurred. Then have your child try a similar problem (you may have to make one up)
to practice the new understanding.
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Home Connection Handbook
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Play math games.
Games your child brings home from
school or store-bought games that involve
master skills. Your child’s teacher can give
you a list of popular commercial games
with mathematical components.
Observe a mathematics lesson in your
child’s classroom, or volunteer to help.
Visit your child’s classroom—it’s the best
way find out more about Everyday
Mathematics. When you volunteer to help
with activities, you also learn a great deal. Do not worry if you’re not a math
expert—teachers always appreciate an extra hand and will find ways to use
Read My Reference Book (for Grades 1 and 2) or the Student Reference Book
Many schools periodically send home this “math encyclopedia” for families and
children to use together. Choose a page or section related to the day’s Home Link,
and read it together. Try the activities or questions at the end of the section with
Share real-life math situations.
Think about the ways you use math in your everyday life—at work, at the store, at
the bank, in the kitchen, and so forth. Invite your child to observe or participate in
these activities with you. Encourage your child to think mathematically about
common activities, such as folding laundry or taking out the garbage—How many
socks in 12 pairs? About how many pounds does a bag of trash weigh?
Give gifts that encourage mathematical exploration.
Children love special gadgets and tools, as well as games and activities that
challenge their minds. Giving a gift related to math is a good way to reinforce and
reward your child’s accomplishments. Here are some ideas: a watch, a timer, an
hour glass (egg timer), a calendar, a tape measure, a calculator, pattern blocks,
books of brainteasers, 3-dimensional building kits, puzzles, maps, and a wide
variety of games.
Teacher Masters for Family Communication
47
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