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Questions tagged [primary-education]

For questions about the mathematical education in the first years in school (ages approx. 5-10).

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Best practices in teaching math to future elementary teachers

This question is about references in current best practices in teaching math to future elementary teachers at a university level. I am asking it because I do not see any question so far on this site ...
4
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1answer
170 views

How is math taught in elementry school in Finland?

I read on the internet that Finland has the best education system in the world at that in Finland, students are taught to love mistakes and that's how they learn and become smarter. I could not find ...
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1answer
106 views

How to explain the motivation of parentheses in addition, subtraction and multiplication?

My kid, 5 years old, knows addition, subtraction and multiplication now, of course, in a basic level. Also he understands that parentheses means "whichever inside shall be computed first". When I ...
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2answers
310 views

Why do some students struggle so much with fractions?

I read on multiple web pages something that implies that that some students really struggle with fractions but I could never find a detailed explanation of why. This question is different from Are ...
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0answers
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What effect does giving numerical or written grades have on learning?

When I was in school, pupils were given numerical grades, or the equivalent of numerical grades but disguised as words, on their performance in various school subjects and also behaviour. A key ...
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2answers
278 views

Could schools jump straight into teaching real numbers first then teaching fractions later?

Some students really struggle to learn fractions. Not only that but also, once they've mastered an understanding of real numbers, they can learn about fractions so much faster and more efficiently ...
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8answers
477 views

How to explain fractions to 7 year old kid

I am finding it difficult to convince my kid that 2/4 and 1/2 are same. As per the kid, 2/4 is more than 1/2 since in first case the boy gets 2 candies out of 4 and in second case he gets 1 candy out ...
7
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1answer
165 views

Fun classroom exercise for mental rotation

I'm training to be a teacher and I am doing a maths lesson later next week. The topic is geometry, the students are 12-year-olds. More concretely, I've been given a selection of exercises that I may ...
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1answer
87 views

Making modular arithmetic interesting for school kids

This is a pattern even school kids could discover (when gently pointed to). I never did conciously, and cannot remember to have been pointed to explicitly, neither at school nor later: $$\color{red}{\...
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0answers
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What are some main issues of teaching math at the elementary level? [closed]

I was wondering what are some issues that most of you (or teachers whom you might know) encounter in teaching mathematics at the elementary level. For example, I've recently had a conversation with ...
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4answers
247 views

Intuition for the mean for elementary school kids

I was teaching elementary school kids (aged 10) about the mean. The intuition I gave them is roughly as follows: You are trying to find a value such that the sum of all the distances from the mean ...
7
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3answers
515 views

Math Everywhere Activities

Question Does anyone have a nice list of "no effort" activities that parents can employ to promote numeracy? I am primarily interested in K-8 activities. Exposition Often parents ask me about what ...
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5answers
792 views

How to correct visualization of mathematical expressions?

This happens a lot when I try to explain the commutative property, mostly in elementary grade levels. I say 2 + 3 = ? and then the student usually replies with 5. Albeit they're not wrong, it's ...
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1answer
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Third Grade Question — This makes no sense to me?

Third grade grandchild had this for homework. I don't even know the intent here?
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1answer
234 views

Has Benezet's teaching experiment ever been reproduced?

In the 1930's, Louis Bénézet, a superintendent of several schools in New Hampshire made the interesting experiment of teaching no formal arithmetic until grade 6: In the fall of 1929 I made up my ...
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1answer
107 views

How to present the order of factors and summands for the usual multiplication procedure

In the following multiplication example, $$\begin{align} 34\;& \\\underline{\times\;\; 7\;}& \end{align}$$ first one would multiply the units digits, producing the partial product $28$ as ...
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4answers
170 views

Method of Showing Algebraic Work

I have seen two different methods of showing algebraic work when solving equations. I show both of them below for the same simple math problem: \begin{alignat}{8} x+3 &\;=&\; 5 \qquad&&...
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0answers
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Textbooks explicitly showing the injections for the sum of sets

Asking for methods to produce the sum of natural numbers from the disjoint union of sets, it seems that the obvious way is to use the general definition, as coproduct, of the sum of sets. The accepted ...
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1answer
97 views

How to build addition with sets?

I was taught under the New Math, so I should know this, but I am afraid I was tricked. Using the cardinal, it is easy to define a multiplication, as the cardinal of the cartesian product is the ...
5
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1answer
203 views

Subtraction using Addition (Austrian Method), is it useful to learn this method instead of the usual “borrow” method?

I came across this method to perform subtraction using addition and not using the "borrow" concept, apparently because it is harder to learn it that way. Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=...
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2answers
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Resources for Teaching Logic to Primary School Children?

What are some books or other resources for teaching primary school children logic?
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5answers
696 views

Why is multiplication taught using cross notation at first?

Alert: I am not a math educator. It seems to me that multiplication is first taught using the cross notation, for example $3\times 5=15$. First question - is that even correct? Maybe not all schools ...
7
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2answers
180 views

“Personalized System of Instruction” (PSI) vs. “Individually Prescribed Instruction” (IPI)

This question may be a bit overly-broad for MESE, but I am hoping to find some responses that can help to fill in my understanding of two similar forms of instruction that had their heyday in the ...
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7answers
1k views

How to teach sum of fractions to students?

I think almost every middle school student in my country has learned sum of two fractions in this non reflexive way (I'm included when I was kid), doing the following steps: They calculate the lcm. ...
10
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4answers
299 views

How to teach a weak student?

I am tutoring a 9th grade student. And he is terribly weak in mathematics. He doesn't remember the multiplication tables, can't divide efficiently. Doesn't know how to proceed with solving a ...
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2answers
179 views

What's the word for addition and subtraction without borrowing or carrying over?

Is it regrouping? Upon googling it seems regrouping is borrowing or carrying over collectively. What's the word for not borrowing and carrying over? It's supposedly to train mental computation. ...
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0answers
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Shanghai math — what is it, and how good is it?

Some schools in the UK are adopting English translations of a grade school math textbook from Shanghai. The book appears to be designed to work with a specific teaching approach, the only specifics ...
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2answers
193 views

The Order in Which Arithmetic Operators are Taught

Should multiplication be taught before addition and subtraction? The obvious answer for most people is 'no'. However, I think there are a few valid points that could change the way students approach ...
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1answer
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Multiplying two decimals using (camouflaged) binary representation

This post is largely copied from a response to the 17 Camels Trick MO posting. Here I ask: Q. Does anyone (in any country) teach this binary method of decimal multiplication? It strikes me ...
8
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1answer
155 views

Introducing the concept of variables to kids

Today I had a discussion on how to introduce the basic concept of variables in math using real life examples. We came up with ideas of using boxes containing matches, or M&Ms representing the ...
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6answers
392 views

Motivation in School

I live in Brazil and here we have some problems with teaching mathematics in High School. In some point of the students' life (I think it happens in the 5th grade), they start "hating mathematics" ...
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2answers
322 views

Correctness in learning mathematics

I came to mathematics via physics, in part because of the reputation of physics as allowing "non-rigorous" reasoning. The subject felt more free and less anal-retentive than mathematics. This is not ...
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1answer
197 views

Where can I find a set of these 'logic' blocks?

(It will be difficult to answer this question without 'advertising' for a retailer, but I've searched for these several times in the past few years, to no avail.) In Math From Three To Seven (The ...
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3answers
732 views

Does the “how old is the shepherd” phenomenon occur for more relatable word problems?

A friend of mine just showed me this article about the "how old is the shepherd" problem: Link Of course, I'm shocked by the finding that 75 percent of kids give an answer other than "there isn't ...
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2answers
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Reinforcement mathematics thinking of 10 years old child by teaching `patterns`

As Lynn Steen in The Science of Patterns says, I think Mathematics is the science of pattern ...
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5answers
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Soft questions for 8 - 12 year olds

I am concluding my second year in mathematics at the university of Milan. I also happen to be an educator for 8 - 12 year old children (as a Scout). Recently I have tried to fill some dead time by ...
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1answer
133 views

Subtraction Methods in School Mathematics

I have studied long ago different method for subtracting numbers, for instance the borrow method or the Austrian method (I hope I am using the right names; I am not an English native speaker and these ...
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4answers
251 views

Average time to solve basic arithmetic problem

I am a game developer currently making a game based on basic arithmetic problems for kids and teens. Are there any research papers on the average time to solve basic arithmetic problems or on how to ...
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12answers
2k views

Explaining the order of negative integers

Today I happen to have an interesting discussion with a primary school kid. I asked him "Which is the smallest one - digit integer?" He instantly replied $-1$. I told him that he's wrong and the ...
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3answers
271 views

The meaning of equal sign in unit conversion

Recently, I read a paper about student's understanding of fraction. Most students mentioned in the paper had given $5/8$ as their answer to the following question: ...
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5answers
212 views

Primary/Elementary Math Resources for Homeschool

I'm a homeschool mom, my daughter is 7. She will be in second grade next year. I appreciate the different ways of doing math, rather than just stacking the numbers and adding/subtracting. I'm not sure ...
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0answers
161 views

Cognitively Guided Instruction (CGI) for 5th Grade

Are there any schools out there successfully using CGI with a 5th grade curriculum? Our students have poor number sense, and we'd like to remediate using CGI. I'd love to compare sequences of lessons ...
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1answer
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Teaching Neural Networks to 6th grade students

I've been thinking if it would be possible to teach something about the basic mathematics behind Neural Networks / Deep learning to a class of 6th graders (12-13ys old). A 90-minute (max) lecture must ...
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3answers
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How can I teach the concept of before and after a given time

I'm teaching my 6 year old how to tell the time. She can read analogue clocks comfortably. We want her to be able to tell the time so when she wakes, if the time is past 6:15 then she is allowed to ...
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3answers
545 views

A Series of Unfortunate Examples!

All of us know, when teaching, the "right" choice of examples is important. Though, making the "right" choice is one of those things that are easier said than done. Here is the story of a series of ...
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1answer
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Teaching measurement to 4th grade students by projects?

I'm going to be teaching measurement to 4th grade students and I want something a little more hands on. I believe that they would enjoy that more. So any helpful ideas or things you think would work ...
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0answers
276 views

Was math education following a western trend?

After some research on the recent history of math education in the U.S., from the new math movement to the beginning of the 21st century, I understood that the historic flow of the math education ...
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1answer
2k views

When and Why are different division symbols taught?

There are 4 division symbols that I have learned/taught. Below is 18 divided by 3, shown with 4 different symbols. This question was sparked by the comments on my answer to the question on examples ...
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23answers
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Imbuing a six year old with a sense of mathematical wonder

My six year old started school a few months back and he's loving it. This first year is more about social skills than anything academic and I like that approach. But we're spending some time at home ...
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1answer
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How to teach “after-before” of numbers to a $5$ year old?

I am currently teaching basic mathematics like numbers and tables to a $5$ year old girl. She is in nursery. But I am facing troubles while teaching her what comes after or before of a given number, ...