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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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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 ...
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1answer
126 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
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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
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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 ...
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3answers
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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
779 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
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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
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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
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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
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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 ...
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1answer
174 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
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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 ...
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2answers
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“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
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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. ...
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4answers
281 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
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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
188 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
159 views

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 ...
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1answer
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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
361 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
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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
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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
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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
1k views

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
129 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
247 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
261 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
207 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
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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
180 views

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
179 views

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
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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
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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
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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, ...
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1answer
125 views

Advice needed to teach a problem about speed

I am currently helping a friend's child with his schoolwork. He is currently in primary school and being taught the topic of speed. I would like to give him the following problem as practice but I am ...
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2answers
121 views

Visual questions for 6th graders

I'm tutoring a 6th grader in math at the moment and because she never has a ton of homework I like to give her some interesting extra problems to do. It seems she really enjoyed a problem I showed ...
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2answers
161 views

Online Resources to Explain Negative Numbers and Scientific Notation

I have to teach someone whose English isn't her native language (and her English skills aren't advanced) the concept of negative numbers + exponents, and how to read scientific / engineering numbers. ...
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4answers
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When should a kid have memorized the multiplication table?

To contextualize: I know someone who is ten years old, and needed to use repeated addition to compute $4 \times 8$, i.e., needed to calculate it as $4 \times 8 = 8+8+8+8$. Question: By what age ...
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4answers
373 views

Interesting Physical Implements for the Classroom

I'm interested in gathering a list of physical objects of mathematical interest for occasional or permanent display in a classroom. Mostly I'm interested in things that are wall-mountable, but any ...
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1answer
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Seeking Concise Article on Motivations for and Benefits of Standards-Based Grading

I am preparing for my second year of implementing standards-based grading (SBG) in my 5th and 6th grade math course. I was thrilled with the benefits of using SBG with my students but found that I ...