Questions tagged [primary-education]

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

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5
votes
1answer
178 views

Sensible amount of repetition 7 year old

We are now in lock-down, so while homeschooling my son I get to se exactly what he does for math. He has been getting a huge amount of repetitive practicing of really simple math, despite being quite ...
23
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23answers
5k views

How can I explain why we need proofs to someone who has no experience in mathematical thinking?

I know someone I really like, but sadly, that person has absolutely no experience in math or mathematical thinking above third grade mathematics (+, - are fine, but division already makes problems). ...
1
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4answers
306 views

Defining mathematics to primary/elementary school teachers

I'm looking for a simple way to define mathematics to primary/elementary school teachers and explain some of the confusion children have. I'm hoping some Algebraist could help me properly state the ...
1
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0answers
90 views

What notation do they use for mathematical expressions in Polish schools?

I thought of something like Polish notation all by myself and asked the question https://cs.stackexchange.com/questions/111067/could-we-define-the-decimal-notation-of-a-natural-number-as-a-series-of-...
1
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1answer
71 views

Resources for Unit Rates

I am currently mentoring my little brother in mathematics. There is an issue with the pedagogy of unit rates. For example when given the following concept " 11.00 U.S. Dollars to 20 Planet X ...
2
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2answers
540 views

Teaching Mathematics to a Younger Sibling

I always wanted to teach my siblings mathematics, and one, ten years of age, is particularly eager. For the purposes of specializing recommendations, I will add he can use arithmetic up to ...
1
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0answers
105 views

Mental visualisation ability test for each age?

What are standard tests for mental visualization (image, representation) for kids? So far I know about mental arithmetics and spatial rotation tests. Is there any other way to check mental vision ...
4
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1answer
164 views

Is there an arithmetic book similar to “Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons” by Siegfried Engelmann?

I have found Engelmann’s book (mentioned in subject) to be extremely effective. Is there an equivalent to this book for teaching Arithmetic? I believe the overall approach or method is called Direct ...
52
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4answers
4k views

Future educators writing nonsense questions

I teach future elementary educators mathematics content courses. We play a lot in class with tasks like "Write a variety of word problems which would require the student to multiply 2.3 by 1.4&...
2
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4answers
234 views

At what age are most children able to convert between rational fractions and decimals?

At what age are most children able/taught to convert between rational fractions and decimals? For example Convert 0.25 to a fraction consisting only of whole numbers. What is 3/4 expressed in ...
7
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5answers
279 views

Concrete way to teach addition and subtraction of fractions

I am teaching 4th-grade kids. The topic is Fraction. Basic understanding of a fraction as a part of the whole and as part of the collection is clear to the kids. Several concrete ways exist to teach ...
6
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4answers
228 views

What are other strategies for a 7 year old for addition and subtraction besides counting fingers?

We recently received feedback from our 7 year old daugther's school teacher. One of the things mentioned was that our daughter still counts her fingers when she does addition and subtraction. The ...
4
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2answers
135 views

Teaching Approach at primary, middle and higher level

I would like to have a comparison or a big picture of how and why the approach for teaching math varies from primary (or pre primary) to middle to higher classes. I understand at every level one ...
5
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2answers
283 views

Have there been attempts to base early math education on category theory?

The New Math curriculum built math eduction on set theory. Have there been any attempts to do something similar with category theory? I was fortunate to grow up in a relatively enlightened ...
14
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8answers
5k views

Fun set theory for kids

Are there some fun results in set theory to set as landmarks while introducing to kids? For example, while introducing graph theory to kids, I could explain isomorphism via a pentagon and pentagram, ...
3
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1answer
165 views

The spatial thinking course for primary school - what to use?

We're planning to run the project for first two grades of the elementary school kids, in which we want to facilitate the spatial thinking development along with the regular arithmetic course and make ...
2
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2answers
324 views

How actually are prime numbers taught in elementary school in United States and how easily do students learn what they're being taught about them?

I read the question https://math.stackexchange.com/questions/1593091/how-to-explain-why-study-prime-numbers-to-5th-graders and according to the body of the question, some students sigh. Also according ...
6
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3answers
389 views

Is there a numerical base that is in any way “better” for simple mathematical calculations than others?

I want to know if there are any numerical bases that are notably well-suited for humans to learn and use at an elementary or grade-school level. I know that different numerical bases (i.e. decimal/...
10
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6answers
6k views

Is short division taught these days and if not, why not?

tl;dr I'm interested in opinions on short division. Below I discuss my experience dealing with young children and long division versus short division. For those that don't know of it, wikiHow has a ...
10
votes
1answer
198 views

Equality as “makes” vs equality as “equals”

A problem I often encounter while introducing students to equations is that of changing the conceptual image of the equation symbol $=$ from "results to" to "is equal to". To be more precise: In the ...
6
votes
3answers
215 views

Are there standard notations for 'number talks' / ‘math talks?'

I’m a homeschool teacher of a nine-year-old, and we sometimes have one-on-one ‘number talks’ (a.k.a. 'math talks') similar to the activity used in primary school classrooms. Part of this process ...
4
votes
2answers
171 views

Resources for Learning Multiplication Facts

A recent question (@Namaste) made me realize that it would be good to pull together the best resources for learning the multiplication facts. When seen as a rote memory task, this can turn students ...
11
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7answers
6k views

Is this primarily a “rote computational trick” for multiplication by 9?

I tried uploading a gif, but was unable to do so. What I can do, is share a link to the gif here. (SE software seems to have allowed me to share the link, but not upload it.) What it shows, ...
7
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3answers
359 views

How do I convince my teachers that a book on maths must focus on conceptual understanding?

I am a senior teacher at this school. We have to select the textbooks for the upcoming session. I am proposing that we have to select books (in maths) that focus more on conceptual understanding and ...
1
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1answer
102 views

How to address opportunities for improvement with a teacher

My daughter’s 5th grade teacher gives some pretty impossible questions and I don’t think she understands the material she’s teaching. For example, this question has no context from previous questions ...
22
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15answers
6k views

Explaining why (or whether) zero and one are prime, composite or neither to younger children

There are lots of discussions out there about whether $1$ is a prime number (such as this one) and even about zero (such as this question, though note zero does generate a prime ideal in $\mathbb{Z}$ ...
6
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8answers
2k views

Adding things to bunches of things vs multiplication

"Suppose you bought four boxes of pencils having five pencils in each, how many pencils do you have altogether?" — "Nine." — "How come?" — "Because 4 plus 5 is 9." — "But you cannot add boxes to ...
5
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6answers
387 views

What’s better: number bonds, or addition tables?

I’ve been teaching my kids addition tables (1+3=4, 2+3=5, 3+3=6, etc.) I only just found out about number bonds (1+4=5, 2+3=5, 4+1=5). This seems a better method because it’s mastering all the ...
5
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1answer
211 views

Corequisite remediation for “Mathematics for Future Elementary Teachers”

My university is eliminating its developmental math courses, and moving to a system using corequisite remediation. I am trying to develop a coreq for the first course in our "Mathematics for ...
4
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5answers
4k views

Are soroban (Japanese abacus) classes worth doing?

The companies that run these expensive abacus programs for children claim it has all kinds of benefits for their mathematics abilities and speed. Apparently it starts with a child learning the ...
4
votes
2answers
255 views

How many hours / school years does it take for the average child to memorize the $10\times 10$ addition and multiplication tables?

How many hours does it take for the average child to memorize the $10\times 10$ addition table? How many school years does it take for the average child to memorize the $10 \times 10$ addition table? ...
7
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4answers
1k views

Real-life exceptions to PEMDAS?

What are some real-life exceptions to the PEMDAS rule? I am looking for examples from "real" mathematical language --- conventions that are held in modern mathematics practice, such as those appearing ...
7
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2answers
224 views

Curriculum for Advanced 6th Graders

Next year I volunteered to lead the math class for a group of 6th graders (ages 11 - 12). Here are the pertinent details: About 5 - 8 (U.S.) students, for about 45 minutes, 3 days a week (they'll ...
12
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1answer
305 views

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 ...
5
votes
1answer
275 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
290 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 ...
8
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
137 views

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 ...
-4
votes
2answers
371 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 ...
7
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10answers
2k 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
votes
1answer
215 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 ...
4
votes
1answer
109 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}{\...
11
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5answers
346 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 ...
8
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3answers
570 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
836 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 not ...
11
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3answers
999 views

Third Grade Question — This makes no sense to me

Third grade grandchild had this for homework. Can someone explain the intent here?
20
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1answer
423 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 ...
1
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1answer
119 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 ...
4
votes
4answers
205 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&&...
5
votes
0answers
146 views

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 ...