Supporting Your Child

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Children develop positive feelings about mathematics when they have fun
experiences "doing math things" with their family members. Here are some
ideas to help you support your child's mathematical learning.

Have a positive atitude about the mathematical abilities

your child already has.

Parents are impressed and proud when their children recognize letters and write
their names. Your child's develpoing math abilities (recognizing numbers,
counting and representing quantities with pictures or numbers, identifying shapes,
learning days of the week, and so on) deserve just as much admiration and praise
as their developing literacy skills.

Read Home Links.

We will periodically send home Home Links Pages. They include Family Notes
that describe what your child is learning so you can help. They also suggest fun
and easy math activities you can do at home. Consider keeping these pages in a
special folder to refer to time and again.

Think aloud when you use math.

Notice the times you use math each day, and share your thinking aloud with your child.
For example. let your child know how you decide which coins to gie a cashier. (I need to
keep my quarters, so I'm going to give her two dimes and a nickel.) Share the calculations
you do during activities. (alast week I ran a mile in 11 minutes , and this week it took me
only 9 minutes, so I'm 2 minutes faster!) You'll be surprised at how interested your child is in math.

Play games.

Children learn best through play. In addition to the math games your child's teacher sends home,
teach your child the traditional games you played as a child. Many of them use counting or
mathematical thinking, such as hopscotch, hide-and-seek, go fish, and checkers.

Use numbers in practical ways.

Numbers can be used to solve problems and to get things done. When two children have a
disagreement, write down a number between one and ten and have the children try to guess the
number. The child who makes the closest guess "wins." When you are grodery shopping, give
your child simple directions invilving numbers. (Put five apples in the cart. Find Aisle 7. Choose
enough oranges for our whole family.) You can also use numbers to keep track of things. (Your
library books are due in two weeks. Let's mark that date on the calendar.) Whenever you can,
let your cild help with tasks that invilve number.

Give hints. not answers.

Always give your child a chance to think through a problem rather than receive an answer her or
she might not understand. Everyone likes to be able to "get it" or solve a problem on his or her own.
The more your child is able to do this, the more confident he or she will become.

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Content Emphasized in Kindergarten

In Everyday Mathematice, children develop a broad background by learning concepts
and skills in all these six content strands. The Kindergarten program emphasizes
the following content.