SHOW: A Current Affair
STORY TITLE: Teaching maths
For many, mathematics is a nightmare that cursed our childhoods.
Former school teachers Felicity Tannous and her husband Anthony spent five years developing a talking mathematics program which they hope will provide a safety net for children who fall through the cracks in maths education.
Maths Power is a computer-based program that contains all the lessons from kindergarten to year six and also has a year six/seven transitional model. Maths Power costs around $200 dollars a year, which makes it much cheaper than a tutor.
Signs that a child is losing interest in school
- One-word answers to questions about school or a reluctance to talk about academic achievement.
- Signs of laziness.
- An inability to multiply, divide, subtract or add without the use of a calculator.
- Frustration when asked to complete homework or a statement that they don't have any.
- Loss of career ambitions and a general lack of idea as to what career they would like to try.
- When you hear them say, "I study better with the radio on!"
- Behaviour problems at school or at home.
Felicity says if you want them to be good at the three Rs, kids have to do extra at home and parents need to get involved.
Tips for parents
- Give your child practical experience in using mathematics at home. Mention the size of containers, such as litres of milk. Encourage help when you bake, lay carpet or tile, seed or fertilise the lawn and allow your child to measure ingredients, areas or quantities of material.
- Before a shopping trip, have your child read newspaper ads and price the items to be purchased. Encourage comparison of prices and quantities marked on containers to determine the best buys. Allow the child to purchase an item and figure out the change to be received.
- Bingo, dominos, toy telephones, card games, board games, calendars and clocks with large numbers can all help familiarise your child with the world of numbers.
- Put your preschool child’s counting ability to work. In preparation for meals, let the child count out forks for the table, dinner napkins, pieces of cake or any other quantity.
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