Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > How to Improve Math Worksheets

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11 Feb 2008

How to Improve Math Worksheets
Frank Ho, Amanda Yang
Teachers of Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
Have you noticed that most of the paper and pencil style worksheets have not changed since many generations ago? Even today if you download some worksheets from web, most of these worksheets more or less look the same. From children’s mind, they are boring and repetitive. Based on our teaching experience, this is one of the reasons that children do not like to work on these traditional worksheets. When children do not have the opportunities to improve their fluency on their math basics, as a result their math ability is not good. We feel that these traditional math worksheets have their place to reinforce the math concepts learned but on the other hand, rote learning also turns children off in their learning enthusiasm and interest. We have been actively trying to improve our worksheets by integrating chess into our math worksheets so that they will become more interesting for children to work on and we think modern math worksheets shall posses certain characteristics to make worksheets fun to work with when compared to the traditional math worksheets. The following is a table of comparison on functions between the traditional worksheets and the math and chess integrated worksheets.
Traditional worksheets
Ho Math and Chess worksheets
Only number crunches offered
Math and chess integrated
Mostly left-right or top-down
Mostly one concept
Only math
Multi-subject: math, chess, puzzles, and brainpower
No entertainment value
Offering entertainment value through puzzle-like problems
Short term value
Chess has life-long value
One way of improving the traditional worksheets is through game-based teaching and we feel chess, which has been around over thousand years, is the best game to be incorporated into math and make math learning fun. By engaging children in math and chess integrated activities, children are more focused and feel less boring when compared to work on traditional worksheets.
When children working on pencil and paper type math and chess integrated worksheets, because those worksheets have multi-function so they can get children engaged on math activities longer by guiding them through a series of activities with patterns, table-look-ups, matching, sorting, comparing and finally requires children to conduct analysis to reach the conclusion. In our math teaching, children learn math in a fun and educational environment and children learn best while having fun because they want to actively participate and get involved.
More details on math and chess integrated teaching, visit www.mathandchess.com.

Frank Ho, Amanda yang