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28 Oct 2007
How to Teach Children Math
Frank Ho
Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre
BC certified Teacher
Vancouver, BC, Canada
www.mathandchess.com
To learn arithmetic, children need to learn basics and at the same time children also need to master the basics. I have been teaching and tutoring math from kindergarten to grade 12 for over 15 years and often I found that some children do not have a good grasp of math in their higher grades simply because they had not mastered the basics when they were young. For example, the lack of ability in multiplication will affect a child’s factoring and the unskillful fractions will make a child feel tough in doing rational equations in the future etc.
There are many ways of get children to work on arithmetic basics, particularly addition, subtraction, multiplication and division etc. The drill and repetitive method works fine for some children but is very stressful and boring for some children to do it repetitively. There are many other ways to get children interested in practicing on basics such as using computer software but children’s interest does not last long and most of the time the amount of practice is not enough to have children master the basics skills. Others means like game activities, singing, game, drawing, manipulative are also often used but the consequence is children’s interest need to be continuously stimulated by a variety of means. Most games and puzzles or manipulative are sort of like toys for children and they get bored after their enthusiasm tapers off. However, one of the board games stands out above all gamebased teaching approach that is chess. Chess is a strategy game and offers children the opportunities of social dialogue and also it motivates children to improve their skills in order to win. The level of chess knowledge increases after they spend time to learn it. It is a social game and all games moves are different. Each child is a commander when she or he plays her or his own game. This approach is very different form manipulative or playing a computer game. Chess appeals to children.
Ho math and Chess is the only international child education franchise dedicated to teaching children math through chess. Ho Math and Chess teaching method is not advocating an educational reform but uses a very simple teaching philosophy that is to learn math in a fun and educational environment.
Ho Math and Chess teaching technique does not use abacus, does not use any secret ancient speedy math technique, does not require children to memorize any special magic number patterns. Ho Math and Chess uses the same computation technique children learned everyday at their day schools and the same traditional paper and pencil type of worksheets to master the basics. The difference, however, lies in the formats of worksheets. For primary (elementary) students, Ho math and Chess uses integrated math and chess worksheets and these worksheets are created using many proprietary technologies such as Geometry Chess Language, Frankho Chess Mazes, and new chess training set.
These multidirection, multiconcept, and multioperation worksheets incorporate image, abstract symbols, tables, information, chess symbols, and data all in one. To learn basic computation, children also learn how to use logic, comparison, visualization, spatial relation, data relation, pattern, and chess knowledge to process and analyze data before reaching computing conclusion. This type of worksheets not only trains children’s computation ability, but also their critical thinking skills. After working on Math and Chess integrated worksheets, children become more observant, more alert, and are able to think deeply and also have a sharpen mind in processing information and data. All these are excellent skills in their advanced learning and higher order thinking.
When working on Math and Chess integrated worksheets, children feel less boring, but feel more challenged and more interested in working because children are more engaged and more focused than working on traditional worksheets. Children’s math scores are raised higher as a result of working on integrated math and chess worksheets.
Get children to work on worksheets and make them feel fun and interested. If the end result is their math scores improved then the teaching method is effective. This basically summarizes how to teach children math.
Frank Ho
