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What are parents to do when their children don't show much interest or become easily frustrated by math?
"I would advise caregivers to talk about mathematics with their children," said Berry, of UVA's Curry School of Education and Human Development. "These conversations can be about things they notice in their environments and about the mathematics that is happening in schools."
Conversations - Berry - Caregivers - Things - Mind
While engaged in the conversations, Berry suggests caregivers keep these five things in mind:
Ask, then listen. "Let your children drive the conversation," Berry said. "When my children were younger, I would often ask them what they noticed about something in our surroundings. Sometimes these notices would be patterns of tiles, geometric configurations of materials, relationships between size and costs, and other things to get the conversations jump-started. Over time, my children would ask me about my notices and began to drive the conversation."
Children - Ideas - Thinking - Allow - Children
Let them show what they know. "Let your children use their ideas to explain their thinking. Allow children to use words, pictures, diagrams and numbers for their explanations. Feel free to follow up with questions and comments that allow children to show and explain their ideas."
Be open to new ideas. "Your children's strategy and thinking may be different from your own. Too often, for many children, they are turned off because their thinking is positioned as being deficient because it is different. It is essential to have access to children's thinking, rather than focusing on rightness or wrongness ideas. Even if a child gives a wrong answer or their thinking is not fully developed, it is essential to know how their thinking and strategies lead to their answer. Focusing on children's thinking and allowing them to explain their reasoning creates opportunities to build connections."
Be - Patient - Children - Thinking - Time
Be patient. "It is important to be patient with children. Explaining one's thinking takes time, and for...
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