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News from Mathnasium of Newark

2022 New Year’s Math Resolutions for Families

Jan 3, 2022

2022 New Year’s Math Resolutions for Families

 

The beginning of a new year is a time for us to reflect on the progress our students made over the past year, the math challenges they overcame, and successes we celebrated with them.

Making great choices for your child’s math learning not only entails building strong study habits, but also fostering an environment that inspires a love for and curiosity about math. With that in mind, we have been working very hard on ways to make math more fun and provide an engaging and positive learning experience at our center. We have many fun math activities and games planned for when our students return to the center.  We are very excited about the new year.

We wanted to share a few suggestions that can help you and your child navigate the next 365 days for overall “math wellness” and success.  In this post, you will find suggestions for new year’s resolutions focused on building and strengthening the emotional, social, physical, mental, and financial aspects of math learning.


Emotional: Math presents parents with the opportunity to build emotional-learning skills for their children, including identifying and managing their emotions, recognizing sources of stress, coping with challenges, maintaining positive motivation and perseverance, and developing self-awareness. If anxiety has been a normal part of your child’s math discussions, consider a few of these solutions: 

  • Help your child identify one good thing about their math experience so far. With every challenge, there is growth.
  • Incorporate a “feelings chart” or “feelings thermometer” into your child’s math work.
  • Share with your child that “the best times for learning are when they are struggling and finding things difficult; that’s when your brain is on fire with activity” - Jo Baler, Professor at Stanford University
  • Inspire self-compassion by helping your child acknowledge when they have worked hard, tried their best, and been brave.

Social: This new year, incorporate more “math talk” into your child’s life.

Math understanding deepens when we share our learning and “families are perfectly situated to talk about quantity, counting, and shapes anywhere children and families are — at home, in the park, or in the grocery store.”

 

  • Math games are collaborative opportunities to practice fundamental number concepts, strategy, and logic.
  • Your child can challenge themselves to help someone who has a math question. When kids are able to articulate how to solve a problem, they achieve metacognition, which further advances their understanding.
  • Attend a fun math game event at Mathnasium of Newark with a friend or a family member.

 

Physical: To complement the social aspect of math-wellness, exploring math through physical exercise can provide another opportunity to share learning. Consider taking your child on weekly math walks to discover the mathematics that exist in everything around us: in the park, the neighborhood, the mall, the library, and more! Example tasks for your next math walk can include:

  • Investigating floor patterns
  • Exploring the shapes of street signs
  • Studying bus schedules
  • Estimating the height of a tree
  • Counting the number of windows on a building

Math is all around us, and math walks can be as stimulating as your imagination allows them to be! For inspiration, check out https://www.urbanmathtrails.com/new-page-1.


Mental: The foundation of math is number sense: the intuitive understanding of what numbers represent. This ability cannot be replaced by calculators or computers — it requires exercising “math muscles.” One of the best ways to do this is to practice mental math. Encourage your child to solve math problems in their head, without writing them down. Have them start with simple computations and work their way up to complex problems. Your child’s confidence will grow when they realize they can not only solve math problems all in their head, but they can do so more efficiently and quickly than they could by relying on traditional algorithms. Some recommended exercises are:

  • 99 + 99 + 99 = ___
  • 99 x 7 = ___
  • 667 – 99 = ___
  • 12% of 25 = ___
  • Half of 31 = ___
  • 9 ÷ 1  = ___
  • What number is halfway between 3 and 21? ___
  • Count by 75s: 0, 75, ___, ___, ___, ___, ___, ___, 600, ___, ___, ___, 900.

Financial: One of the best applications of math to the real world is finance. Financial literacy is an essential skill for adults. The great news is that you do not need to be an adult to get started on building this skill. This new year, consider getting your child started with a piggy bank and have them do some of the recommended exercises below:

  • Counting money
  • Financial planning
  • Goal setting
  • Building a budget

Mathnasium’s curriculum introduces currency early on to ensure a strong foundation in financial math. We recommend that young children work with real money so that they can understand the value of money, even in an age filled with credit cards and digital transactions. 

Conclusion: The year 2022 holds enormous potential to improve your child’s “math wellness.” Whether you start implementing some of these suggestions — or perhaps just decide to tackle one resolution at a time together - always remember that new year’s resolutions stem from good intentions. If you do not do well, that’s okay. Reevaluate and begin again. Perseverance is a skill in itself that we want to master.

Every child’s journey will be different. You can support your child by figuring out where they currently are in their journey, and where they want to be. The end goal can be to better manage emotions, explore everyday math and share learnings, or reinforce mental math.

Mathnasium of Newark is dedicated to helping students grow a love of math. Call (510) 996-4260 or Email newark@mathnasium.com anytime assistance is needed on your child’s journey. We are currently offering free assessments and 50% off the registration fee until Jan 15th.

Happy New Year! 

 

Sources:
1. Ontario Ministry of Education. (2020). The Strands in the Mathematics Curriculum. Ontario. Retrieved from https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/elementary-mathematics/context/the-strands-in-the-mathematics-curriculum
2. Caspe, M. (2018). Making Math a Family Thing. Usable Knowledge: Relevant research for today’s educators. Retrieved from: https://www.gse.harvard.edu/news/uk/18/01/making-math-family-thing
3. Huddleston, C. (2020). How To Teach Your Kids Good Money Habits. Forbes Advisor. Retrieved from: https://www.forbes.com/advisor/personal-finance/how-to-teach-your-kids-good-money-habits/