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# How to Develop Maths Skills in Children?

What can be done for the development of children's maths skills?

"Mathematics is a key that opens the doors to the real world." Said Albert Einstein. So how can we offer this golden key to children?

First of all, we should take into account the fact that the approach of teachers and parents to mathematics is also of great importance. Here, perhaps we need to ask ourselves some questions before the child. For example, what do you think about maths?

Most of us have an ingrained fear of maths. To overcome this, we can start by trying to change our perspective. For example, instead of seeing maths as just boring operations, we can adapt it to real life and make it more reasonable in our minds. Because, in fact, mathematics forms the basis of our ability to understand, explore and even shape the world around us.

To develop these skills, we can go beyond numbers and equations and integrate them with life. By using more fun and creative approaches, we can both break the prejudice against mathematics and see that mathematics is not only a lesson, but also a tool that we use in all areas of life.

Speaking of fun and creative, isn't playing games one of the best ways for children to have fun?

Games and Maths

Playing games is a good learning method for children. Because the game is educational as well as educational. At the same time, by gamifying mathematics, children have the opportunity to experience freely without fear of making mistakes by playing games. Thus, their self-confidence increases due to their mastery of the subject. This provides a good basis for instilling a love of maths and developing their skills.

At the same time, games can help make maths an enjoyable activity rather than a boring one. For example, while children may get bored doing the same operation over and over again, they can do it with pleasure in a game. This situation can help them develop their maths skills by having fun and even without even realising it.

How can we introduce maths games to our children?

Maths games can serve as a joyful bridge for children to develop numerical skills. When introducing maths games to children, ensuring that the games are appropriate for their age and individual abilities can be an important step for the process to proceed in a healthier way. In addition, another feature of a good maths game is that it should be understandable and encourage children to win.

Keeping children's curiosity and desire to learn alive should be among our priorities in this process. Games should be designed both to attract the child's interest and to encourage mathematical thinking.

Sample Maths Games

Simple "number hunt" games that you can create at home can help children recognise numbers better. For example, counting the red objects in the living room can be a simple but effective practice that can be played to increase children's attention skills and numerical awareness.

Options such as maths cards are always more fun than homework books. For example, maths cards prepared for four operations can make a study process that may take hours and may be called boring much easier. In addition, they help children gain speed and accuracy in their skills, turning maths into a fun adventure.

Mind games such as puzzles, sudoku or even chess can be good activities to develop children's critical thinking and problem solving skills. These games help to develop both strategy planning and logical thinking skills, as well as self-confidence in mathematical subjects.

Examples from Daily Life

The ability to think abstractly develops in children later than concrete thinking. Therefore, supporting abstract concepts such as maths with real-life examples as much as possible can help the child's mind to settle on a more reasonable ground. For example, calculating when he/she can buy a toy he/she wants by saving his/her pocket money or, as another example, doing simple exercises by associating the number of oranges bought and the price paid during shopping can help an abstract concept such as division gain meaning for the child.

Mathematics is actually part of our ability to understand and solve the world around us. In many situations we encounter during the day, we use our maths skills without even realising it. For example, managing our time during the day, measuring ingredients while cooking, or even dividing a pizza can be examples of the use of mathematical skills in daily life.

In this way, being aware of the uses of mathematics in daily life and reinforcing abstract concepts with real-world examples can help children understand how mathematics is used in all areas of life.

Maths Concept with Stories

Stories, like games, are powerful tools that children use to understand the world. Although maths and stories seem to be two different concepts, we can use stories to support maths skills by adapting them just like games. For example, in an example of storytelling mathematics, numbers and operations can be transformed into characters and even adventures. Mathematics told through the adventures of characters can be more interesting and exciting for children. In this way, it shows that numbers are not just numbers that come one after the other, but can also be the building blocks of many sequences of events. It also helps to establish the concept of time, another concept related to mathematics. Concepts such as "before and after", which are frequently used in stories, contribute to the natural formation of cause and effect relationships in children. This contributes to problem solving skills and numerical thinking skills.

Sample Mathematical Stories and Strategies for Using Mathematics

Storytelling maths is a great way to reinforce children's maths skills. For example, imagine that the protagonist of a story needs to collect a certain number of clues to find a lost treasure. By following the protagonist's adventure in this story, children have the opportunity to practise many basic concepts and numeracy skills such as addition and subtraction. The gradual process of collecting clues as the hero searches for the treasure can be used as practice for children in counting, sorting and many other complex operations.

Once upon a time there lived in a village a little boy called Ali. For Ali's birthday, his mother decided to bake a cake and invited three of Ali's friends. Ali and his friends started to think about how they could eat one cake equally. Just then Ali decided to use maths. He first cut the cake in half and then cut each half in half again so that each of his friends would get an equal piece. So everyone got an equal slice of cake.

Then it was game time and Ali decided to play hide and seek with his friends. While Ali counted one, two, three, his friends had to hide in order. Ali counted in twos so that everyone could hide in a fair way. After counting one, three, five, he finished counting at eleven and everyone hid. When the game was over, Ali and his friends realised once again how useful maths is for both sharing and fun.

Such stories can be diversified and used in the acquisition and development of many different skills. Moreover, methods such as storytelling not only concretise concepts in children, but also allow them to establish a personal connection with them. This can contribute to children developing deeper relationships with mathematics. This method makes mathematics more understandable and encourages children to use their mathematical skills.

Technology and Educational Applications

Technology is a phenomenon that is more and more involved in our lives every day and has become almost an inseparable part of us. As in every field, our children. We can feel the effect of technology in their lives.

Using technology correctly, not only as a means of entertainment, but also for learning and discovery, we can actually make it a very useful tool. We can now access many resources such as interactive learning applications, educational games and content, plenty of quality videos very quickly. These opportunities can make children's learning experiences much easier and more fun.

Contribution of Technology to Maths Skills

The efficient use of technology both reinforces children's curiosity and offers them countless new possibilities. Especially in basic subjects such as maths, we can use technology as an efficient guide. This allows children to both adapt to today's world and acquire the skills of the future.

Practising maths skills can help increase the child's motivation by making it feel like a competition or an adventure thanks to these applications and technology. It also ensures that the information learnt through experience is well understood and permanent.

Another benefit of technology is that it can provide personalised learning experiences. Thus, it makes it possible to practice at the desired level and subject according to the needs. Thus, it is one of the best opportunities provided by technology that you can follow the progress of children, adjust the level of difficulty, follow the missing subjects and work on them.

School and Family Involvement

Both the school and the family play an important role in the acquisition and development of the child's mathematical skills. There may be external reasons for many factors such as the child's perspective on the lesson, whether he/she participates or not. At this point, it may be useful to encourage the child and organise family activities.

Sample family maths activities

Watching space and the stars: Learning about the solar system, planets and the concept of space can improve children's visual and mathematical thinking skills. Because mathematics is present in many aspects of our lives even if we are not aware of it. Therefore, studying the concepts of space, time, space and depth with children can be a useful and fun activity suggestion.

Map and magazine review: Reviewing magazines can be a nice family activity that can be preferred for evenings, while at the same time making it possible to learn a lot of new information. While it facilitates learning with interesting visuals, it is far from being boring. Maps in different formats can also be interesting in terms of visuals and can make it easier to understand the use of various scales.

Positive Support and Encouragement

Encouraging children to use their learning helps to build their self-confidence. A positive relationship with maths increases a child's enthusiasm for using his/her abilities. At this point, it is important to approach the child with patience, tolerate mistakes and proceed constructively.

Asking the child questions about the subject can also be an interactive option that has a positive effect. Here, it may be useful to make sure that the level of questions is appropriate for the child's age and knowledge. Asking questions both develops the child's thinking ability and increases their self-confidence as they see that they can answer them.

In conclusion, maths is much more than just a boring subject and we can turn it into a fun learning experience by showing it to children in this way. We can abstract the concepts with quotations from daily life, stories, games and endless other methods, and we can find examples from life. In addition to all these, by using the technology that makes our lives easier correctly, we can use the opportunities we have more efficiently. In other words, the effect of providing a supportive environment that will help the child to make new discoveries with patience and understanding in this journey that requires a lot of time and practice, such as mathematics, will be the key to success that cannot be ignored.

REFERENCES

Machaba, Maphetla M (2019) Mathematical games as tool for Mathematics teaching in the foundation phase. e-BANGI: Jurnal Sains Sosial dan Kemanusiaan, 16 (5). pp. 1-8. ISSN 1823-884x

Subia, G. , Amaranto, J. , Amaranto, J. , Bustamante, J. and Damaso, I. (2019) Chess and Mathematics Performance of College Players: An Exploratory Analysis. Open Access Library Journal, 6, 1-7. doi: 10.4236/oalib.1105195.

Barkat, L. L. (2017, December 22). Using Stories to Teach Math. Edutopia.

Marchis, I. (2020). Children Stories for Teaching Mathematics in Preschool Written by Primary and Preschool Pedagogy Specialisation Students. 14th International Technology, Education and Development Conference. DOI: 10.21125/inted.2020.2293

Picha, G. (2018). Effective Technology Use in Math Class: Ensuring that the technology we bring into math classes fosters active engagement is key. Edutopia.