Published at Friday, 10 May 2019. math worksheet. By Nichole Dumas.
While working memory is an important component of succeeding in math, resetting how we think about math is also necessary. If kids think that math isn’t for them — either you get it or you don’t, and they don’t — they aren’t going to feel hopeful or even motivated about learning. This way of thinking about math has parallels to psychologist Carol Dweck’s research on the different mindsets that people have when it comes to learning things.
It’s valuable for parents to assimilate the paths or layers of thinking that young children go through to master these concepts. For instance, counting seems like a simple activity, but it goes beyond number recognition. To become a proficient counter, a child needs to understand one-to-one correspondence (one number for one object) and the principle of cardinality (last number in a series is the total number in that set). For example, if you have three and add two, the total is five without having to start back at one. Cardinality is crucial in moving forward to addition.
Dr. Pagirsky says that it’s actually pretty common for some kids to feel okay about math when they are younger, only to hit a kind of roadblock in middle school, when math starts getting more conceptual. “During middle school, there’s more math reasoning that’s involved,” he explains. “There’s more steps you have to remember, more rules and little details that you have to pay attention to.”
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