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# What Are the Best Tips for Teaching Elementary Mathematics?

Chalkboards are often used as an aid to help teach students math.
Article Details
• Written By: Alex Tree
• Edited By: Melissa Wiley
2003-2014
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The best tips for teaching elementary mathematics are to have specific methods of teaching in addition to backup methods when the original methods fail to work on some students, which is bound to happen eventually. Sometimes it is also necessary to make learning mathematics less boring by encouraging healthy competition. Whatever a teacher’s methods, he or she must have patience when dealing with young children. In addition, a school may have specific policies on how to handle students who are falling behind, such as speaking with their parents or placing them in a different class.

Teaching elementary mathematics often leads to using visual cues to aid the students in learning. For example, instead of simply writing “1 + 9” on a chalkboard, the teacher might give out 10 small objects for each student to hold, count, and subtract from each other. The students can count out nine and then one to come to the correct answer and realize how easy addition is. Some teachers also use charts that students can use to count to the correct answer. While these teaching methods encourage children to use crutches, the children almost always grow out of the need to use them.

Another method of teaching elementary mathematics and making learning fun is healthy competition. Some teachers incorporate games into their classrooms, and students end up looking forward to math time. Math baseball is one example of a math game, which is played by multiple students who give correct answers in order to reach third base and win. In small classes, all students can get a chance to play at least one round, depending on how fast the questions are being answered and the length of the teacher’s normal mathematics lectures. Another example of competition is simply keeping track of the best math scores.

Sometimes, no matter how hard a teacher tries, a child simply does not understand the lesson for that day. Teaching elementary mathematics requires a certain amount of patience and occasionally talks with parents to help get a child on board with the rest of the class. The child’s inability to learn might be caused by anything from too little one-on-one time or just the fact that he or she is feeling too restless to learn right then. This is often not a failure of either party. In some cases, the teacher needs to try different learning methods, or the child may have a learning disability that slows his or her advancement.