This month we had five questions from teachers regarding math, executive functions, memory and learning. Listen in as we answer them in this short webinar. Have elementary math questions? Tweet them @drlynnekenney and we’ll answer them.
Why do children learn their facts then forget them?
Why is procedural math confusing for some children?
How can we help children be less anxious about math?
What does brain science tells us about how children learn math?
How can we make fractions easier?
“Why do children remember their math facts one day and forget them the next?” “Specifically, they seem to know the math facts we reviewed when we work as a group in class but by the next day, they remember none of them.”
Remembering math facts for some children is easy. They hear them one or two times, store them and memory and they are easy to access or retrieve. But for many children, up to 70% of children, math facts as we teach them in the US are not Meaningful and therefore are only temporarily encoded. That makes them easy to forget.
“Children forget their math facts because they are symbolic rather than meaningful.”
Our brains remember best when a stimulus is novel, salient and meaningful. We can translate the science into action by making learning math facts, motoric, visual and relevant to our every day lives.
“To help children encode and store their math facts we need to step back from symbols as a primary teaching strategy and use what the brain knows well, patterns and rhythm.”
- We need to understand the precursors to learning math, including rhythm, rhyme and song.
- We need to begin teaching math with patterns, biologically our brains grow via and understand patterns.
- Math is language, children need to be taught the language of math in a meaningful way.
- We need to engage the cerebellum in remembering, we do this by bouncing playground balls.
- We need to engage the children as mentors not just students. We learn what we teach.