Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

To teach kids math, researcher devises ‘brain games’

Date:
April 12, 2012
Source:
University at Buffalo
Summary:
The world often breaks down into numbers and regular patterns that form predictable cycles. And the sooner children can inherently grasp these patterns, the more confident and comfortable they will be with the world of math. That’s the discerning approach of experts who have spent decades teaching teachers and watching how students learn.

The world often breaks down into numbers and regular patterns that form predictable cycles. And the sooner children can inherently grasp these patterns, the more confident and comfortable they will be with the world of math.

That's the discerning approach of University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education professor Ming Ming Chiu, and it's based on decades of teaching teachers and watching how students learn. Known for helping parents find teachable math moments, especially at the dinner table and on living room sofa, Ming has devised new ways to make kids comfortable with the ways of math.

Ming demonstrates his easy-to-follow and fun "Brain Games" for parents and children in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oBI6_dUFgOo. His games are designed to help young, pre-kindergarten children understand concepts that give mathematical order to the chaos around them.

"Children with stronger math skills can recognize more patterns in the world's rapid creation of new information, which grew by a factor of nine during 2006-11," explains Ming. "By understanding these patterns, children will not only better compete for the best jobs as adults, but they also will be better equipped to help solve such major problems as global warming and energy crises.

"The U.S. may be the richest country in the world, but the scores of 15-year-olds on international mathematics tests are below average, behind 30 countries," he adds.

Ming's Brain Games are simple but effective educational exercises that parents can do with their children at home.

These games, some of which he demonstrates in the video, include:

• More? You Want More? This simple game provides an introduction to numbers, using things kids really like, such as "blueberries. ("Here are two plates of blueberries, which one do you think has more?")

• Be Fair and Share, Part I. This game helps kids learn addition and subtraction. ("We have two plates of blueberries. How do we share them so each person has the same number of blueberries?")

• Be Fair and Share, Part II. This game teaches the basics of multiplication and division. ("Three friends are coming. Let's share the blueberries so each friend has the same number of blueberries.")

• Junk Mail Isn't Just Junk. This exercise helps kids understand statistics by measuring (or counting) how much junk mail arrives each day at home, and then using this measurement to predict how much mail will arrive the next day. Children are asked to assess the accuracy of their predictions. ("Was our guess close?" "Why do you think we received less junk mail than yesterday?")

Ming encourages parents, teachers, caretakers, friends -- and anyone else who wants to help young people learn math -- to devise their own fun Brain Games. He has only four simple rules for doing so:

1. Use things around the house that kids like. Berries. Popcorn. Chocolate

2. Start easy

3. Write down every step in the game

4. Keep it light and fun


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University at Buffalo. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University at Buffalo. "To teach kids math, researcher devises ‘brain games’." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 April 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105232.htm>.
University at Buffalo. (2012, April 12). To teach kids math, researcher devises ‘brain games’. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 27, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105232.htm
University at Buffalo. "To teach kids math, researcher devises ‘brain games’." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120412105232.htm (accessed August 27, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Stroke in Young Adults

Stroke in Young Adults

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A stroke can happen at any time and affect anyone regardless of age. This mother chose to give her son independence and continue to live a normal life after he had a stroke at 18 years old. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Distracted Adults: ADHD?

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) Most people don’t realize that ADHD isn’t just for kids. It can affect the work as well as personal lives of many adults, and often times they don’t even know they have it. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Sight and Sounds of Autism

The Sight and Sounds of Autism

Ivanhoe (Aug. 27, 2014) A new study is explaining why for some people with autism what they see and what they hear is out of sync. Video provided by Ivanhoe
Powered by NewsLook.com
Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Have You Ever Been 'Sleep Drunk?' 1 in 7 Has

Newsy (Aug. 26, 2014) A study published in the journal "Neurology" interviewed more than 19,000 people and found 15 percent suffer from being "sleep drunk." Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins