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Educating Forward – Helping to develop your child’s numeracy skills

On a basic level everyone needs to be able to count, subtract, multiply and divide.  Mathematics is all around us.  It is present in various forms from the symmetry on the wings of a butterfly to the number and formation of petals on a flower; nature uses maths as building blocks and we see it throughout the physical world.  Whenever we pick up a phone, manage money, travel, play sports, dance, listen to music, meet new friends, unintentionally, in all these things, maths is involved.  As teachers we have a responsibility to help learners develop an appreciation and enjoyment of mathematics, which is achieved through a variety of experiences and not just learnt through a textbook.
“Learners need to be made aware that mathematics provides a powerful means of communication.” – WH Cockcroft ‘Mathematics Counts’
Parents can help their child by practising mathematical skills at home
Parents are in a unique situation and often do a lot of mathematics at home without realizing it.  Everyday activities such as cooking, shopping and DIY jobs can provide opportunities for a range of mathematical skills including estimating, measuring and use of money.  Children gain important experience of mathematics if parents involve their children in all these experiences. Research has shown when parents take the time to engage children in thinking and talking about mathematics they are providing an important key for unlocking their child’s future success.
Here are some ways parents can help develop their child’s understanding of mathematics:

While shopping, count the food items as they are placed in the trolley or unpacked at home. Ask children to estimate items: which are the same, which are more or less than, for example, a litre of milk or soft drink.
Collect and count objects such as toys, shells, and flowers from the garden.
Count days on a calendar. 
Read books that involves counting.
Play matching number games with playing cards, dominoes and dice.
With your child, find numbers around you, for example house numbers, street numbers, and calendars. Look at and say or count the numbers on car number plates, signs, calendars, newspapers, shopping catalogues, speed signs, house numbers or telephone numbers on the phone.
Estimate lengths and work out distances between places using a road map.
Identify and explain visual patterns on clothing, wrapping paper, crockery, cards and furniture. Recognizing and making patterns are important maths skills for exploring numbers, shapes and symmetry.

“Confidence in numbers is an essential part of any child’s early learning.  Not only does it help them with day to day problem solving and practical tasks but it also gives them the building blocks to acquire the later mathematical skills valued by the world of industry and higher education.” – Miriam Rosen, Ofsted Inspector (Office for Standards in Education U.K.)
At Asia Metropolitan International School (AMETIS), we believe in providing learners with a sound foundation in the Three ‘R’s- Reading, wRiting and aRithmetic.  If a child is unable to read, he or she is unable to access the curriculum and this can and does inhibit learning.  Just as a child cannot hope to succeed without basic standards in reading and writing, basic mathematics is also an essential prerequisite for an effective education and future.
Enrolment is now open for primary and secondary classes. Please call 05 290 5888 or 019 388 3349 for enquiries, or visit us at www.ametis.edu.my.

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