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# Helping Your Child to Make the Most out of First Grade Math Concepts

By Jim Wheelin | December 6th 2011 | Views:

With your child attending school full time now, you’re probably noticing a lot of changes. First graders are not only adjusting to a full day of school, but also cognitive, physical and social changes are shaping their identities. There is a lot of information being learned during first grade, with a special focus on math concepts. Since math is the building block for other subjects, it’s important that your first grader understands the material in its entirety.

In order to prevent your child from falling behind in first grade math, it’s important to offer a variety of learning aids that can help your first grader grasp basic math concepts. Ask the teacher what you can expect from the curriculum. The teacher may be happy to share the lesson plans or may feel more comfortable giving you an overview of what will be taught. Knowing what your child is learning in school will allow you to practice the concepts outside of class, and use real-world examples that will enhance the material and make sense out of it.

One of the best ways to practice first grade math is by using online games and puzzles. There are many online puzzles, and it’s important to distinguish between games for entertainment and games for learning. You may need to test out a few puzzles on your own as you navigate through the ones that accompany first grade lesson plans. Talk to your child’s teacher about whether adaptive learning programs are already incorporated in the curriculum at the school. If so, you can use the same program at home to keep consistent with what your child is learning. If not, it may be time to invest in a program that will suit your child’s learning style.

Although adaptive learning has been around for decades, it hasn’t been until recently that it has received a lot of attention. Adaptive learning programs vary from traditional online games and puzzles in that they are made for learning and meet the demands of school curriculums. For a first grader, you can expect that your child will practice such skills as counting to 100 and complete number sequences, basic addition and patterns. Visuals work best for all children no matter how they learn, as this puts the math concepts into a tangible form that is easier to understand.

Adaptive learning programs offer visual games and puzzles that are fun, engaging and interactive. You’ll see your child working hard to solve the answer using a variety of math concepts in different applications. As a parent, you can track your child’s progress using the intuitive software and continue to build on the concepts when you head out into the world such as by counting out cereal boxes at the grocery store. With this fun and rewarding approach toward first grade math, you can feel confident that your child is continually practicing basic math concepts that are the building blocks to future success.

It’s difficult for one teacher to meet the needs of every student, so online games and puzzles are a wonderful way to keep all kids, regardless of where they fall on the learning spectrum, exercising basic first grade math. Many parents feel that if their child is grasping the classroom material, he or she doesn’t require additional instruction. But consider how much more your child can develop his or her skills just by putting them to use in interactive games and puzzles. Make the most out of your first grader’s first year in school by taking an active role in the school curriculum and continually expanding on the material.

Jim Wheelin writes about many different educational topics for parents and kids. He is always keeping an eye out for the latest teaching techniques and tools, including the best ways to practice first grade math for those kids who struggle. Jim also likes to test out-of-the-box educational resources including http://www.dreambox.com/first-grade-math-games

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