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# Online Games Help Kids Learn First Grade Math

By Jim Wheelin | January 25th 2012 | Views:

Math is a subject that many kids have trouble with as they progress through school. It's essential that math basic skills be mastered early on, as these skills build the foundation for understanding harder concepts introduced in higher grades. First grade math contains quite a few important skills, and using online games may be able to give students the help they need in order to become fluent in working with numbers.

Building on Basic Concepts

In kindergarten, kids learn simple math skills like number recognition and counting. They're able to begin to recognize that higher numbers are bigger numbers and can understand concepts like counting by twos and tens. Using online games with these children when they reach first grade can help them transition between beginning math skills and more complex numerical concepts. Providing a wide variety of different games in an entertaining online environment gets kids excited about tackling new ideas and puts math in a positive context. Once the foundation has been laid for basic comprehension and computational skills, children can use these games to progress even further.

Mastering New Skills

By the time they're learning first grade math, kids should be ready to tackle things like the relationship between addition and subtraction, the concept of adding and subtracting two-digit numbers and learning to count beyond 100. Being able to compare numbers as larger, smaller or equal to each other is also important, as it provides the basis for recognizing whether or not the answer to a computation problem is the correct one.

Children need to be allowed to master these and other essential math skills before being asked to move on to new ideas, but the modern classroom setting doesn't always allow for this. As focus on core curriculum begins to push complex ideas into lower grade levels, kids are expected to learn more at a younger age. First grade math still contains many fundamental concepts essential for understanding higher math, and therefore shouldn't be rushed through. By letting a child try and re-try each new thing as it comes, online math games can give the extra time and practice that struggling students need to achieve success.

Taking it One Step at a Time

Every child learns at a different rate, but it's important to remember that all children should be able to grasp similar concepts once they've completed first grade math. Without the ability to count, add, subtract and understand basic relationships between all three, progression to higher math becomes difficult. Though online math games can't be used to teach everything a child needs to know, they can be an invaluable tool when it comes to augmenting what is learned in the classroom. Games supply a different context and more interactive setting than worksheets and are also more dynamic, which gives kids a new way to think about the concepts they're learning and can shed light on things they may be having trouble with.

The interactive world of online games makes first grade math enjoyable for young children and allows them to practice new math concepts outside of school. Both parents and teachers can use these tools to enhance traditional learning, thereby giving kids a unique and entertaining way to hone necessary math skills.

Jim Wheelin writes about many different educational topics for parents, kids and teachers. In his latest project, he worked with elementary teachers to find fun first grade math lessons and other classroom activities. Jim strongly encourages other parents and teachers to test educational games such as the ones offered at http://www.dreambox.com/first-grade-math-games.

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