Math Drills Before School Starts

Created May 19, 2011


As I headed to the bookstore last week to get art supplies for my son’s art classes, I was surprised by the long queue and this reminded me that school is just around the corner.  When I got home that afternoon, I heard my 8-year-old arguing with my 4-year-old on whose turn is it to use the computer, again! This has been a typical scene every since Jianne (the 4-year-old) learned how to play games on the computer.  Although, her use is still limited compared to Coby (the 8-year-old), every time she tries to use the older one tries to lure her into something else just to keep her off the PC. 

Vacation is almost over and I need to study which curriculum I am going to use for the two kids. As I do this daunting task of selecting the correct curriculum, I need to review as well as prepare Coby for his Math.  I used to give him pages of Math drills which to me is really overwhelming and gets boring at the same time.  So I decided to cut small pieces of colored index cards and write either an addition, subtraction, multiplication or division problem.  This method helps him because he can focus on only the problem written on the card and not get distracted by the other problems written in that short bond paper.  I thinking of assigning different colored index cards per operation like pink for addition, blue for subtraction, blue for multiplication and yellow for division.  I think this would also brace him for the problems he needs to solve.  Like if I give him a blue index card, he knows he will do multiplication and recall his multiplication table. 




The index card worked for him and me as well and as an added bonus I gave him an incentive.  For every index card completed with the correct answer, he is given 5 minutes to play on the computer.  I tried this during the third quarter and the result was impressive.  He not only solved the problems correctly but he did it so fast because he wanted to play right away.  Not only that, because of the limited time I gave for each index card, he wanted to do more drills so he could spend more time on the PC but he cannot exceed one hour.

As we prepare for Grade 3 this June, we will do the cards again and hoping that we find our own way of doing Math and this time encouraging each other.

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