Teaching kids concepts using something they love is a great way to get them motivated. You can take any favorite kids’ toy or food that you have multiples of (e.g., Transformers, Doc McStuffins Characters, Legos, Hot Wheels, Matchbox Cars, Cheerios, Gummy Bears) and use them to create a math lesson (let your child choose what he/she wants to use). To make it really motivating allow your child to play with the toy he/she chooses or eat the food after each lesson. If you are doing a few lessons in a row, allow a timed break in between for your child to play with the toys.
FYI: The methods in the article are based on the premise of multi-sensory instruction. Research indicates the benefits of using multi-sensory instruction to teach math. Multi-sensory instruction allows children to learn using multiple senses (e.g, hearing, seeing, touching). This is important because not all children learn one way, or thrive from the same type of learning.
Below you will see how to teach six basic math concepts using transformers. The lessons below are shown with images, but imagine doing these with real transformers (or any object of your child’s choice) on a table in your home. I have done these lessons with a child with a learning disability, using favorite items from around his house and he has made great improvements in his understanding of basic concepts.
(remove the 2 transformers from the table or have your child remove them to help him/her understand the concept of taking away/subtracting)
Have your child create two rows of transformers with the same number in each row. For example, start with 10 transformers and have him/her put one on the left side of the table and another one the right. Have your child keep doing this until she/he has created two equal rows of five. This helps your child learn the concepts of basic division and multiplication.
10 ÷ 2 = 5 (taking ten objects and splitting them into two equal rows will give you five on each side).
Once you have the five objects on each side you can point out how 5 X 2 = 10. Five in each row times two rows gives you ten transformers or (5 two times gives you 10).
Pretend the square below is your table top. Start with 10 transformers and have your child split them into two equal groups by moving one transformer to each side one at a time. Then count how many are in each group.
The next two concepts are frequently taught in the Common Core Math Curriculum developed in 2009.
1. Demonstrate how 10 can be split into two numbers.
10 = 3 and 7
10 = 6 and 4
- Related Article: 3 Helpful Strategies for Solving Math Word Problems
2. Teach mental math strategies by demonstrating that 5 + 6 is one higher than 5 + 5, (i.e., 5 + 5 = 10 and 5 + 6 = 11) or that 5 + 7 is two higher than 5 + 5 (i.e., 5 + 5 = 10 and 5 + 7 = 12). You can teach this concept using any set of doubles (e.g., 4 + 4 = 8 and 4 + 5 = 9).
Thank you for visiting educationandbehavior.com. We provide free academic, behavioral, and social-emotional support for children. Browse our topics from the navigation bar above. Receive our updates on Facebook!
Suggested for You
Educationandbehavior.com is a free resource for parents, caregivers, educators, and counselors. We provide academic, behavioral, and social-emotional support for children. Our mission is to provide accurate information and effective research-based strategies, with an ultimate goal of making a positive difference for children. Find out how you can contribute to educationandbehavior.com! Submit a Guest Post We value guest writers at educationandbehavior.com and would love to hear from you! Our site provides free support for children in the areas of learning, behavior, and social-emotional development. If you are interested in submitting a guest post, topics of interest include autism, learning disabilities, academic strategies, bullying, ADHD, IEP's, occupational therapy, speech-language development, social skills, empathy, depression, anxiety, grief, divorce, fitness/nutrition for kids and other related topics. Articles can include strategies, information, or personal inspirational stories. All strategies/tips must be backed by research that can be linked to or cited, or backed by experience-based accounts/anecdotal reports that are described in your post. Submissions can be written in the form of an article, poem, or letter. If you wish, your guest post would include a short bio about yourself with a link to you or your blog (or business) in the "About the Author" section. Please contact our CEO, Rachel Wise, at [email protected] if you are interested in submitting a guest post. We also accept sponsored posts. Please contact our CEO for more details about our guidelines for a sponsored post.