Multisensory Techniques To Teach Math
As we grow, we become more aware of the various difficulties, disabilities, and impairments that can affect how a child may grapple with and learn about different school subjects. Thus, we work towards creating a better environment that facilitates giving them that extra foothold they may need to help provide them with an equal opportunity to succeed.
Many techniques have been developed over the years with the multisensory approach to teaching these concepts. Today, we will focus on multisensory techniques that you can use to teach math concepts to children.
Visualization With Cereal, Beads, or Beans
One of the easiest ways to help teach counting and basic math operations, such as addition and subtraction, is visualization. Grab some dried beans, cereal, or beads, and use them to represent numbers.
This way, you can represent addition by adding to a growing group of beads or subtraction by taking away beads. You can also have the kids solve simple equations themselves by letting them move the beads around. Grouping them can also help them visualize the concepts of multiplication and division. This technique helps with visualizing quantities and number sense.
Use Building Blocks Or Cubes
One of the more common challenges children might face when learning math is that they cannot correctly visualize the sum or equation in their heads. A technique that can help with this involves using colored cubes or tiles.
You can have the child build shapes that give them ideas about proportion and measurements. This is a great option to teach number patterns and operations, as you can stack cubes in various groups, such as 2, 4, 6, and 8. The kid can then continue the pattern themselves.
Drawing Out Math Problems
The evolution of counting beads or beans is having children visualize the problem through drawing. This technique allows a child to show off their thinking process and ultimately brings them a step closer to using actual mathematical equations.
An easy example of how this can be done is with multiplication. If you have the simple equation 4 x 6, then you can have the child drawing four groups of six drawings. Conversely, they might color in four rows of six squares on graph paper. This allows them to visualize just how much 4 x 6 is.
Tapping while counting can help children connect numbers, counting, and mathematical symbols to tactile feelings and amounts. This method is also helpful for teaching multiples of a number.
Essentially, you have a child begin to tap out sets of numbers, emphasizing particular numbers when counting multiples. For example, if you were to teach multiples of three, they would start tapping while counting, and every third number would give a louder tap. Every louder tap gets written down, which should be every multiple of three. This makes multiplication and division easier, too, as they now visualize the numbers they are working with.
Math is a very logical subject that helps develop critical thinking and builds skills that help with decision-making. However, it can sometimes be quite tricky to grapple with at a young age, so many techniques like the ones above exist. This way, everyone can have an equal shot at mastering math.