# Don't

## All Ages

• Ask “How did you get that?” “Can you show me another way to do that?” “Remember how you did ____, see if you can use that same strategy.”
• Ask your children to explain how they came up with the answer. It is great practice to have them verbalize strategies that they used to figure out the answer to a problem.
• Help foster a positive attitude about math.
• Play games and talk about math in the real world
• Try not to tell your child how to figure something out; he or she will learn much more by figuring it out for him or herself. You can always say, “Show me how you figured that out.” Then wait and listen and say, ”Oh, that’s interesting. Here’s how I figured it out.”

• Count with your child whenever possible. Practice counting up and practice counting down. Count small groups of items and play games that reinforce counting, which includes everything from Chutes & Ladders and dominoes to Parcheesi.
• Have your child practice estimating. Show them small groups of items and ask them to estimate how many are in  the group. Then count them and check your estimates.
• Don’t teach your child to do standard addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division algorithms. Research has shown that if children memorize a way of solving a problem before they develop the understanding it actually makes learning the ideas more difficult.

• Reinforce addition and subtraction   facts  for the numbers 1 through 10. The MOST effective way to do this is through games, not flash cards or workbooks. The games work best when kids and   grown-­ups are playing together. And don’t try to lose: your child will beat you soon enough! Have fun together.
• Practice estimating to develop measurement sense: Try estimating the number of windows in your house, ­then count and see. How about pairs of    shoes? Can you make an “educated guess”? Do you have personal benchmarks to help you decide when something is about an inch or a foot long? How many pounds is that  watermelon? How heavy is your dog?

• Please, do not introduce the “carrying” addition algorithm. It is a quick and efficient way to add, and all of us learned to add that way, but children who are introduced to this algorithm too soon lose all sense of the base ten number system and have a hard time telling if their answer makes sense.
• Please, do not introduce the “borrowing” subtraction algorithm. It is a quick and efficient way to subtract, and we all learned to subtract that way, but children who are introduced to this algorithm too soon have a much harder time understanding other subtraction strategies and truly understanding what happens during subtraction. Don’t worry, they will be introduced to the algorithm in 3rd grade, but not until  they have llearned what subtraction is all about!

• Reinforce addition and subtraction facts  for the numbers 1 through 20. The MOST effective way to do this is through  games, not flash cards or workbooks. The games work best when kids and grown-­ups are playing together. And don’t try to lose: your child will beat you soon enough! Have fun together.
• Reinforce the addition and subtraction strategies they learned in second grade in the context of story problems that you can have fun making up.
• Practice estimating to develop measurement sense: Try estimating the size of the crowd if you go to a concert or stadium together. Do  you have personal benchmarks to help  you decide when something is about an inch or a foot long? How many pounds is that watermelon?

• Please, do not try to teach the standard algorithms for any of the operations. It truly makes it harder for them to develop a solid conceptual understanding of the relationships between operations.They will be introduced to  the standard algorithm for addition and  subtraction later in the year.

• Reinforce basic addition, subtraction, multiplication and division facts. The MOST effective way to do this is through games, not flash cards or workbooks. The games work best when kids and grown-­ups are playing together. There are hundreds of games online.
• Reinforce the addition and subtraction strategies they learned in third grade in the context of story problems that you can  have fun making up.
• Practice estimating to develop measurement sense: Compare metric and standard units. How much would you weigh on the moon?

• Please, do not teach your child the standard algorithm for multiplication and long division. They will learn the algorithms in 5th & 6th grade after they have had a chance to develop a better conceptual sense of multiplication and division and have learned to divide a much easier way!