Quality Educator






Help your Child with Math

Welcome, Parents!

This page is designed to help you meet the needs of your developing mathematician. I hope it can serve as a terrific resource for you in supporting your child. As you think about your child and how to help, please keep the following in mind:

  • Every child is unique. These suggestions are general and not meant to be a one-size-fits-all solution. You know your child best!

  • Your child has a team of teachers working for their success. This website is not meant to replace them or your communication with them in any way.

  • Your involvement makes a difference! There is a huge body of research supporting parental involvement. Please follow this link for specific research.

This site is divided into five sections: Number Sense and Operations; Algebra; Geometry and Measurement; Data Analysis and Probability; and Problem Solving. Below, you will find some General Suggestions and information about each of the five sections.

General Suggestions

These suggestions will help you support your child in school, as well as specific support for literacy development.

  • Provide a quiet place for your child to complete homework (no TV, radio, or other distractions).

  • Ask your child what they learned in school today.

  • Be sure your child eats a healthy breakfast every day.

  • Let your children hear you solve problems - even problems that don't seem math-related. For example, deciding where to go out to dinner or how much juice to buy for the soccer team are great real-life problem solving opportunities. Talk through the process as you do this. Children need to hear us thinking out loud.

  •  Don't make it okay for your child to not do well in math by saying things like, "Well, I was never good at math either" or "I can't even balance my checkbook." Hold your child to a high standard in math, just as you would in reading.

Number Sense and Operations

Number sense is a comfort with numbers and a sense of how numbers work. This includes understanding how numbers increase or decrease, how they compare, and estimation. Operations include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Children can learn number sense and operations as they relate to whole numbers, money, decimals, fractions, and integers (positive and negative numbers).

Suggestions for Improving Number Sense and Operations.

  • Play games that involve calculations, such as Yahtzee, Cribbage, or Monopoly.

  • Ask your child to help you estimate the grocery bill as you go through the store.

  • Ask your child to help you compare two grocery store items to figure out which is the best deal by comparing the unit price.

  • Cook with your child. Try doubling or halving a recipe. This can be especially helpful with fractions.

  • Count in multiples (e.g. 3, 6, 9, ...) while bouncing a ball back and forth. The rhythm and physical activity will help your child learn and remember.

  • Practice with flashcards. Short daily practices (5-10 minutes) are better than longer sessions. Triangle flashcards will help your child see the relationship between inverse operations (addition and subtraction; multiplication and division). You can purchase them here or print your own.

  • Play What's My Number? This is like 20 Questions, except the answer will always be a number. You can choose the range of numbers and limit it to whole numbers or include decimals and fractions, depending on the skill level of your child. Encourage them to ask thoughtful questions, such as, "Is it greater/less than ... ?", "Is it a multiple of ___?", and "Is it odd/even?" This is a great game for the car.

A Special Note about Algorithms (methods)

  • Some teachers may teach alternate algorithms for solving math problems. These alternate algorithms will probably look differently than how you did math when you were in school. And it's best not to try teaching these to your child on your own without talking to their teacher first, but I'm providing these links because they may provide you with a good explanation if you encounter them. Remember, that while they are different, a child who learns these well can achieve at as high a level mathematically as a child who learns the traditional algorithms. Click here to learn about alternative algorithms.

Links on Number Sense and Operations

  • Coming Soon!


Suggestions for Improving Algebra

  • Play What's My Rule? This game is best played with pencil and paper to help children see the patterns. Choose a rule such as +3 or x5, but keep it a secret from your child. Create a two column chart. On the left write down a number your child gives you; in the right column, write the answer after you've applied your rule. After several numbers, have your child guess the rule. As your child becomes better, you can make a rule with two steps such as x2+1. A chart with a rule of +3 might look like this:



  • Show number sentences in different ways. When quizzing your child on their basic facts, try asking the question in different ways. For example, these all mean the same thing:

    • 4 times what is 12?

    • What is 4 times 3?

    • What times 3 is 12?

    • 12 is what times 4?

    • 12 is 3 times what?

Links on Algebra


Geometry and Measurement

Coming Soon


Geometry and Measurement Links

Data Analysis and Probability

Coming Soon

Problem Solving

http://www.figurethis.org/index.html - problems designed to solve as a family