“Math is boring.” This is a statement that should never be said by a first grader. If your child is bored in 1st grade math class, consider making it more interesting by adding video games to the mix. Here are five ways you can teach 1st grade math using video games.
1. Basic Math Fact Practice
Systems, like video games, that provide reward points give the instant gratification that kids need when they are working towards mastery of basic math facts. With a video game, kids are excited to answer 2 + 2 = 4 so they can earn points, badges or similar rewards. Because the answer is immediate, they know whether they were right or wrong with minimal wait, unlike typical worksheets which do not provide feedback until they are graded. This helps kids make mental corrections when they are answering a problem incorrectly. It also provides practice, so kids get the right answer to the fact that their learning is reinforced. Because 1st grade math focuses so strongly on learning these basic facts, this is a valuable tool to make it fun.
2. Helping Kids Do Math, Not Just Learn Math
Unlike other subjects, math is more of an activity than a knowledge subject. Yes, students learning 1st grade math must learn some knowledge, but they must also apply that knowledge through activity. Video games and game-like play (a.k.a gamification) allow kids the chance to do math in an active way so they can demonstrate what they know.
3. Making Math More Competitive
Children are motivated by competition. Video game systems that use reward points create that sense of competition. Even if the child is simply competing against himself or even a timer, that competition will motivate the child for success.
4. Keeping Teachers Involved
One concern that has been broached since the invention of the computer was the fact that computers may someday eliminate teachers. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. There will always be a need for teachers, and video games simply give them a new platform to teach math for 1st grade.
In fact, the best video-based instruction programs for this age group are those that allow or iclude teacher input. Thinkster Math, for example, is a powerful & innovative tutoring app for iPad that is monitored by a team of instructors and includes instruction from real, certified teachers at the point of learning. Other video games allow teacher to customize problems to every child’s need so they can work along with the math curriculum.
5. Making Math Practical
While you won’t get too many kids saying “when will we need this?” in the 1st grade math classroom, it’ still important to show kids real-world applications for their learning, even in these early years when they are excited about school. Math computer or tablet programs give a virtual environment to easily simulate a long list of real-world applications.
If you are looking for a proven program to use with your child to reinforce the concepts learned in math for 1st grade while harnessing the motivational power of technology, trust Thinkster. This tablet-based tutoring app has a high success rate and will help your child grasp the concepts being taught in these early math classes.