If you’re like many parents, when you hear the words “I need help with my math homework,” you’re filled with dread.
The good news is that ST Math, the game-based instructional software, is like no other math homework out there.
Instead of showing students how to solve a particular problem, parents become the facilitator by asking probing questions to guide students through their homework.
A Problem-solving Approach to Math
The goal of ST Math is to not only help students learn crucial math concepts by conquering tough challenges, but also gain self confidence in the process. That means it’s okay to struggle, make mistakes and get answers wrong.
Homework is a great opportunity to teach students perseverance! Encourage your student to keep trying and guide them through their homework but never just give them the answer.
Helping Students with ST Math at Home
Your child’s teacher may assign ST Math games for homework or summer work. In ST Math, the game puzzles start off simple and then get more challenging as the student progresses. When they reach a challenging problem, they may ask for your help.
As a facilitator and resource, you might ask questions like:
What do you notice about the puzzle?
- What can you click?
What can you do to get JiJi across the screen?
- What question is this puzzle asking?
Describe the strategy that you are going to use.
Describe what you see after you click. What did you learn?
- What will you do now? What do you expect to see?
- What did you learn from the previous level that can help you here?
You may need to ask these questions several times to help your child think through the math in the game. Encourage your child to take risks and ask them to explain what they learn from the wrong answer.
It’s also important that your student spend enough time on the program to make an impact, the ideal being 30 minutes each session. This will allow students to master concepts and persevere.
If you’re having difficulties at home and need a tutorial or further training on how to best facilitate ST Math at home, reach out to your student’s teacher. They have been trained on the program and are equipped with tools and resources to help.
Download the Guide for Using ST Math at Home.
Bring Math into Your Family Routine
Reading with your child is considered an integral part of a daily or nightly routine. But shouldn't math also be equally important?
We don't mean doing worksheets of problems with your child. Instead, think about how you can incorporate mathematical conversation into daily activities like cooking, shopping, driving, or combine them with other activities like games, art and puzzles.
You can use ST Math to promote mathematical conversation with one of these ideas below:
- Ask your child to select a level they have completed (it will be marked in green), and teach it to a family member.
- Build a summer math word wall with vocabulary words they use while explaining the games.
- Create word problems that go along with each puzzle.
- Write a math story based on the visual picture in a level.
For more ideas on how to bring math into your family's routine, check out these resources:
- Math Board Games for the whole family
- Create your own math game in the K-12 Game-a-thon
- Bedtime Math app, which features daily math puzzles
- MathMINDs Activity Book with activities for different ages
- Ulam's Number Spiral Activity
- Visual Sudoku Activity
This blog was originally posted September 23, 2014 and has been updated with more resources for parents.