What Parents Can do at Home to Help Students with Math:
What’s the difference between 5 x 2 and 2 x 5? Both problems give the same answer — but the groupings are different. Children of all ages can often understand math concepts if they have a chance to see, move and use objects.
Teachers call these objects manipulatives because they give children a chance to move them around as they are learning about a math concept. You can create your own math manipulatives. Look for something small — raisins, paper clips, beans, even candy pieces.
To help your child see the difference between 5 x 2 and 2 x 5, have him group 10 raisins — first into five groups of two, then into two groups of five. As he moves the manipulative around, he’ll begin to understand how the two problems are different, even though they have the same answer.
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