The lesson is intended for teaching hands-on working skills to students who need understanding in depth of what addition and subtraction are. If you are a teacher, you might want to try all kinds of manipulatives found in school, like plastic counters, tiles, decimal cubes, geometric shapes, Cuisinaire rods, etc. With the use of manipulatives and a proper guidance, students will find arithmetic more interesting, understandable, and a lot less stressful.
If you are a tutoring parent, you might think that you cannot help your child for not having appropriate materials to do the lesson. That is not true. You can do the lesson using all kinds of things that may be available at home. For example, a very good manipulative is using raw beans, they are perfect for counting purposes and if you need to buy them, they are very inexpensive. You can also use buttons, rice grains, clips, and many other materials that you can find at home. NOTE: try to find an appropriate material that may not harm your child and supervise how he or she uses the materials to avoid an inappropriate use. Work with your child in short periods of time, preferably for 15 minutes to 30 minutes, if possible every day. On every opportunity that you can find, let him know how to use math like, when getting the dinner table ready. You can use that time to let him or her find out how many of each item you need on the table. Another would be when you go to the store to buy groceries. Have your child keep count of approximately how much money you are spending as you go putting items in the cart. Don't take in account the cents and let him round up the prices to the nearest dollar so that he or she can use whole numbers. Example: if you put in your cart an item that costs $3.75, round it to $4.00, or select several inexpensive items, costing cents each, to make an approximate amount of dollars.
These pages were developed through TeacherTECH, the teacher professional development component of GirlTECH , which is sponsored by the Center for Excellence and Equity in Education (CEEE) with support from the National Science Foundation through EPIC .