Love Third-Grade Teachers Help Parents Better Understand Math

Love Elementary School third-grade teachers Chad Bongiovanni, Kevin Kaszuba, Kim Lane, Mary Marcum, Chris Peterson, Danielle Russell and Amy Swanson recently held an information session to help parents better understand the new ways students are performing math problems in the classroom.

“We were hearing from parents that they were having difficulty helping their child with homework because the way we are teaching math now looks different than how the parents were taught,” said the third-grade team. “They needed to better understand how students are expected to complete math problems within today’s curriculum, so we held a special session to show, in detail, the new expectations.”

The third-grade team focused on tape diagrams, which are a problem-solving strategy students use in the classroom. Tape diagrams help students visualize how numbers are related to each other. This approach creates a concrete picture from an abstract situation. It is a powerful instructional strategy that promotes student achievement through active engagement. However, tape diagrams are foreign to many parents and they needed a better understanding of how they worked in order to help their child. The teachers gave parents a hands-on demonstration.

“A parent said to us, ‘My child can get the correct answer – why can’t he just give the answer like we used to?’ They didn’t see the point in all the extra work. But what we need parents to understand is students are being asked to solve problems in pictures, numbers and words – to demonstrate that they can solve problems in multiple ways. And, they must be able to use critical thinking skills and explain both verbally, and in writing, how they got their answer. It is just a different way, and we felt it was important to give parents the tools they need to help their children succeed, ” said the teachers.

The teachers also provided additional resources for the parents including websites to visit for more information and take-home games to practice, as a family, the math skills necessary in the classroom.