It’s no big secret that kids love to create. Hands-on activities provide a wonderful way to engage children and teach them important lessons they’ll remember long-term. This concept has inspired the fast-growing “maker movement” — a trend of do-it-yourself activities for children that involve learning, building and experimentation.
Robotics is one of the most popular examples of the maker movement. Kids and adults alike are enamored with robots; creating an object from scratch and learning to control its actions is just plain cool. But there’s more: the fundamentals of robotics are directly connected to important STEM skills. It’s not just fun, it turns out; it’s educational.
It is well known that children who develop arithmetic skills at a young age are more likely to be successful in science, technology, engineering, and math subjects when they are older. It is also known that parents have a strong influence on their child’s ability to develop these skills.
For instance, children whose parents frequently ask things such as, “You have four pennies… how many would you have if I gave you two more?” are more likely to be successful in math classes and math-related careers later on. But, what is less well known is the fact that spatial reasoning has an impact on these mathematical abilities as well.
Research shows that teachers can integrate technology to help students grasp mathematical procedures and develop advanced mathematical proficiencies. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM) added that technological tools are necessary for engaging students. What types of technology can be implemented into mathematics classrooms? The following section offers several ideas that can help when teaching math to kids.
Math has always been known as one of the less-glamorous subjects. Sure, there are people who love the rhythm and reason of mathematical concepts, but average Kindergartners won’t tell you that they want to be an engineer, or a mathematician, or even a computer scientist when they grow up. But if every Kindergartner grew up to be a fireman, or movie star, or race car driver, or pilot, our society would certainly suffer.
So what makes one student inherently interested in math concepts, while another just wants to score high enough on a math test to not have to take it again?
Technology is everywhere and entwined in our daily lives so when technology in the classroom is used correctly it opens up possibilities for more student learning.
I strive to make my classroom a fun, engaging place to learn every day. By integrating technology into the classroom in a meaningful and purposeful way, I am able to hold and sustain a student’s love for learning. Using technology in the classroom has transformed me into an educator that is a conceptual thinker, generator of ideas, and a self-starter.
Most educators intuitively understand that the subject of Math is more involved than just memorizing tables and formulas. In fact, research shows that the whole brain is involved in math learning. Each area of the brain is actively involved with helping the student to learn the math lessons and concepts being taught. You could even say that it is more than a math subject; it is also an executive function subject.
There is lots of maths in robots! Think of almost any of the clever things robots can do, its maths that makes it happen.