Millions of elementary children across the world struggle with simply addition and subtraction. Many children at a young age complain that they dislike math because it is too difficult, and they believe that they are not smart enough. This belief among children can have a serve effect on any child struggling with mathematics. Math is a subject year after year that build upon itself and not understanding simply concepts of addition and subtraction at an early age leads to children underperforming to their peers and they simply become disinterested. Students begin to develop anxiety over mathematics leading to toxic learning environments in the classroom. Putting a piece of paper with equations in front of an elementary student is not always to answer. Student begin to feel alone, have intense emotional reactions, and negative self-talk while holding the pencil. Our early educators struggle to find interactive and fun activities for these students as their peers continue to move forward.
Many telling signs that students are struggling with mathematics include negative comments about math, getting anxious around math, math grades are lower than all other grades, trouble connecting with family and friends, difficulty paying attention in class and not hitting benchmark developed by schools.
Fortunately for parents and educators there are solutions. Changing stationary activities to activities where kids are doing things has a positive impact on students’ ability to learn. Using large visual aids helps student’s ability to remember concepts and help them forget about the anxiety that they feel over math and focus at the task at hand. All students learn in different ways, some are better showing them how to do an activity learn better, some need interactive activities to help them learn, other learn better in groups when their peers are helping them. Kinesthetic manipulation of a learning environment is one trick that early educators are looking towards to help those students begin to understand and enjoy math.
Kinesthetic learners need to move to be successful and have excellent “physical memory”. Activities built on movement and doing something physical are ideal for students that struggle with math and are not stuck just holding a pencil.
Enter the DICE COUNTERS. Instead of sitting a child down in front of a piece of paper and asking them to work through a problem, they are engaged and excited to have a hands-on activity. Three dice, two with numbers 1-6 and another with simple addition and subtraction signs can turn a nightmare night at the table with you child to a fun interactive activity. Educators can split children into small groups, and they can help each other work through the problem making them feel less alone and more excited about simple math.
The 3D printing community is a great cost saving way to create educational aids, such as dice counters, to enable all kids to be successful in school. Printing these three different dice on a 3D printer can cost as little as 6 cents (11 grams of filament per dice, 1 kg on filament costs approximately $20). For example, your school has 3 kindergarten classes and each class need 20 sets. Your total cost would be $3.60 for an interactive activity that your kids will enjoy. The plastic is safe, durable and could last forever. A 2 1/2” x 2 ½” x 2 ½” foam dice per dozen are $8. $16 per class, 3 classes ($48) and this is before you even get the addition and subtraction dice. For educators that pay for your own supplies, 3D printing is a great solution.
A simple cost effective way to make simple math more exciting for all all thanks to the 3D printing community.