Science and Math are best buddies. Simply put: without the right level of Math, Science dies a slow and painful death.
Basic Math means the four basic operations, fraction, decimals, percent, powers, radicals and some introductory algebraic equations and geometry. Without this supporting knowledge, the rest of Math (Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Calculus…) does not make any sense.
All that Math supports understanding and proving processes in Biology, Chemistry and Physics.
I learned that through my students’ painful struggle with Physics and Chemistry. Two of my former students were born researchers. Neither one of them had a strong background in Math. As such, I had to finish most of my explanations to their most intriguing questions with:
“You have to take my word on this one: you’ll understand more of it after a course of Algebra, Trigonometry…”
Fast forward five years. I get a chance to talk to these young men and find out that more Math made a whole lot of difference in their studies. They were able to take higher levels of Science due to their mathematical knowledge. Hurray!
That means that Basic Math supports the rest of a student’s education and his or her future career.
Let’s have some fun preparing for higher Math.
There are a lot of games that explain fractions, for example, which baffle kids with their topsy-turvy use of numbers. Students know, from previous experience, that bigger numbers mean bigger value. It does not work that way with fractions!
Here is a fun way to practice fractions: http://playpowerlabs.org/bsnl/v21/brainpop/BSNL.html
Here are more mini games that help students develop strong number sense: http://numbaland.com/
Then, there are online drills from Math-U-See: http://www.mathusee.com/e-learning/drills/
Please don’t worry about the so called “kids’ inability to understand mathematical concepts”. There is a fail-proof experiment that can show, beyond any doubt, kid’s intrinsic understanding of numbers:
Take about 17 cookies and divide them, unevenly, among a group of young children.
You’ll have a riot on your hands!