Addition is the most basic arithmetic operation. Learning to add is a skill that a child must master in order to succeed as a student in mathematics. Educators consider addition to be fundamental to all other areas of math.
Practicing the recall of addition facts helps to build confidence in mathematical abilities and increases the speed at which a child can solve problems. The ability to quickly recall addition facts helps to prepare young children for the task of learning mathematics, one of life’s most important skills.
Each child passes through developmental stages at his or her own pace. Adults who work with children can help to make learning basic addition skills a fun activity. An understanding of the concept of addition is a developmental stage that can be acquired through observation and listening skills. As a child progresses toward mastery of addition skills speed of recall will increase, but it is important for a child to also understand the meaning of each arithmetic operation.
How do children acquire addition skills? First, it is important for the child to understand that in addition number of items in two groups or sets are combined into one. The operation of addition is typically denoted with the use of the plus sign. In order to recognize that two sets are to be combined, children must learn to appropriately associate an abstract symbol, the shape of a written number, with the number of items in each of two groups and then assign another abstract symbol to describe the total quantity in both groups.
Addition is a binary operation in that two numbers are combined. Even when adding a large set of numbers, the sum is found by methodically combining two numbers at a time. Number recognition and counting skills are precursors to acquiring the skill of addition. By working with a child to introduce the concept of addition through counting the number of objects found in one group and then continuing to count the objects in the second group, parents and teachers can help a child develop confidence in his or her ability to add.
Identifying that a specific number can be used to describe the quantity of objects in a set is a key idea for assigning the labels of ‘greater than’, ‘less than’ or ‘equal to’ when making comparisons between groups. Addition is a skill of combining the number of objects in two or more groups. Counting is a skill that is fundamental to both making comparisons and addition.
As a parent with a busy schedule, how can you help your child learn basic arithmetic concepts and specifically addition facts? Chances are, you’re already doing it. Talk to your child about the meaning of addition whenever possible. How many blue cars do you see? How many white cars? How many in all? Listen when your child talks to you. Point out the total of two or more groups of objects that you encounter together when you are with your child. You’ll be amazed at how much your son or daughter will learn if you’ll simply talk about the addition in terms of combining two groups of household items.
Whether your child will learn quickly the concept of addition and be able to add quickly depends on a lot of factors. But once a child has learned to add, he or she won’t tire of finding examples in the environment. Parents should be patient and encourage the child to demonstrate these new skills because it helps to build self-confidence.
Addition Facts is a fun, convenient way to introduce and reinforce the basic concepts with your child. For all the times you and your child have a minute or two, this iPhone application is the perfect opportunity to practice addition skills. It will entertain both of you while you’re waiting in line at the grocery store, sitting in the waiting room at the dentist, traveling by bus or train, etc. The possibilities are endless! |