Helping Students Overcome Difficulties in Math with Magna-Tiles®

We all want our children to do well in school, but some subjects can be quite a challenge. If math is frequently a source of frustration for your children, Magna-Tiles® magnetic building sets can help. Some youngsters can better understand STEM concepts that are traditionally worked out on paper through hands-on activities. These activities can put a fresh spin on difficult concepts, helping students make better sense of the problems in their textbooks. Take the math problems on paper and transform them into hands-on activities that are much easier for young learners to solve using Magna-Tiles®.

Try Simple Addition Sentences

Whether you’re using magnetic tiles or blocks, a physical representation of the values you have to work with makes it easier to solve the equations at hand. For equations involving basic addition and subtraction, you can use your magnetic blocks to represent the values in each math problem. Stack them on one side of the paper, leaving room to sort them into the solutions on the other side.

If your child is past the addition and subtraction phase, you can move on to multiplication and division problems following a similar formula as above. Pairing numerical values with a tangible activity is a fantastic way to help struggling students learn the mathematical concepts taught in school.

Visualize Fractions

Fractions can be one of the more difficult aspects of mathematics, especially for beginners. While your child might finally be used to working with whole numbers through addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication, the halves and quarters found in fractions can present a whole new set of challenges.

While halves and quarters may be easier to conceptualize, smaller amounts like eighths and sixteenths can be difficult to keep track of using pencil and paper. With Magna-Tiles® magnetic building toys, you can use geometric shapes to put together fractions in ways that help your child clearly visualize how each part contributes to a whole number.

Draw Numbers with Dry-Erase Markers

Another thing you can do to help a child who’s struggling in math is to use your tiles to represent actual values from different equations. Use a dry-erase marker to write the numbers directly on your magnetic shapes, and arrange them on a table or magnetic surface. The smooth surface of each Magna-Tiles® shape makes cleanup quick and easy when you’re done.

This method works for basic mathematical equations and fractions alike. Say you were working with sixths: you would write 1/6th on six equilateral triangles, and then have them arrange each of the pieces into a full hexagon. This visual representation of how individual parts create a whole number should help drive complex mathematical concepts like this home.

Learn More Mathematical Tips and Tricks

Math can be difficult for everyone, especially young children just starting to learn the basics. However, the magnetic STEM toys from Magna-Tiles® can add an interactive layer to each learning opportunity. Explore our activity downloads for STEM lesson plans and browse our Magna-Tiles® Play Book: Inspiring Creativity. For more information about our magnetic building sets, connect with us today.