Have you ever noticed how many K┨ math content websites are devoted to math worksheets? There seems to be an increase in websites that cater to desperate teachers and parents by offering fast, free "worksheet generation", free fractions worksheets," etc. Now, as a former teacher I am not saying that one should never use math worksheets; however, I do believe that many teachers are using a very superficial method of instruction that relies too much on low_level math worksheets and hands_off instructional approaches. Worksheet lessons move from reading the directions aloud, to doing sample problems as a group, to completing the worksheet independently (or at home with parents), day in and day out. Teaching needs to be more than passing out worksheets. Whether you are the classroom teacher, instructional specialist, or parent, the methods you use greatly impact the level of understanding achieved by your students.

The heart shape is fantastically useful for teaching all sorts of mathematical problems, including geometry. Have your child cut out a heart shape from paper and use it to help them understand symmetry. How many lines of symmetry does a Heart Have? Help kids learn about patterns by using colored hearts or a series of Valentine's Day pictures. Introduce them to simple patterns; for instance red heart, green heart, red heart. From here you can make the patterns more complex by making them longer or including a higher degree of variation. Valentine's Day is a perfect opportunity for educating your child about many math problems; from simple arithmetic and word problems to patterning and geometry. There are many ideas to choose from that you're sure to find engaging and rewarding for both you and your child. So give them a try next Valentine's Day and see if your child will be struck by Cupid's arrow and feel the love for math.

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