When I first had my son, I never knew what challenges awaited him in this big world. It started with having to overcome diabetes. This was a long and constant process. It took us about 3 years, but now we have it down to a science. He knows exactly what he needs to do and how to maintain his health. Once we got a system in place it was rather easy for him. Now he is in the third grade and we have hit the second biggest challenge / struggle of his life; math class. This is rather ironic because my husband and I both have Master's degree in engineering and mathematics. We have mastered very highly levels of math with relative ease. My son Cameron on the other hand, struggled to grasp the concept of multiplication. I had to help him find a way to tackle this. I thought to myself, what could I do? Then it hit me, we already developed a strategy that he has mastered to maintain his health. Why not help him develop a strategy to learn math concepts and skills? So I developed this 3 step method that changed everything.
From a teacher's perspective our competition is tough. Passing out a handout of 30 problems that are all in a format of 534x25= is not as stimulating in the students' eyes as playing games such as Grand Theft Auto and Resident Evil. Granted, that will always be a tough uphill battle for math to win out over most video games, but the point is, students today are much more immersed in technology than ever before. So even if you need to pass out a math worksheet to review concepts and formulas, it will greatly benefit your cause if you design the worksheet to be as stimulating as possible. Therefore creativity is a must for worksheets to be successful. Regardless if you are trying to review math, science, reading, writing, health, or social studies, your goal should always be to try and create something that will generate desire in the students to actually want to do it. If you can do this, the battle is practically over already. For example, since I want to make sure my students get accustomed to reviewing the various math concepts and standards we've learned all year, I have them practice regularly. I want them to get to a point where they are so familiar with grade level math content, that solving these types of problems becomes automatic.