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.

Who's Fault? _ Is it his fault that he lacks confidence with word problems? Not entirely. Our actions, as educators, seem to imply a belief that solving word problems should come more naturally than simpler operations like arithmetic and algebra. Many parents and teachers feel justified in encouraging (i.e. forcing) a child to work hundreds or thousands of math worksheets, drill multiplication tables, long division... but few encourage solving hundreds of story problems. One suspects that the relative ease of creating and checking ordinary math worksheets keeps the focus of math education on simple, atomic operations at the expense of more holistic story problems.

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