ERIC Number: EJ1031801
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Oct
Reference Count: 11
Recognizing and Nurturing Math Talent in Children
Gavin, M. Katherine; Firmender, Janine M.; Casa, Tutita M.
Parenting for High Potential, v3 n2 p22-26 Oct 2013
What is math talent? Ten different educators will most likely provide 10 different answers. Researchers state that one reason mathematical talent is difficult to describe involves the different ways children manifest math talent. Children can display math talent in three different ways: (a) those who reason abstractly and have an "algebraic cast of mind"; (b) those who have strong spatial skills with a "geometric" cast of mind; and (c) those who have a combination of both. The kinds of problems posed to students and the discussions generated around these problems need to be challenging and motivational in order to develop student mathematicians who are innovative thinkers and creative problem solvers. Beyond math class, there are other activities such as math competitions, math enrichment clubs, computer clubs, and chess clubs that provide challenge and enjoyment within the school environment. Children who participate in team sports, such as basketball and soccer, are developing spatial sense as well as learning how to solve problems. Players need to have a sense of where all of the other players are on the court or field and where they themselves need to be to advance the ball. Parents can encourage their child's interest in mathematics by providing experiences at home that fuel the spark; for example, play strategy games like Yahtzee and Battleship, construct jigsaw puzzles, create origami animals, and do Sudoku puzzles together. Find interesting patterns in nature as you walk in the park or along the beach. Most of all, have fun with math.
Descriptors: Talent Development, Talent Identification, Mathematical Aptitude, Children, Educational Strategies, Child Development, Mathematics Activities, Learning Activities, Educational Resources, Parenting Skills
National Association for Gifted Children. 1331 H Street NW Suite 1001, Washington, DC 20005. Tel: 202-785-4268; Fax: 202-785-4248; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; Web site: http://www.nagc.org/php.aspx
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A