Thursday, 29 December 2016

Gifted Children and Bad Grades

What do you do if your gifted child’s grades start slipping, or if the great results you previously enjoyed begin dipping to a level of average or below? Has the child lost his spark? Are the parents at fault? Is the school letting him down? Any of these could be the causes, but the most common reason for gifted children to lose interest in their studies is that they are not being challenged in the right way. Gifted children are easily bored with the pace of normal school learning and either tune out or focus on “fitting in” so that they are more like their peers.

Parents Need To Take Control

Having a gifted child can be intimidating for the parents. They want to offer support and encourage but are afraid that their efforts will not meet the child’s expectations or needs. Because of this, they often allow the child to make his or her own decisions and channel energies and interests where they want to. This can be a big mistake. A gifted child is still a child and needs adult guidance. Allowing a child to chart his or her own academic course is giving too much power and placing a huge burden on a mind that is not mature enough to handle the pressure.

Children Need To Be Challenged

For a gifted child, underachieving is easy. He can put his feet up and match what his peers do. If this continues long enough, the innate ability will be blunted and the desire to achieve will be lost. All children are naturally curious and willing to accept challenges. However, if the challenge is too easy, the interest is lost. Schools, with large classes, must cater to the needs of the majority of the students. This means that, even with the best of intensions, there is no time or resources to create the challenges and learning paths that gifted children need. As already said, parents are often afraid of stepping in to fill the gap and if they do, they are usually not equipped to provide the special learning support that gifted children need. Instead of finding fault with the school system or indulging in guilt at not being able to do more for their children, parents need to find an effective solution to the problem.

The Tutoring Solution

A tutoring or learning center is an ideal way for a gifted child to regain his edge and reach his true potential. The individual attention and teaching by expert professionals will provide the child with the focused direction that he needs. The child-specific challenges that the tutors can offer will stimulate the child to start to excel again and this desire will carry over to the school where grades will once again rise to the top. If you have a gifted child whom you feel is not performing to his or her full potential, get in touch with a reputed, professional tutoring center that can offer the support and challenges your child needs to get back on top. Professional tutors will be happy to discuss a child’s specific needs with the parents and work on ways to meet those needs.

Monday, 26 December 2016

What are Equivalent Fractions?

There is a root word here to give a hint: Equi or equal. You know that a fraction has a top number (numerator) and a bottom number (denominator). If you multiply both of these by the same number, you will have an equivalent fraction! It is easy. You are just chopping up a fraction into smaller EQUAL parts:

That’s right, you multiply to get SMALLER parts.  That’s because the bigger the denominator is, the more parts there are, and they have to be smaller and smaller.

It is easier for most kids new to fractions to see equivalent fractions in charts or tables. Below is a basic equivalent fractions chart. Do you see that as the denominators get bigger, the pieces get smaller?

Another way to think about equivalent fractions is by looking at segments of circles:

Remember, you multiply the top (numerator) and bottom (denominator) by the same number to get smaller equal pieces:


And… you divide by the same number to get larger pieces:

Equivalent fractions activities for 4th grade and for 5th grade may require a quick recall of multiplication and division. Visuals as shown above and charts and tables can help as well as hands on activities with folding and cutting paper, and even domino games. Below is a handy equivalent fractions chart.

Note that the numbers across each row are equivalent to each other, because you are simply multiplying the numerators and denominators of the first fraction in column 1 by 1, then 2, then 3 and so on. Study this chart to see the patterns:

You can find a lot of activities and games online to teach equivalent fractions and other concepts in beginning fractions to help kids from year 6 through 5th grade. 

The following video can provide further details about equivalent fractions:    

For further information on this and other fractions concepts, visit:

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Fractions for Kids - What is a Fraction?

Pieces, pieces make a whole. What’s a “whole” – a bunch of pieces!If you drop a plate, it may break into a couple of pieces or shatter into many smaller pieces. Each of these pieces is a fraction of that plate before it broke. The larger the pieces, the fewer there are of them – you might be able to glue them back together.  But, if the plate shattered, you would have many smaller pieces, or fractions of the plate – maybe too hard to glue back together. You would just have to sweep them up.

What are the parts of a fraction?

Now you know that fractions are pieces of a whole, and that a fraction can be a big piece or a very tiny piece.  Examples of fractions can be shown with a pizza. If you cut a pizza exactly in half, you will have two big pieces, right?  Each piece is 1/2of the pizza.  

The “2” on the bottom tells us we have two pieces.
It is called the denominator.

The “1” on the top tells we have one of those pieces. 
                                     It is called the numerator.

If we cut the pizza into three equal pieces, each piece will be 1/3 of the pizza. The denominator is “3” to tell us how many pieces we have. If we eat one of these pieces, we will eat 1/3 of the pizza. If we eat 2 pieces, we will eat 2/3 of the pizza. The number on top is the numerator and tells us how many of those 3 pieces we are eating. If we want more than 3 of these pieces, we will have to get another pizza, right?

To learn more about beginning fractions, please watch “What is a Fraction?”