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WASL changes afoot: Say good-bye to math

Gov. Chris Gregoire has given her OK to phaseout the math section of the WASL. The section will be replaced with individual course tests and success on those will be a graduation requirement by 2013. The full, albeit short, story can be found here.

Since we're talking about math, a notoriously tricky subject for some kids, a quick search of the internets yielded some bright ideas for getting and keeping kids of all ages interested.

1) Let them see you using math. Balancing your checkbook, doubling a recipe, building a deck - opportunities to show real world applications of what they are learning in school.

2) Museum trips! Places like the Museum of Flight and the Pacific Science Center have the ability to inspire a young mind about all the possibilities of math.

3) Instead of buying flashcards - make them! You can get sturdy, precut paper at places like PaperSource in Bellevue or PaperZone locations around the Sound. Writing out the cards and drawing pictures on them will boost memory and recognition.

4) Play games that involve math - like Yahtzee. Little opportunities for fun basic skills practice will go a long way towards building math confidence.

5) Monitor homework - duh! This one seems obvious but a watchful eye can be very inspiring. It can also create conflict. Set up math homework time as a chance to watch and listen to your child interact with this sometimes difficult subject. Take your cues from them. Are they frustrated? Take a deep breath and help them break the problem into smaller pieces that are easier to grapple with.

What else, parents? Any tips?

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