# The Benefits of Teaching Math in a Right-Brained Way

Jul 29, 2024

The reason math is hard for so many children is that math is taught with a highly left-brained approach. Given that roughly 66% of children prefer a right-brained approach to learning, it is no wonder that math is such a struggle for a large portion of students.

What right-brained kids need and thrive on include understanding the meaning behind what they are doing, the relevance to their own lives, images showing what is happening, and patterns that exist in arrays of numbers.

## The Left-Brained Approach

Math is normally taught in ways that appeal to the 33% of students who prefer left-brained approaches to learning:

1. Memorization is the primary mode of learning procedures, number facts, and math vocabulary.

2. Math is taught in steps and sequences: first do this, next do this, then do this.

3. Math is all about symbols that represent other real things; on their own, they carry no meaning.

4. Math is full of large vocabulary words that need to be memorized (integer, denominator, addend, etc.).

## The Right-Brained Approach

As an adult, I found that math is not so difficult once I began to include right-brained elements to help myself learn! It is rich, it can be understood through images and stories, and visual, right-brained children CAN learn math easily if it is designed in a way that makes sense to their brains.
The presentation makes all the difference! In our resources, children will find math presented in ways that marry left-brained symbols with right-brained vehicles for learning and understanding such as:

## Two Examples of Presentation

1. Story

The first example is from Right-Brained Fractions, using right-brained elements to show the meaning of two vocabulary words:
Story: Nom and Num Ator are brothers. (“Ator” means “one who” as in “one who counts” and “one who names.”)

Num is the guy who counts how many fractional parts we have.

Nom is the guy who names the fractional part we are working with.

2. Personification

The second example is from Right-Brained Multiplication & Division, using right-brained elements to bring a concept to life.
We use personification (& stories) to teach rules. For example, the book begins with Zeroman. With a POOSH of his wand, everything he multiplies or divides turns to a zero. It is as simple as that.

Child1st teaching and learning resources all follow the principle of conveying learning pieces using a variety of right-brain-friendly elements.  We take learning tidbits that utilize symbols (numbers and letters) and abstractions, which are left-brained, and embed them in right-brained elements to beautifully integrate the left and right hemispheres in the brain.

I Can Sing from 1 to 10

For young children learning is best done naturally through story, vivid pictures, music, and body movement.  I Can Sing from 1 to 10 is a delightful way to introduce young children to numbers and counting in a way that links number symbols and names.

Each full-page, color illustration shows a number embedded in an image and provides details for the child to count, ensuring that from early on children learn the "how many" of each number.  This newly updated version is filled with brand-new illustrations paired with the lyrics and movements that you are familiar with.

I Can Count from 1 - 20 Poster

I Can Count from 1 to 20 is a poster of our stylized numbers arranged in rows of five numbers, which allows important number patterns to emerge. Each number image includes some details to count. The rhyme under each number helps children relate the image they see to the number symbol. This poster correlates with Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction

I Can Count from 1 to 20 Teaching Cards

I Can Count from 1 to 20 Teaching Cards are a fun and easy way for very young children to learn to recognize numbers and their names, using engaging rhymes and visuals.

The numbers are embedded in the images, which ties the symbols with meaning. The jingle for each number adds a unique element to the image resulting in an unforgettable learning experience. These number images are the same ones that appear in Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction.
Also available as an interactive slideshow.

100's Chart Color-Coded Poster

Everyone needs a 100’s chart in their classroom, right? Well, this one is pretty special because we have color-coded the numbers to make pattern discovery super easy and fun. The colors of the numbers match the colors in our math games to lend continuity to those children who rely on color for remembering numbers.

Right-Brained Time, Money, & Measurement

Right-Brained Time, Money, and Measurement takes a fun, kid-friendly approach to these important topics. The book teaches via images, stories, hands-on activities, and patterns, which engage and target the child’s natural learning strengths. It is a great approach for kinesthetic and visual learners!

You may approach this book in several ways, depending on the situation: the level and ages of the children you are teaching and your time constraints. The material presented in each section begins with introductory concepts and increases in difficulty. Simply go as far as your student(s) can go in each section.

The goal of this multisensory resource is to bring children to fluency with their basic math facts, and to lay a comprehensive background in number sense. Go beyond memorization of facts and bring understanding to early number concepts through stories and images. Addition and subtraction are fundamental to all other math disciplines, so we start here laying number sense visually so that children go beyond learning math facts to understanding what numbers mean and how they work.

Right-Brained Place Addition & Subtraction Vol. 2

Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction Vol. 2 is an effective way to teach addition & subtraction for numbers larger than 10 - no matter how much children have struggled to remember math facts before.

This volume strategically builds on Right-Brained Addition & Subtraction and all computation done in this book is based on the facts to ten, which the children already know! Very young students will easily master the concept of place value because this approach shows children the meaning of place value as they use manipulatives, act out the action in place value, and hear stories that explain what is happening.

Right-Brained Multiplication & Division

Right-Brained Multiplication & Division is for students who are strongly visual, kinesthetic, and/or tactile; who learn all at once through pictures, are drawn to patterns, rely on body motions, and who need to understand the process behind each math problem they solve. Our approach will show students what multiplication & division mean, will relate the two skills to each other, and will present the facts via stories and images to help provide hooks for learning and recall.

Make learning fractions fun with our Right-Brained Fractions book that introduces children to the Ator brothers! This dynamic duo is the missing link for students learning fractions!

The vibrant images, engaging stories, and exciting activities in this book are designed to support your tactile/kinesthetic and visual learners. Understanding fractions is an essential foundation for both higher levels of math and for day-to-day life.

SnapWords® Math Vocabulary Kit

When children learn math, one of the biggest challenges they face is learning, understanding, and using vocabulary. Traditionally, we have relied heavily on memorization when teaching math. But for many children, memorization is the least effective way to learn any subject.

We help by providing images that allow children to instantly grasp both the word and its meaning. On the front of each card is the vocabulary term embedded in an image, while the reverse side contains a body motion and a definition.

## Conclusion

We understand how difficult math can be, especially for right-brained learners.  Children are neurodiverse; they have varying processing dominances. What works just fine for auditory/sequential children won’t work very well for visual/spatial and kinesthetic processors. Because math is abstract and symbol-heavy, children who are visual/spatial processors thrive when they have access to an approach that expresses the meaning of symbols and procedures in ways they can easily grasp.  Get your Child1st math resources today and experience the difference!