Last Updated on October 6, 2023 by Editorial Team
Functional math skills are required in order to live independently in a society where we can analyze things on our own and make choices that benefit an ideal living. Functional skills make it feasible to decide where we want to live, how we want to make money, what to do with the earned money, and how to spend our spare time otherwise.
In order to carry out day-to-day tasks, these fundamentals come into action such as how to count money, see the watch/ clock and tell time, read a bus schedule in order to catch one, follow the right directions at work, and check bank balances and use their bank account. By employing functional math skills, individuals are able to tackle problems that arise in their lives or at work.
Adding more to it, this post in particular will describe and discuss a comprehensive functional math checklist that will help one determine the importance of a functional math skills checklist.
Functional math skills
Functional Mathematics skills are practical mathematics skills learned to enable individuals to function confidently, productively, and independently in life. They are primarily about how and when to apply learned knowledge and skills in real-life circumstances. The student can build these talents by adjusting and implementing what they have learned to adapt to many scenarios that they might face in their lives.
Functional math skills include
- Understanding money transactions
- Understanding the concept of time
- Understanding measurements
- Skills required for budgeting and balancing checkbooks
Why are they crucial?
To function effectively in daily life, Learners must be able to utilize mathematics in ways that allow them to be prompt in running everyday errands without a hassle. Here, Functional math skills come into the picture. These essential skills are helpful in ways that :
- It enables students to solve practical difficulties and challenges in life that they may experience at home, in their schooling, or at work.
- These abilities help in budgeting while maintaining and keeping a check on the cash flow on a daily basis.
- It helps learners build self-dependence
- Students who are functionally adept in mathematics can apply what they have learned to solve issues in their daily lives and at work.
Functional math skills checklist
We utilize math all the time in our daily lives. Getting somewhere on time, shopping, following a recipe, and making payments to run day-to-day errands necessitate basic math skills. Most kids develop these skills by observing others. However, students with disabilities typically involve more individualized instructions to develop practical math skills. As a parent or a teacher, you may use the following checklist to help your kids more firmly in their daily lives. Have a look below:
- Able to count to at least 100
- Able to count with a difference of 5 and 10
- Which number is higher than the other
- Which number is lower than the other
- Can do basic divisions. For example, what is 25/5?
- Is able to do addition, for example, 100+50?
- Is able to do subtractions, for example, 60-20 is?
- If able to solve problems like everyone going out for dinner and splitting the bill equally, how much would each person pay?
- Is able to understand multiplication. For example, if one deposits 1000 every month in the bank, how much money will be deposited without interest at the end of the year?
- Is able to round off decimal fractions
- Understands volume. For example, 1 liter is how many milliliters?
- Understands measurements. For example, 1 kilometer is how many meters?
- Is able to solve problems like, if the school is 1 km away and a student takes the bus for 950 meters, how many meters does he/she have to walk?
- Understands time. For example, one day has how many hours or 1 hour has how many minutes?
- Is able to schedule tasks and solve sums that involve time. For example, if naptime is extended by 1 hrs, playtime would decrease by?
- Is able to understand time durations. For example, how long is the play if a play starts at 4 and ends at 7?
- Is able to conceptualize time and understand how many hours would 180 minutes be?
- Is able to understand the concept of money, for example, the value of different coins and rupee notes
- Is able to add the values of money and carry out transactions
- Is able to understand discounting. For example, if a shopkeeper gives a 10% discount on 1000 Rs worth of books, how much money should the shopkeeper pay?
How to use this checklist?
Ask your child/student the above questions and analyze if they were able to answer them. However, you must know that there is no such thing as a correct answer. What matters is that they tried. Someone with even a slight relative to the aforementioned questions may signify progress in such cases.
Moreover, more questions can also be designed based on the same concept. More of the questions that the child gets, confirm that the learner is getting better at acquiring these skills.
How can this functional math skills checklist be useful?
- Task-based and simple checklists are helpful as they come in handy at different tasks at different stages. The child can attempt to complete the tasks or problems and gradually increase the difficulty level. It helps bring order to the relative chaos of learning and provides a path to completing complex tasks.
- Checklists hold the students accountable for the efforts that go into completing the tasks. The students know the trajectory of the required tasks and are responsible for continuing work for them. When another person dictates the tasks, completing the tasks is seen as a shared responsibility rather than the learner’s responsibility.
- With the help of checklists, you know where you left off the last time and can pick it up right there and follow the structured path to a higher difficulty level. This will let you stay organized and orientated in what you are doing without making amisses.
- The parties involved in the functional math checklist run-through (e.g.: a teacher and a student) know what questions were incomplete or were gotten wrong the last time, which can be attempted again instead of abandoning them. This will make the student know more about their loopholes and will make them practice their weak points even more.
- The idea of a checklist is to show incremental signs of progress in a child. Checklists are an amazing tool to motivate the learner by putting in consistent efforts to increase efficiency in solving daily problems using functional math skills.
- Checklists allow for making assessments and inspecting obstacles if any are present.
- A goal can be divided into various tasks and used in the checklists so that the pathway to achieving the goal can be easily communicated to parents and teachers.
Functional skills are necessary for every individual to possess a life that leads without dependency on others. Such skills (math-centric) help in carrying out day-to-day activities like budgeting, making economic transactions, planning and scheduling according to time, shopping, etc. The skills required to do these tasks may not need higher education. However, basic knowledge of important math concepts like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division is of utmost value here. A failure to grasp these skills may result in a life-long dependency on others, eventually compromising the sense of free living for end-to-end parties.
The reason why checklists are useful tools is that they allow you to map your progress paths and track your improvements. Such lists work wonders with dyscalculia individuals. By increasing accountability, responsibility, and efficiency in students- we hope the above-added post was helpful to you and your child in ways known and unknown.
An engineer, Maths expert, Online Tutor and animal rights activist. In more than 5+ years of my online teaching experience, I closely worked with many students struggling with dyscalculia and dyslexia. With the years passing, I learned that not much effort being put into the awareness of this learning disorder. Students with dyscalculia often misunderstood for having just a simple math fear. This is still an underresearched and understudied subject. I am also the founder of Smartynote -‘The notepad app for dyslexia’,