Today, I decided to share the many uses for graph paper in teaching math. It’s a unique and effective tool for making learning math much easier. Children have a difficult time lining up numbers when they work out math problems. Graph paper solves that problem and makes doing math problems more understandable. The most important part is purchasing large 1/2″ graph paper. It’s sometimes hard to find but definitely worth the trouble.

My students use the 1/2″ graph paper to keep those pesky numbers in the correct columns when adding and subtracting, or multiplying and dividing. I can’t emphasize the importance of graph paper, especially the large squares. It’s extremely effective for visual learners who must “see” to understand.

Use it for making graphs, charts, and time lines. Students can learn to design their own graphs to represent information.

MJ_031613bWhen we were studying communities, we used the graph paper for drawing room layouts of their bedroom and for drawing their neighborhood. Children learn to measure and judge distances

Later when we were exploring quilt designs and the math involved in planning a quilt. the paper helped them understand how designs repeat and by counting the squares they were able to see the overall project.

Graph paper can also be used when you are working with decimals. Understanding positive and negative numbers is easier when digits align.

Fractions are another example of using a visual to understand parts of the whole. and percentages. Graph paper is an indispensable tool.

Download blank 1/2″ square paper here.