When a kid is feeling bad about being stuck with a problem, or just very anxious, I sometimes ask him to make as many mistakes as he can, and as outrageous as he can. Laughter happens (which is valuable by itself, and not only for the mood — deep breathing brings oxygen to the brain). Then the kid starts making mistakes. In the process, features of the problem become much clearer, and in many cases a way to a solution presents itself.

— Maria Droujkova

Natural Math discussion of math club activities

## Does It Work?

While I was collecting entries for the Math Teachers at Play #35 blog carnival, I ran across this post by Dave Lanovaz:

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I love this, Denise. I’ve never thought of this before. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll share on my blog, too.

This is a very cool idea—I am definitely trying this with my 6 year old—he gets so frustrated when he can’t get something right on the first try—-thanks for posting :)

You’re welcome! It’s such a simple idea, but applicable in so many situations.