Morning Coffee – 23 Sept 2019

Morning Coffee image

One of the best ways we can help our children learn mathematics (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Monday morning coffee:

  • David Butler invented a challenging new game that can spark plenty of mathematical thinking: Digit Disguises.
  • If you liked James Tanton’s video on the area model in last week’s post, you may enjoy his in-depth discussion of The Astounding Power of Area.
  • On a lighter note, I’m sure any classroom or homeschool teacher can think of several ways to use Sara VanDerWerf’s collection of Math Fails. Scroll down for links to earlier collections, too.

“I told them that actually what they did was exactly what maths is — reasoning things out using the information you have and being able to be sure of your method and your answer. Just because there’s no symbols, it doesn’t mean it’s not maths.”

—David Butler
The Seven Sticks and what mathematics is

 

“I am not willing to teach mindless math. It leads to mindless adults. Thinking is not an add-on once they have memorized. Thinking is the basic tool to negotiate the world.”

—Geri Lorway
Teaching division?… Do you know the “basics”?

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee – 19 Sept 2019

Morning Coffee image

One of the best ways we can help our children learn math (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Thursday morning coffee:

“Most people think that maths is replete with factual knowledge. But actually, it’s subjects like English, the Humanities, and some sciences that are hefty in factual content. Maths is super-dense with concepts, and processes, but really only very few facts.”

—Kris Boulton
Why Maths Teachers Don’t Like Knowledge Organisers

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

Morning Coffee – 17 Sept 2019

Morning Coffee image

One of the best ways to help our children learn math (or anything else) is to always be learning ourselves.

Here are a few stories to read with your Tuesday morning coffee:

  • David Wees discusses ways to use visual patterns to introduce and extend students’ understanding of algebra and functions.

“What we should all be shooting for is a world where everyone is mathematically literate, and where fear or anxiety around mathematics doesn’t prevent people from doing the things they dream of doing. Everyone should see some beautiful mathematical ideas and know what it feels like.”

—Dan Finkel
What we mean when we say “Anyone can do math”

CREDITS: Feature photo (top) by Kira auf der Heide via Unsplash. “Morning Coffee” post format inspired by Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader.

Find the Sweetness in Math

Have you ever tasted the sweetness in math?

Or noticed your child having one of those “Aha” moments?

I’d love to hear your story in the comments!

You can think of puzzles and games as the sugar that helps the medicine to down, and you’re at least a bit healthier in your approach to math. But even better than sugar and nasty medicine is food that’s delicious enough to take away our craving for sugar and nutritious enough to take away any need for medicine. In the same way, good problems can help us fall in love with math and make a delicious meal of it, sinking our teeth into tough problems, tenderized by their intrigue.

Most people like games, so that’s an easy place to begin. At first, the games can be the sweetness that helps the math medicine go down. Over time perhaps you can find the sweetness in the math itself — in a problem that inspires you to work and struggle, until you finally get it, just for your own satisfaction.

Sue VanHattum
“Parents and Kids Together: Learning in Community”
Playing with Math: Stories from Math Circles, Homeschoolers, and Passionate Teachers

CREDITS: “Girl with Bubbles” photo courtesy of Leo Rivas on Unsplash.

Math Is Like a Nature Walk

Learning math is more like taking a meandering nature walk than like climbing a ladder of one-topic-after-another. Kids need to wander around the concepts, notice things, wonder about them, and enjoy the journey.

— Denise Gaskins
from a comment on the Living Math Forum

CREDITS: Background photo courtesy of Annie Spratt on Unsplash.

Play. Discuss. Notice. Wonder.

You don’t need a set of worksheets or lesson plans to learn math. All you need is an inquiring mind and something interesting to think about.

Play. Discuss. Notice. Wonder.

Enjoy.

— Denise Gaskins
Playing Complex Fractions with Your Kids

CREDITS: Background photo courtesy of Steve Shreve on Unsplash.