Thursday, March 22, 2012

five plus five equals ?

Numbers, measuring, adding, estimating . . . . . the list continues - all bundled together and labelled 'Math'. We use it everyday, no matter what our days consist of. All sorts of tasks become simpler, smoother and quicker if our brains have a good handle on the subject. But . . . .

  . . . . . it seems terribly unfair that the mere mention of that 4 letter 'M' word brings all sorts of ugly thoughts to light. It's been given such a bad name.

Boring worksheet after worksheet, feeling overwhelmed and out of depth, and simply not-getting-it.

Do you relate at all?

Well, I'm no Math scholar myself. Sure, I never had any great dramas with it in school and even thought high school geometry was kind of 'enjoyable' in a weird sort of way. But I didn't excel either, just sort of average, I suppose.

University studies provided me with an opportunity to savour my deep love of language, linguistics and that sort of thing.  But in my very first semester along came the obligatory Math subject. Ok, I could handle that - in an average sort of way, I thought.  I was met with a huge surprise, I didn't find it average, I found it FUN. Shock. . . . Really?

Math = FUN, just didn't seem to add up at first. I blitzed those Math subjects with the highest honours possible. Possibly the most lasting impression of all my years of study came in that very first semester. One very knowledgeable man, a professor no less, showed me that math was FUN. And if Math could be FUN, then what else could I change my old thinking about . . . . . this lesson has served me well over the years.

Now, I've turned a full circle. I realize that my attitude and way of presenting any topic will greatly influence my children's entire lives. The way they think of Math largely depends on the way I present it to them in these early years. Wow, what a responsibility. So, I poured over curriculum long and hard and after great deliberation one was chosen. Together, we have consistently worked through page by page. All is going just fine, I thought. Till . . . .

 . . . . . .I was trying to teach the 10 facts. You know those facts you need to recall in a split second, ever so often.

. . . . . flashcards were met with resistance. . . .

. . . . . all sort of matching and moving activities seemed pointless. . . .

. . . . . I created all sorts of charts and cards and resources . . . . .

 . . . . . finally . . . . . . . . I tried paint. Paint? I hear you ask. Exactly.  And what  a breakthrough.

Whatever goes on in the brains around here, I puzzle about sometimes. I get myself in such a quandary working it out in theory - left or right brained, visual or auditory, etc. etc. etc. It all sounds so easy in a book, but the reality with my four children is a rather different story.

Then quite by accident I discover paint is the answer - I'm not sure why. I don't have the educational theory to back it up. But it works and Math is now met with squeals of delight from all children. And just like my professor taught me all those years ago, Math is FUN around here these days!!!

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1 comment:

  1. Great idea....what other paint activities do you have to share?