Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Mediating Math pays off

Remember my math nightmare last year with my eldest?
I call it a math nightmare, but only to be dramatic. It wasn't a nightmare, just a wake up call for how I was going about teaching math.

We were frustrated, angry and annoyed over working on math. Too many times, we would both walk away from her workbook shaking our heads and muttering under our breath.

And then I took my first Mediated Learning course.

I came home and put the work book away. I went online and ordered books from my library on math games, famous mathemiticians and brought out dice, cards and Blokus. For the next three months, all we did was play math games.

Why?

Because the LOVE of learning needed to be restored.

Why?

Because learning math isn't just about adding digits together. Learning math helps our logic and problem solving skills. We need these skills to face life.

And while we played games, I mediated our math.
How does this compare to that?
Why do you think the answer is always the same?
How can adding help us at the grocery store?
When does rounding up help us when were at the lumber yard?

We worked and played and had loads of fun with math.

During the summer, I was cleaning out the garage and came across a new math book. It was the one we were supposed to do this year, but never got to because we were to frustrated to finish the first one.

Well, guess what?

My daughter found it and said, "Hey, can I try this?"
I nodded and sighed inwardly. I wasn't sure workbooks were something we were willing to look at again.

Well, guess who got the shock of her life?

Me!

My daughter sat down and worked on 21 pages and taught herself two new concepts.

Yep.

It's not about producing 21 pages of work. That's not what got me excited. What got me excited was when I said, "Wow! Twenty one pages. How come so many?"

A bright smile appeared on her face. "Because I love math."

1 comment:

Paula said...

Same situation here: math meltdowns are preventable by supplementing nice math games. We are now exploring Monopoly for adding and subtracting with thousands.
Good luck!