Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fear of Math?

Few people really fear math enough to be classified as mathphobic or have math anxiety. There are even some people who have dyscalculia or the inability to deal with quantity and number. But I would imagine that for most people reading this, math is not their favorite topic in the world. Until I started teaching it it was not mine either.

If we look at math from a real world persepctive, an aesthtic one or just for plain fun it takes on a completely new dimension. Math IS the science of pattern. Look at this; isn't it amazing. If we can teach young children to see the patterns in math things become much easier to understand and remember. All the facts and procedures we have traditionally learned through memorization become so much easier to remember and work with when we understand them through the patterns they make. No rigor is lost and the basics are still just as important.

I tell the students in my Elementary School Math and Science class that it may not be their fault if they don't like or are not good at math. There are sadly still some places where people think it's OK if students don't understand or like math. In my course we explore everything, well almost everything, we think we know about math. We do it in an interesting and fun way so that when called upon to teach the next generation, my students will all understand the math they are expected to teach.

Here's a link to my math webpage where you'll find some neat examples of student projects and some motivating on-line interactive math activities. I promiose not to blog any more about math; Hmmmmm, OK I promise to try not to blog any more about math.

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