Friday, April 15, 2016

Math is a creative endeavor

Fifth graders design and sew quilt squares to demonstrate tessellation.

Can all kids love math?  I think so.

For students in the past, math was considered something you were naturally good or bad at. But, thank goodness, it's different now.  Along with a base of mathematical concepts and facts built through games, objects, and some good old memorization, math learning  can move into a realm that is highly interesting to children.  Kids can "make math"  - and they love it.

In Teaching Math to People Who Think They Hate It the author talks about a Cornell professor who wants to teach math so that students "get the pleasure of thinking, the pleasure of wrestling with a problem that fascinates."

That's what I see on students' faces when I walk into math classes at Parker - math that is both an intellectual discipline and a creative endeavor.

Building  and programming a robotic trebuchet or catapult to throw a ball the farthest builds skills in measurement, geometry, calculating distance, speed and acceleration, predicting proportional relationships and measuring angles,  Boolean logic...need I go on?!
Calculating proportional relationships and ratios with liquids: "Which juice is the juiciest?"

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