Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A couple quotes about mathematics


I was spending some time this afternoon reviewing the new level of math that Kiersten will be starting this week. Kiersten and I have been using Right Start Mathematics this year and loving it. I say "Kiersten and I" because this is definitely NOT a curriculum that allows you to send the child off to do a worksheet. So far this year she maybe has done 10 worksheets. This aspect appeals strongly to me! I love the interaction we are having as we are making some wonderful memories together. This curriculum also uses math games heavily. Micah is happy to play these with Kiersten and they even request to play some of the games when they are not required to. What a plus!

Under the page titled "Some General Thoughts on Teaching Mathematics", Joan Cotter says, "The only students who like flash cards are those who don't need them."

Joan Cotter has spent time examining the Asian way of teaching mathematics. She lists some of the differences between their approach to education in general and the way we approach it. I'll quote a couple that stuck out to me.

"I first grade teacher has the same status as a university professor. If a student falls behind, the family, not the school, helps the child or hires a tutor. Students often attend after-school classes."

And....

"Asians and Europeans believe anyone can learn mathematics or even play the violin. It is not a matter of talent, but of good teaching and hard work."

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