Here you will see students as young as 4 and 5 years old doing algebra and "advanced" math, without ever knowing it's supposed to be hard.
You are invited to learn how to use this method...

## Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Here is a bright 6th Grader who is coming for math enrichment. The screen casts and pictures are from his 2nd and 3rd sessions.

It is quite enjoyable for both teacher and student when we are not panicked because we have to pass a test or make up a bunch of homework, or try to get the grade up from "F" to "A".

Here we see the 12 year old student who is in 6th grade doing math that many high school students have trouble with, and he is doing them with ease.  It's fun.

This is his second time seeing them but his first time where he has to do everything by himself. Below you can see him using both symbols and drawing AFTER he has "built" them with the base ten blocks. You will find that without the blocks students have a hard time drawing them on their own. They need to get their hands on them. I know many people look at this blog and website and wonder how little kids find this easy when just by looking at the pictures or even the videos they do not find it so simple, especially if they are unfamiliar with the method or manipulatives. You need the blocks to play with, it's very important for learning. As I mention in the screencast the emphasis is not so much on algebra as on multiplication, factoring and addends...they learn to factor polynomials at this age as a bonus.
The drawings lead naturally to the symbols. Start in the concrete with manipulatives move to drawings and last go to the symbols.  Since math is a language based on 5 basic concepts, we can go from algebra to fractions easily in the same lesson...all we are doing is counting different things.
Here you see the easy way and the hard way. You don't see the blocks or drawings but the student did.
Here are drawing and manipulatives being used to illustrate this story problem.

Ben takes 4 hours to clean the yard.  Bob takes 2 hours to clean the same yard, how long do they take working together?  And another problem, Ben takes 5 hours to clean the yard.  Bob takes 3 hours to clean the same yard, how long do they take working together?
Basic story problems that cement some of the skill sets we learned when did fractions and applies the computation ability to problem solving.  Note: that math is not computation only but critical thinking.  The math just helps you solve the problems.