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...

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's Not Magic It's Math

I like this screencast for several reasons, one it has a lovely shot of powerlines at the beginning but even more than that it shows how you can go from working on simple subtraction to third power algebra all in the same lesson, and even more than that, once the student understands the concepts he can make up his own problems and start making discoveries about algebra and the distributive theory of multiplication and what factors end up where, and more. Don't be fooled this student DEFINITELY hasn't recovered his joy of learning when it comes to mathematics but at leaste he doesn't hate it (as much) anymore. Sometimes he has fun in spite of himself.

Now with regard to rules an process when it comes to subtraction, and making is important to make sure students of all ages but especially very young children get the concept of subtraction, that we are "taking away" or "minus-ing" in kid speak. The algorithm make nines and a ten make subtraction easy but it's not magic or a trick and they can see that and get a hold of that concept IF you start in the concrete with the blocks. They can see that the "difference" and the "subtrahend" are the same as the "minuend", in other words if you add the difference to the subtrahend you get the minuend. The minuend is the number you are subtracting from and the subtrahend is the number you are subtracting and the difference is what's left AND my students have never even heard these math terms because they are not important for conceptual understanding.
That's why I refrain from calling this magic traingles because it's not magic IT'S MATH. So I call them math triangles. You can find more on my subtraction page and even download a 10 page pdf with practice problems for making change. A one page math worksheet is FREE access to a lot of pdfs including the 10 pager and fractions and algebra vids using negatives costs a whole buck. Get a password here. Where it says multi-page password.

For more on math with Playing Cards check out this page cleverly called teach math with playing cards.

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More at my house of math.

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