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, January 5, 2011

Moving Towards Mastery

Here is another enrichment session with a 6th grader That flew by.

"It felt like 5 minutes..."

That's when you know you are doing it right. Learning is fun and time flies when you are having fun.

First we looked over the left over lesson from the 4 and 5 year old and talked about equivalent fractions.

Then we wrote out a few equivalent fractions all the way to 12...1/2, 1/3, 1/4, 3/4, 5/7's...later will do other combinations.

Then we built all 45 addends. He tried to stand them up and goofed around a bit while he made them. I encourage this. Then we did "drills" verbally what's 7 + 5, what's 37 + 5, what's 25 + 7, what's 97 + 5? etc...did lots of them for various addends the idea is to get him off his fingers. Using your fingers is great! But you need to get past that stage if you are going to be fast and attain mastery.

Using fingers is a step on the way to mastery, unfortunately many students remain stuck at this step all the way into adulthood. For kinesthetic learners using fingers and hands IS IMPORTANT, that's HOW they learn, and you need to help them move past this, manipulatives are a great way to move them into "doing it their heads." For young students using fingers and hands is just natural...you can also spot the kinesthetic learners because they will rely more on their fingers and be slower to move on. This does not mean they are slow or any less able then visual or auditory learners, they grasp concepts just as fast or faster than those with other learning styles. We also find when it comes to sports and other activities requiring hand eye coordination (like arts and crafts) they often excel.

Many speed reading courses incorporate the use of the finger to guide the eye along the page, some use this to start, and then drop it for other courses this is the main stay of the course. Adding more sensory input increases learning, and in the case of reading the hand and the eye are integrally connected. The point is you want to encourage students to move through this step when it comes to the mathematics NOT discourage or skip the step all together. Some students will naturally NOT use their fingers when doing mental calculations...

After addends we played cards. Not poker, but war. We played multiplication facts war where we each put down two cards and multiplied them together; as an added bonus we couldn't start another round until he told me the difference between our scores. It was fun although I beat him.

Then because he had behaved will wrote neatly and did all the work I asked him without a single complaint I let him play Timez Attack for about 10 minutes...he really had fun with it and when it was time for class to be over he wasn't ready to leave...

"Always leave them wanting more..." as some famous circus guy once said...