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 12, 2011

Notation Really Does Tell The Story

The point of this post isn't so much the mathematics that the students learned; there are plenty of "how to" posts on Equivalent Fractions, as well as other fractions concepts, Card Games and Algebra on this blog and on my website.

The point of this point is to draw your attention to the student's notation as a big clue to how well you are doing at getting whatever concept you are teaching across. Here it starts out "all hamajang" as we say in Hawaii and quickly turns into clear, neat notation. You can actually see the confidence build in the notation.

You can also see it here in the drawing and notation if you know what you are looking for, as he becomes more comfortable with the concepts and just drawing and counting the sides his pictures and notation get "neater" or "nicer", as I often admonish my students "Write neatly. Neatness counts."  And we laugh at how punny that is.

Here is a quick screencast covering the lesson and the concept that the notation is an important clue for you as the teacher. I use these because the example is dramatic and you can't miss it you may find it more subtle with your own children or students.

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