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 15, 2014

Captain Jack and Ratios.

This was a fun student. He was having trouble with math because as usual they didn't teach him concepts or teach to his learning style. Again, we see if they can get their hands on it it makes more sense. He had a lot of misconceptions but the nice thing with this particular child is once he got it he got it and he didn't need a lot of repetition. Ratios turn out to be easy.

The cross multiplication they were teaching him didn't make sense even if he could get the answer....but once he grasped the relationships between the numbers things fell into place quite rapidly. Instead of memorizing and algorithm which he would quickly forget he began to get to get a better understanding of what was going on as we played around for an hour. I have made several videos and blog posts about ratios.

I think you will find these videos amusing as well as informative.

I used a lot of manipulatives to get the concepts across but didn't get it all on vid because he often got distracted if I busted out the camera. But if you watch closely you should begin to get some ideas on how to use the blocks to present ratios. You may also watch videos teaching ratios with Sarah, another autistic student to whom I spent time teaching ratios.

Writing is not his strong suit. I spent a long time working with him on how to hold a pencil. Often his teacher's aid would write for him but she also ended up doing a lot of the work for him so he wasn't learning as much as maybe they thought he was which was reflected by his test scores.  When I met him many of them were less than 50%.  Soon he was getting perfect scores.

These videos should also show how important it is to know multiplication, not just be able to work a calculator. Also once the concepts are understood, you don't need to use the blocks for every single problem. What we are basically doing is studying relationships between these numbers.


For more videos you can't get anywhere else showing how to use these blocks with SPED kids and autistic kids and kids labeled with ADHD you might get yourself a password. Also a set of blocks and a net connection and I can tutor you or your kid anywhere...math tutoring on Maui is nice but it can be anywhere there is a decent net connection.  People are amazed at how much you get with a password. You get PDF's and my book, plus hours and hours of videos and screencasts...


Early last year I followed a link to your web page from The Libertarian Homeschooler's FB page. Saw lots of cool stuff, put it in the mental queue to investigate further for my 4 year old twins. Bought a password last fall watched more, read more, started to try a little bit with the kids. Loved, ABSOLUTELY LOVED, the methodology. INCLUDING that concepts can AND SHOULD be introduced and explored in a non-linear fashion.

We thought we might take advantage of the curriculum kit sale this winter, but with other life issues going on we decided that we would just wait and continue working with the kids with some used Math U See blocks we'd picked up and ideas from your site. Well... then you posted an Ebay listing for a used Mortensen kit and I was able to pick that up. So, thank you so very much for passing that listing on to us. The kids have been doing all sorts of investigations with them and I think my husband's heart skipped a beat when my daughter discovered that 100 was a square made out of 10s. Cool. Luckily the next thing they tried was using the square as a Frisbee and we were humbled...

Oh, I had meant to drop you a note after watching the videos of you working with the little girl with ADHD, Emma I think. Well, in addition to some kudos for giving her some Vitamin C, I wanted to tell you that I thought having her hold the blocks in each hand, not just use her dominant hand for everything, that was PURE GOLD and one of many ideas I saw you use that I've noted to incorporate into our math play. Her neural networks are going to owe you big time for that! Hopefully you put some real butter on that popcorn too...

[but of course and real brewers yeast too]

We will definitely be password customers again in the future. I look forward to seeing where you go with your site.And I also just wanted to tell you how great I think it is that you post info to give parents more info about vaccinations. I wish I had more info, way earlier in our lives, and I hope that your posts will help someone out there make better decisions.

~JK, San Diego


I just came across your site this past weekend and I am so thrilled to have found it!


I'm really freakin' excited about this. I think this is the math I've been trying to find for the past decade + that I've been homeschooling my children. I know you've heard this before, but while I was watching some of your videos, I understood some math concepts better than I ever had

I just spent two minutes with my math hating 17 year old son, showing him how to factor a polynomial with blocks. After a bit of denial that it couldn't possibly be that easy, he actually seemed a little excited to try Mortensen methods to help him with his work."Loving your videos and we have been playing with the few blocks we have while waiting for our package.
I am learning so much!!" ~ SK, Florida


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