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alexb
Charter Member
1474 posts 
Aug2504, 04:28 PM (EST) 

1. "RE: is math easy ?"
In response to message #0

>I'm teacher in elementary school. I confuse because some of >my students always said " I don't want to do it" or "it is >difficult". So what can i do first to make them happy with >math? thx loewih@eudoramail.com This is not an easy question to answer. Do you set aside "math" time and "language" or "reading" time and such? Or is it all together and you just spend time on various "unclassified" activities? Do you have a specific math syllabus to cover? Or, is it a general goal of having children master simple arithmetic with numbers below 20 or something like that? There are curious books where mathematics is employed one way or another, so that you can do the reading and pick up math bits now and then without actually calling it "doing maths". You can play games with mathematical contents, or give math problems that are unusual in math classroom and may fire up children's imagination. Much depends on how easy you are with the math you are presenting to children and your ability to answer unexpected questions. I would get a nice book and first work it out by yourself, and when done, I would, knowing my pupils, pass my own judgement as to what material is most appropriate for them. Math is not easy: neither to learn, nor to teach. 

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Vardhan
guest

Jan2805, 08:16 AM (EST) 

2. "RE: is math easy ?"
In response to message #1

My daughter is turning and starting addition. Right now, she can write from 0 to 99, and can tell predecessor and succesor of any number. One night, instead of story, i taught her summation, like if you have 3 toffee, and I give you 2 more, how many will you have ... etc. in couple of days she was able to do all singledigit addition and subtraction mentally, using finger beyound 1 digit. I never could have told her 2 + 2 = 4, since she can't associate symbols 2 , + and = with anything. Now i'm trying to find a good example for multiplication, some thing related to increase and decrease in area, that kid can relate to .. Hope That Helps


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Chris
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Feb0805, 02:42 PM (EST) 

4. "RE: is math easy ?"
In response to message #2

 Now i'm trying to find a good example for multiplication ... To stick with your toffees, maybe "you have 3 friends, and each friend has 2 toffees, how many do they have together..."


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anXZMouse
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Feb1005, 07:55 PM (EST) 

5. "RE: is math easy ?"
In response to message #2

When my son was about 3 or 4 years old (many years ago) my wife once noticed him studying an empty 3 by 4 muffin tin. After a few minutes, he said, "Hey, Mommy? Three times four is twelve, isn't it?" We were very surprised that he figured it out all on his own. I am not a teacher (I'm an engineer) but I am wondering if it would be beneficial to consider some practical project that would be of interest to young people, but requires some math to get it done. For example, when I was about 9 or 10 years old (many, MANY years ago), I was interested in developing secret codes to communicate with friends and play mates. That was back in the days when TV programs like "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." were popular. Anyway, I think I might have been motivated to learn the number theory behind public key cryptography, if it had been discovered by then (well, it had not been discovered in North America yet by Diffie, Hellman, et. al. but it had been discovered and kept secret much earlier by Brit'sh cryptologers, so it was not available then). Anyway, my point is that, if there is some activity that would be of interest to young people, and could be used to illustrate math principles, then it might pique their interest in using math to solve the poblem at hand. Another example for older (highschool?) students might be the classical problem of cuttig out the largest possible semicircular table top from a sheet of rectangular material (such as plywood or plastic or some such) or the more complicated problem of cutting out TWO congruent semicircles (to make a circular table top) from a rectangular sheet of material. (Here, a math teacher could collude with an industrial arts  or what we used to call "shop"  teacher to make this into something like a "unit study".) Would these kinds of "practical" problems be of interest in teaching math principles? Regards, anXZMouse (which is equivalent to aNonYMouse, unless, of course, the XZ mouse happens to be at the origin ;). 

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Andrew
guest

Mar1405, 11:01 PM (EST) 

6. "RE: is math easy ?"
In response to message #0

Yes I think it is. I have taught both my girls in the basics of maths and they are doing well at school. I believe it is a confidence thing. So many times kids hear grownups say " I was never any good at maths" ,"maths is hard" ,or "I don't understand maths", then they repeat what they hear, and start to believe it. Start by saying maths is easy. Most kids learn the alphabet by singing the alphabet song (from Sesame Street) and there 26 letters that we then combine to make words. There are only 10 numerals  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 That we then combine to make numbers, and numbers always follow the rules unlike words, eg: ear  put an "f" in front  fear  put a "p" in front  pear If kids can learn to speak and read, then they can learn maths and they should be told this so they start to believe it. When they learn the basics of adding numbers then subtraction is just addition written a different way; eg 2 + 3 = 5 2 + ? = 5 5  2 = ? Later multiplying is just an easy way to add: 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = 30 6 lots of 5 = 30 6 x 5 = 30 Then division is the reverse of multiplying So maths is just adding numbers or a variation of it. I hope this helps. 

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