Infants as young as six months recognize interesting shapes. And babies who show higher spatial reasoning skills do better in math at age four. This is good news for parents and carers who purposefully try to help their children understand the world around them in explicitly mathematical ways...
Indigenous students in Australia typically lag two years behind other kids in math. How can teachers connect indigenous kids with classroom math? A new approach proposed by Dr Chris Matthews incorporates story telling and dance as ways to connect students' interests and culture with math.
The recent national census really caught the attention of the Australian populace, mostly for all the wrong reasons. The official website couldn't cope with the traffic to the site on "census night", which was entirely predictable, and at the same time it was subjected to several "Denial of Service" (DOS) attacks. But apart from that, what can we teach children about censuses? Here are a few ideas:
Are there kids in your class that you just don't "get"? Do you teach students who you feel will never amount to much? The video that prompted this week's blog is an interview between Larry King and Gary Vaynerchuk. Chances are, you're not much like Gary Vee. And nor am I. If you're like most teachers, you were good at school, you were good at following the rules, and you worked hard to figure out the educational system and succeeded at it. The system is designed to reward such behaviour, with academic awards, good grades and ultimately a pathway to a good job.
Do your students believe that math is irrelevant to their lives? Sadly, all too many of them do, especially as they reach high school. The article I discuss this week lists 10 occasions in which major Australian supermarkets got the mathematics behind their special offers totally wrong. Sometimes the “offer” was worse than the standard […]
What do your students believe about their abilities in mathematics? Do they say "I can do this", or "I'll never get this"? We discuss a TES article which focuses on the message that "Everyone Can" succeed at math, urging teachers and students to believe in the students' success. What do you think? Is simply being positive about students' abilities and capabilities really going to make a difference to the results that they achieve? And are some people simply born "with a maths brain" and others not?
Another applied maths idea for older primary students: let them run a mock business and learn firsthand basic ideas about working together and how to create a viable business. I grew up without any “business sense” – this would have been very useful as part of my education. Watch the video here: Hellgate 6th graders […]