09 March, 2009

The Dreaded Subject of Math(!)

In my last post, I mentioned Gesturing and some research that indicates how it helps engage students in learning and memory retention. It does this by using a different part of the brain, and I'm thinking that engaging extra parts of the brain, other than simply short-term memory, has to be better, right? Research would tell us unequivocally and enthusiastically, yes!

I have sat on the following information for a couple of years, now, and have not shared them here, simply because I spent my time focusing on and prepping my Foreign Language philosophy and lesson plans. Now it has become more important to me to focus on a holistic approach to math, as our youngest needs something more tangible to continue his journey (read: "in order to have some successes in math as he enters high school").

Hopefully, you will be able to find useful ideas in the following articles, from James J. Asher of the Total Physical Response approach to learning. My friend Katie noted (through a FaceBook chat) when I shared one of Asher's articles, titled "The Myth of Algebra," he goes straight to "Living Math" just like Charlotte Mason recommended in her educational philosophy and writing back in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

The first article, "Fear of Math," may describe one of your own children...or may describe you yourself. I relate to the disability completely! As evidence of this fact, you will notice that before this day, there was not one post in almost 4.5 years of blogging where I wrote about or labeled a post under any "Math" category.

The next few articles I'll share are:

"Some Mysteries of Arithmetic Explained: Secrets revealed that may help parents and teachers clarify mathematics for youngsters."

"Why students of all ages are failing mathematics and what can be done to turn it around"


"Learning Algebra on the Right Side of the Brain"

Now, that's plenty of "homework" for you to read, so take your time. Next, get back to me with your thoughts, observations, and what action you are prompted to take with your own children, if you decide to change anything at all.

For specific ideas and lesson plans to put this philosophy of "Living Math" to good use, visit this Living Math web site.

Ciao for now!


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