As a kid in Primary school I loved maths. I loved the equipment, maths investigations and the joy of finally solving the problem! What great astute and creative teachers I had!
I never thought I would feel the joy of maths again after I commenced high-school! JOY and MATHS were antonyms for me! I hated maths with a passion as it stopped making sense. Nothing related to the real world anymore and apart from the simple elegance of algebra and geometry- the rest seemed like such a chore!
And then I started teaching and you just HAVE to think in terms of patterns, “hands on”, practical strategies and fun ways to engage young children if you are to teach effectively.Teaching maths awoke curiosity in me about order, patterns of nature, properties of numbers and I found maths IS relevant-it is EVERYWHERE and helps us to feel the order and harmony of our universe.
I recently read an amazing book by Daniel Tammet Called THINKING IN NUMBERS- how maths illuminates our lives. With chapter titles such as POETRY OF THE PRIMES, SHAKESPEARE’S ZERO, ARE WE ALONE?, ETERNITY IN AN HOUR and the CATARACT OF TIME it re-awoke my longing to help children love this subject and revitalised our teaching approach to mathematics.
I want kids to discover the fascinating life and character of Pythagoras. Can you believe he expounded his philosophy and ideas to huge crowds? Secondary pupils would be totally amazed at this! I want to teach about the history and power of numbers and ways different cultural groups approach this area.
We have recently been doing more origami at ICE to help the kids understand geometrical concepts and they LOVE it! We have discovered the great power of the NUMICON system and how this really helps children to understand number and how the equipment can be used from Pre School throughout Primary school.
This maths journey is never ending and we are now sharing it with our ALL KIDS CAN LOVE MATHS workshop for teachers. Tomorrow we will be offering this to educators in Singapore and I can’t wait! Finally the pure fun of maths is back!
If we don’t kill it by only offering boring worksheets ALL kids can love maths and it will open up huge vistas of thinking in their lives.