No More Math Block
|March 22, 2012||Posted by mjfulmer under Why Monkey Math?|
To read full post, click the title.
Monkeys like to explore, are curious and clever, and they have a reputation for being funny and mischievous; all things that are appealing to children.
Fun, movement, novelty, and engagement are keys to turning on the learning switch in our brains, so please join me in monkeying around with the way math is taught.
There is a math block epidemic in the land. I think it is because of our current teaching methods.
One of the problems is our over reliance on paper and pencil drills. Research shows that they are effective learning tools for 17% of students. And, as Kim Sutton says, “Those are probably the ones who came out of the womb knowing math”.
Part of the problem is that worksheet drills are not engaging or novel. Another aspect of their ineffectiveness has to do with the inability of young children to easily focus on a 2 dimensional surface. This is developmental, having to do with cell growth in the fovea of the eye. Many 4-6 year old children see a flat surface as a blur.
frustration + lack of success + repetition = MATH BLOCK
Learning numeracy concepts while participating in a lively social activity offers everyone a chance to build the learning in a way that is attuned to their developmental needs. Having fun and using our bodies is good for us in every way.
Some added bonuses to this style of teaching:
- when we are moving, our brains are more alert
- what we learn goes into long term memory
- we are tending our physical needs by getting some exercise
- teacher assessment is immediate, ongoing, and non-threatening
Let’s get moving!