Mathematical Thinking at Play (5 year olds are amazing thinkers)

A few years ago I filmed a couple of the Fletcher gang playing  a game I love called “Set”.  Set shows us that challenging means fun.  The game that requires some pretty sophisticated thinking.   Initially, I didn’t know if  my 5 year-old could handle a full game of set, but I thought I would tryContinue reading “Mathematical Thinking at Play (5 year olds are amazing thinkers)”

The Psychologist’s Role in Teaching Mathematics

Historically, psychologists have studied math but have been noticeably absent when it comes to doing direct mathematics work with children.   Notable exceptions include Diennes, Bruner, and Vygotsky, but to this day Psychologists tend to assess and make recommendations for treatment.  This surprises me, given the cognitive processing involved and the anxiety that so oftenContinue reading “The Psychologist’s Role in Teaching Mathematics”

Coping With Math Anxiety Can Be About Perspective

Many children experience discomfort around math, we generally call this Math Anxiety, a fear that math is going to be uncomfortable and full of failure. Here’s an interesting post via Elizabeth Stevens on Math Anxiety, I wished to share with you all.  Math performance is so important today.  Math is actually fun.  But, we haveContinue reading “Coping With Math Anxiety Can Be About Perspective”

5 Year Old Discovering Equivalent Fractions

This is the Doo Dah playing math.  Fractions. This is where kids often learn to hate math.  Guess what?  We can change it.  I’ll describe what is happening in this short video.  The Doo Dah is a) seeing what a fraction is b) playing w/ the proper toys/tools to help her discover its meaning c)Continue reading “5 Year Old Discovering Equivalent Fractions”

5 Year Old Doo Dah Likes #Algebra

The Doo Dah and I “play math” before she goes to Kindergarten.  We keep it fun, but do some pretty abstract things.  You can really see her thinking as she factors a polynomial.

Do Not Fight Your Nature

“Accept everything about yourself — I mean everything. You are you and that is the beginning and the end — no apologies, no regrets.” –Clark Moustakas First of all, I owe my teachers nearly everything good about what I know.   Mr. Smith, for example, is a teacher who touched my life in 3rd grade andContinue reading “Do Not Fight Your Nature”

Learning What You Have No Interest In

How about you and I start studying geology today?  Let’s spend from 1 to 3 hours a few days per week on it.  Sounds fun, eh?  If you happen to love geology, replace it with something you have absolutely no interest in learning. Now, let’s turn it around.  Let’s say you finally get to take thatContinue reading “Learning What You Have No Interest In”

How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 2

Part one of this story focused on boredom and humiliation/fear of humiliation as obstacles to learning.   My experience of boredom and fear of humiliation in my K-12 education was a driver for me to start looking closely at learning.  Here, I present the findings from my doctoral research.  As a student, I never understood whyContinue reading “How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 2”

How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 1

I want to share with you the findings of my doctoral research published in 2003.  I studied a program created by my mentor, J.P. Das of University of Alberta.  This program, called PREP, helps train cognitive (thinking) processes.  I wanted to know not only the effects on learning, but “What was the learner’s experience” ofContinue reading “How Do Kids Want To Learn? My Doctoral Research Pt. 1”

There Is No Such Thing As “Free Play”

If you ever get a chance, I hope you will read the work of Clark Moustakas.  He was one of my greatest teachers.  He wasn’t the energetic self-promoter like other pioneers , but his wisdom and clarity of thought seems obvious.  He is a pioneer in play therapy a founder of Humanistic Psychology.  He isContinue reading “There Is No Such Thing As “Free Play””