Don’t Ruin Math

Recently, we had some tears and raised voices over division. So sad. In an effort to derail that episode and interject the fun and fascination that I want mathematics to hold for my kids (unlike anything *I* ever experienced) I did a little research, remembering and returning to some things we have enjoyed in the past.

Here are some things we’ve been reading, watching, playing with and doing.

I found some good lists of interesting mathematics-geared documentaries – my kids are very fond of documentaries. We are pulling ideas from here. We’ve watched several and we will choose a few new ones.

Gavin enjoyed many of these titles by Cindy Neuschwander when he was younger – so I returned to them for his brothers.

Sir Cumference and the First Round Table
Sir Cumference and the Off-The-Charts Dessert: A Math Adventure
Sir Cumference and All The King’s Tens
Pastry School in Paris
Sir Cumference and the Isle of Immeter
Mummy Math
Sir Cumference and the Sword in the Cone
Sir Cumference and the Great Knight of Angeland
Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi
Amanda Bean’s Amazing Dream

We also got a bunch of books by Greg Tang. We found all of them at our library.

The Best Of Times Math Classics for Kids
Grapes Of Math Math Classics for Kids
Math Appeal (Mind-Stretching Math Riddles) Math Classics for Kids
Math Fables Math Classics for Kids
Math Fables, Too
Math For All Seasons Math Classics for Kids
Math Potatoes: Mind-stretching Brain Food Math Classics for Kids
Math-terpieces Math Classics for Kids

We watched Schoolhouse Rock Multiplication and Donald in Mathmagic Land – they were great!

A couple of interesting books I found for Gavin & I are The Man Who Counted, Sacred Geometry, and String, Straight Edge and Shadow: The Story of Geometry.

Everyone was intrigued by the simple and beautiful books by Mitsumasa Anno.

We’ve pulled out more of our board games – because if you’re keeping score, counting money, using logic, and plotting strategy your expanding your brain and setting yourself up for math success 🙂 You’re also NOT crying about division 🙁

Math Made Meaningful Activity Cards are one of my favorite ways to explore and experiment with math concepts. I found our box of them buried under some art supplies that no one uses. They now have a new, more prominent spot.

I need to check myself when I find that we are in the arid land of painful math. There is too much fun to be had to let frustration gobble up happy discovery. So if we can sing, play, and read our way to better understanding, we will.

Go down deep enough into anything and you will find mathematics.  ~Dean Schlicter