By May Vasquez. 6th Grade Math. Published at Friday, December 04th, 2020 - 01:12:21 AM.
So lets look at the other side. Is it possible for people to learn math in everyday life; running their business or household, doing projects, etc.? Is this possible? I believe it is and it is already happening without anyone being aware of it. My daughter professed to hate math, yet she is doing math everyday on Neopets. When I asked her about it, she said that it wasnt real math. So what kind of math was it? I think she meant that it wasnt school math. I met an airline pilot who went into great details about the calculations she did in her head in order to fly the plane. Later she professed that she hated math in school. She wasnt good at it. She wasnt even capable of balancing her own checkbook. When I pointed out that the calculation she did to fly the plane was math, she was adamant that it wasnt because she wasnt any good at math in school. She said "Its just a formula that I plug numbers into." Marilyn Burn relates a similar story about an interior decorator who could price out the cost for a complete room, but also felt that she wasnt any good at math. These are people who couldnt do school math but are doing the math that their everyday lives demand of them. They probably learned this math on the job; hence they dont relate it to school math.
We play a rendition of childhood game, Pin the Tail on the Donkey, where I ask the kids to tape index cards containing the changes that happen during puberty on the appropriate gender symbol. Yes, more giggly! We then move on to basic anatomy and physiology, including an overview of the brain, glands, the pituitary gland, hormones, testosterone and estrogen, followed a discussion of the sperm, the egg, menstrual periods, wet dreams and ejaculation. The giggly is over, replaced with an occasional exclamation "Ewwwww, thats gross!" These outbursts are consistently normalized by reinforcement that the body is an amazingly intelligent and complex machine; that the miracle of life is indeed a miracle; and that each child in the room is, in fact, a miracle. We take some time for questions and then move on to an introduction to the emotional changes that happen during puberty as a set up for our next class.
Ive read many books on personal finance, and a common thread that runs through many of the best ones are vigorous reassurances that it is possible to make good financial choices and even invest intelligently for retirement without doing math. It would appear that many people avoid learning basic skills to take care of their personal finances at least partially because they are afraid that personal finances require too much math for them. Architecture, medicine, personal finance... all of these are held up as practical fields that require lots of math. When teachers and parents do this, their intentions are pure. After all, what could be better than motivating students to study by connecting the subject matter with the real world? Unfortunately, we often do students a disservice by over-emphasizing the math required for certain endeavors.
Playing is a great way to learn math. I like miniature golf and billiards for learning about angles and force. Of course this may sound like Physics, Newtons Law of Relativity. And it is, but there is also no better way to learn geometry and algebra than with a practical application. What could be more practical than learning as you play? Wow, heres another real life example for learning math. I like playing games. You name it; board games, card games, strategy games. If it challenges me and tests my intellect and problem solving capabilities, I like it. Games like Nim, checkers, chess, mancala, Stratego, Battleship, Risk, etc. help develop logic sequences and strategy. Games like Uno, Skip-bo, Set, Rummikub helps children develop their ability to see patterns. Games like cribbage, gin rummy, Scrabble actually help children practice addition and multiplication.
We had the pleasure of being in the audience, listening to the 6th, 7th and 8th grade bands perform. Our granddaughter played a clarinet duet and Im proud to say they sounded quite good. There were soloists, too, who did well. Put the entire band together, there were some missed notes, a reasonable amount of squeaks, air-and-no-notes, and shrill pitches along with missed beats. This is the first year these children have played their musical instruments, so you would expect the learning curve to still be going on. All-in-all, though, they performed much better than youd expect; you could see the determination on their faces, and they should be extremely proud of where theyve come in one year.
Original wood flooring and seats in the auditorium were carefully refurbished and re-installed in this San Antonio school by the Districts Plant Services crews. The stage and walls were also repainted. "Not only do we have new things that we are excited about but were also honoring a lot of the history of this school," said Melanie Herr-Zepeda, principal. Colors, tiles and wall textures throughout the campus express the African-American and Mexican-American cultures of the neighborhood surrounding this San Antonio school. "This school is truly rich in history. Were honoring the neighborhood in what it is now and yet honoring where this school has come from," Herr-Zepeda added.
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