By Rachael Sosa. 6th Grade Math. Published at Wednesday, December 09th, 2020 - 23:31:16 PM.
What you may know is that my mother bought me my first underwear at thirteen (a milestone I celebrated by putting that thing on and pulling it up to make sure my peers noticed that social promotion-that is once she told me that the tag goes on the back). You also may be aware of how she came to visit me at Kangundo Hospital, where I was admitted suffering from Malaria, and then she removed her shoes and handed them to me-I was 17. What is astonishing is how much my mother, a sixth-grade dropout, influenced my life-a revelation I am going through since she came to visit my family early this month. It is our first time to see her in eleven years.
Her fathers decision to educate sons rather than invest in a daughter who would eventually marry ended mothers future in the academic world. She, however, had acquired an education that would jumpstart my learning experience. Mother used to prepare a small portion of the ground outside the mud structure we called our house and used it as blackboard or writing pad to teach me A-B-Cs, 1-2-3s, and simple words. If there was wind, class was cancelled. If it rained, it was an holiday. She taught me stories and listened to my childish stories. But in that basic existence, mother passed on to me what I now do in my calling as speaker, writer and seminar leader.
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.
I know this statement is shocking. Some of you may feel that I have announced the end of the civilization as we know it. How in the world will people learn math without the latest and greatest math textbook. The answer is simple. The same way people have always learned math prior to the modern education system, by doing math as they go about their everyday lives. You may ask "Is that possible?" "Would it work?" I believe so. Its the reason I made this statement when I was asked if my new book, "Math is Childs Play" was going to be a Math Textbook. But in all fairness, lets look at both sides, school math versus everyday math. First lets look at school math. I have been studying of late the topic of Math Anxiety. Increasing number of people profess to hate math, to be no good at math, to be anxious about doing basic math. These same people were taught math in our public schools. When did this situation of math anxiety start? Who knows for sure? But whats significant is that its increasing, not decreasing. Its increasing despite the modern education system, despite New Math and the latest teaching methods, despite all the money and energy that has been put towards the problem. Just for the record, I found a book "Mathematics; A Human Endeavor" by Harold R. Jacobs copyrighted in 1970 which in its preface the author mentions the failure of New Math in the schools. A book from 1964, titled "Mathematics for Elementary Teachers" by Ralph Crouch and George Baldwin which was written to teach math to elementary teacher who found themselves expected to teach math although they had no training in math.
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.
How, you may ask, does an assignment like this turn children into productive individuals? The answer is -- by teaching them to be responsible, dedicated, and organized. All this comes from completing a 6th grade science project. The intricacies involved in finding the best topic for a 6th grade science project can feel limitless, and overwhelming, but keep in mind that in keeping with the age group for a 6th grade science project, you will only have a limited amount of in depth coverage required. This makes it somewhat easier on you, the parent, to encourage your child(ren) as they reach each milestone on the way to completing their 6th grade science project.
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