Sunday, October 31, 2010

More Than Counting: Addendum

I love the web because, well, it's so webby, so interconnected, so like my mind.  My interests are currently taking me to a very interesting space on the Internet where people are having intelligent and interesting conversations about what math is and how to teach math effectively to children. I am enamoured by all these conversations.  I know that I will learn a lot from reading them, and I hope some day soon that this blog will spark some conversations of its own. 

The interesting thing is that in all my Internet ramblings I've not run across many sites on the web that deal with kinesthetic approaches to math education. (I'm really speaking to the issue of math/dance/movement integration, and not at all about the 'math songs with movement' activities out there, and I will save my discussion on this topic for a later post.)  I did run across this post today on math educator Sue Vanhattum's blog Math Mama which has some real meaning in relation to the work I do with kids in Math in Your Feet.  My favorite items on Sue Vanhattum's Top Ten List of Issues in Math Education are:
5. Math is not facts (times tables) and procedures (long division), although those are a part of it; more deeply, math is about concepts, connections, patterns. It can be a game, a language, an art form. Everything is connected, often in surprising and beautiful ways.
This is a perfect addendum to my post from yesterday More Than Counting.  Right now, I can't even describe the pleasure I feel from reading this statement.  I'll save my poetical waxings for another post.

I also loved finding on the list:
3. Games are to math as books are to reading. Let the kids play games (or make up their own games) instead of "doing math", and they might learn more math.
I think you could substitute 'moving' for 'games' and that statement would still work, like this:

Moving is to math as books are to reading. Let the kids dance (or make up their own dances) instead of "doing math", and they might learn more math.
I think that at some point in the not so distant future I might have to revise my statement that I am not a math teacher.  For now, however, I'm enjoying peeking into the minds of some obviously creative and thoughtful educators.

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