Google Pack

Thursday, November 1, 2007

I have added some new games.

Check out the sidebar. The new games include Quizville and Kids Bank.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

BrainPop videos.

BrainPop offers some amazing videos. I love this one about the Fibonacci Sequence.

Here are two other free videos from them. The first one is about Multiplication and the second one is about adding and subtracting fractions.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Stupid in America

John Stossel's documentary on schools in America. Scary.

Monday, September 17, 2007

India's Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE)

Check out this sample problem set for Class Ten (tenth grade).

Mommy Math

Part 1

Part 2

Vedic Math

I have a book sitting on my bookshelf on Vedic Mathematics. Process geeks will immediately object that this system is computation-based rather than process-based. But, if you want to compute quickly, Vedic Math might give you an edge. You may want to start with their tutorials.

Left-brain vs. Right-brain

Very interesting argument here-

This is part of a larger discussion on math and engineering education in America.

Madeline on Math

Friday, September 14, 2007

The Way It Used to Be

When I recently sent out the inconvenient truth video to friends, what I heard back was nostalgia. Parents want their kids to learn math the way they did.

Their ultimate fear is that the new-fangled techniques might make their kids computationally incompetent in a dreamy quest for understanding. Most parents I speak to seem to suggest that they are willing to sacrifice mathematical understanding for computing prowess. Educators seem to want to go the other route- for them computational skill without understanding is useless.

The underlying rationale each group is also fascinating. Parents crave for a pre-calculator era when math involved doing long division by hand. Educators seem to be saying that computation is less important in today's milieu.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Get Smarter

This site has been put together by the Manufacturing Institute for all the right reasons- declining relative math scores, variability in grading etc. It offers interesting challenges for kids. The sound is annoying. Set the mute button before exploring.

Helping your Child Learn Mathematics.

Activities that parents can use to get students from first to fifth grade learn mathematics. Here is the 43 page .pdf document. Here is an excerpt from the introduction-

A problem solver is someone who questions, finds, investigates and explores solutions to problems; demonstrates the ability to stick with a problem to find a solution; understands that there may be different ways to arrive at an answer; and applies math successfully to everyday situations. You can encourage your child to be a good problem solver by including him in routine activities that involve math—for example, measuring, weighing, figuring costs and comparing prices of things he wants to buy.

To communicate mathematically means to use mathematical language, numbers, charts or symbols to explain things and to explain the reasoning for solving a problem in a certain way, rather than just giving the answer. It also means careful listening to understand others' ways of thinking and reasoning. You can help your child learn to communicate mathematically by asking her to explain what she must do to solve a math problem or how she arrived at her answer. You could ask your child to draw a picture or diagram to show how she arrived at the answer.

Mathematical reasoning ability means thinking logically, being able to see similarities and differences in objects or problems, making choices based on those differences and thinking about relationships among things. You can encourage your child's mathematical reasoning ability by talking frequently with him about these thought processes.

Some Important Things Your Child Needs to Know About Mathematics

You can help your child learn math by offering her insights into how to approach math. She will develop more confidence in her math ability if she understands the following points:

  1. Problems Can Be Solved in Different Ways.
    Although most math problems have only one answer, there may be many ways to get to that answer. Learning math is more than finding the correct answer; it's also a process of solving problems and applying what you've learned to new problems.

  2. Wrong Answers Sometimes Can Be Useful.
    Accuracy is always important in math. However, sometimes you can use a wrong answer to help your child figure out why she made a mistake. Analyzing wrong answers can help your child to understand the concepts underlying the problem and to learn to apply reasoning skills to arrive at the correct answer. Ask your child to explain how she solved a math problem. Her explanation might help you discover if she needs help with number skills, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication and division, or with the concepts involved in solving the problem.

  3. Take Risks!
    Help your child to be a risk taker. Help him see the value of trying to solve a problem, even if it's difficult. Give your child time to explore different approaches to solving a difficult problem. As he works, encourage him to talk about what he is thinking. This will help him to strengthen math skills and to become an independent thinker and problem solver.

  4. Being Able to Do Mathematics in Your Head Is Important.
    Mathematics isn't restricted to pencil and paper activities. Doing math "in your head" (mental math) is a valuable skill that comes in handy as we make quick calculations of costs in stores, restaurants or gas stations. Let your child know that by using mental math, her math skills will become stronger.

  5. It's Sometimes OK to Use a Calculator to Solve Mathematics Problems.
    It's OK to use calculators to solve math problems—sometimes. They are widely used today, and knowing how to use them correctly is important. The idea is for your child not to fall back on the excuse, "I don't need to know math—I've got a calculator." Let your child know that to use calculators correctly and most efficiently, she will need a strong grounding in math operations—otherwise, how will she know whether the answer she sees displayed is reasonable!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Math Video Games

I collect Math Video Games. Here is one site that I like a lot- Mensa for Kids. They have a lot of interesting math-related video games. Let me know if you see some more.

Singapore Math

I am sure you have heard of Singapore Math by now. It is really turning out to be a standard-setting math system. They have a series of tests that your child can take to see where he/she stands. These tests are hard to find on the site itself. I hope you print them out today and have your child try them.

Math Education- An Inconvenient Truth

A newscaster on a Seattle TV station describes the problems with new curricula-

Here are two interesting responses from a college professor in mathematics-