No, I am not being sarcastic. Math often gets a bad rap. It can be considered a four letter word! There was even a talking Barbie that exclaimed, “Math class is tough!” (You can read about the controversy here and even see her in action here.)
Are we bringing up a generation of kids who think they don’t like math at a time when math is key and so important? In my 20 years at Collaborative Classroom, I have had the opportunity to work with many folks, both young and old across the country. Many who suffer from math phobia. This phobia has impacted their entire lives. We have the opportunity in after school to have kids work together to solve real-life problems. How much do we need to buy for snack? How much money do we need to host an event? It is key that there is a reason the kids are using math to solve a problem.
We play a key role! I have learned over time that the folks who are the best at supporting math learning are those who struggled themselves because they understand the learning process. Check out this article that talks not only about how math anxiety develops but also how a teacher with math anxiety can pass it on to her students. This article solidifies so much of what I have been thinking for years and makes yet another case for the importance of doing math enrichment during out-of-school time. We have the flexibility during out-of-school time to allow kids to have fun with math and work together while solving problems-something that is happening less and less during the school day.
How are you helping to make math fun? Let’s raise a generation of kids who think “Math is FUN!”
For breakfast, I had Oatmeal Flakes from Trader Joe’s and a banana!