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Topic: Don't Teach Math, Coach It
Replies: 5   Last Post: Aug 7, 2014 10:18 AM

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Robert Hansen

Posts: 8,017
From: Florida
Registered: 6/22/09
Re: Don't Teach Math, Coach It
Posted: Aug 6, 2014 7:39 AM
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On Aug 5, 2014, at 12:51 PM, Jerry Becker <jbecker@SIU.EDU> wrote:

> "He would begin the discussion in an easy, conversational tone. This lasted exactly until I made the first mathematical mistake. Then the gentle and loving father was replaced by the avenger of the blood. ... Father was raging, I was weeping, and my mother did her best to defend me, although hers was a losing battle."

This happens to just about every parent who hasn?t taught young children. Parents think they have patience until they try to teach math to their kids. In Cub Scouts there is a movie that many packs show right before they hand out the pinewood derby car kits.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_and_Derby

The movie portrays three fathers who become overly competitive (like most of us do) when the pinewood derby kits are passed out. The movie helps a lot to prepare parents for those competitive urges that they might think they have in check, and let the kids have fun building their pinewood debt cars.

A similar movie would be helpful to prepare parents for what it actually looks like when young kids don?t get what seems like simple mathematical concepts. The patience you thought you had evaporates in frustration. These concepts, that we understand and take for granted, are the result of years of thought and use-cases. They are not as simple as they seem. Parents generally get the hang of it after a few years, but a movie in the beginning would help a lot to alleviate a lot of the wasted frustration and tears.

Bob Hansen



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