Got some sidewalk chalk lying around? Tired of watching your kids draw the same old flowers and rainbows and such? Get mathy with that chalk! Recently I drew a timeline on the ground. Not the usual kind of timeline, though. I drew 5 long lines parallel to each other on the ground and labelled them... Continue Reading →

Infinity is such a fun, crazy, mind-expanding, mind-boggling concept. It's a topic that some kids will gleefully try wrapping their thoughts around. I've been noodling on how to play with it in a rich and interesting way with pre-schoolers. (If you have ideas, please share.) In the meantime, though, I'm finding ways to touch on... Continue Reading →

A limited view of education is that students are  receptacles for knowledge. We give it to them. They take it. Deal done. A further limiting view of education is that each student has a fixed capacity for learning and understanding and it is the job of schooling to identify who has got what, and send... Continue Reading →

In an earlier episode...the 5-year-old told his father that I had said there was no 15 when skip-counting by 5's. I laughed and let it go, figuring this would be a self-correcting issue. And it was! Here's how it happened... The 5-year-old has a 7-month-old cousin. He loves her. He holds her. He snuggles her.... Continue Reading →

"But you can just use your credit card, Mom." This is the response from the kids every time I tell them we are not buying what they want because it costs too much. This scenario has played out so often that I have realized two things. First, my response isn't really communicating what I mean,... Continue Reading →

Or "How Math Talk is Like the Sex Talk." Did that get your attention? Hope so. but remember, this is a blog about teaching kids math, so... Only answer the question they ask. Parents joke about this rule as it applies to kids' questions about human reproduction, but it applies to almost any subject. Even... Continue Reading →

I was recently asked to tutor a high school student who was struggling with natural logarithms and the number e. My first reaction was, "Oh. Crud. I don't remember that stuff very well." My second thought was, "Not an issue! My schedule is packed, and I'm not even available to tutor!" My third and more thoughtful reaction... Continue Reading →

"Hey, Pam. The 5-year-old says you told him that there is no 15 when you count by 5's." Huh? It was 7:00pm, and the kids were brushing their teeth before bed. This is a time when the most interesting conversations tend to pop up. My husband was assisting the 5-year-old when this one happened. "Show... Continue Reading →

My children like math, but they dislike trying new foods. So, anytime I can connect math to food, there is the slim possibility of eating...even liking...something new. Pomegranates are not a common food in my kitchen, and I'll admit to being intimidated by them. That seemed good enough reason to buy a couple to see... Continue Reading →

The 8-year-old already describes himself as a "math guy." Though he loves to read, and he writes some very thoughtful things on school papers, he claims that he is "not good" at writing and that it is much too difficult and laborious (my word, not his.) There is nothing wrong with having a preference. And... Continue Reading →