“I discovered that I could be smart and capable and valuable for something that had nothing to do with Hollywood. This is me. And it felt great.”
In this powerful and inspirational video, Wonder Years actress Danica McKellar shares how her discovery of mathematics in college helped her discover she is so much more than a former child star. Knowledge truly is power!
Most adults hate math. Many of us cringe when we think back on high school geometry, we put blind faith in calculators and we wrinkle our noses when leaving the tip at dinner. (Just move the decimal one place to the left and double it…or not, it’s your reputation on the line).
Though it’s too late for some of us, we might be encroaching on an era in which all kids and adults achieve a strong understanding of mathematic principles. That’s because there’s been substantial talk recently about shifting to an inquiry-based, hands-on approach to teaching math.
A couple weeks ago, MindShift, which explores the future of learning, highlighted an article from “The Atlantic” titled “Teaching Math to People Who Think They Hate It.” This led me to a website that is loaded with ideas for inquiry-based math education. Check out the Human Calculator and the reaction it gets from students. These new-age problems leave me frustrated, but they are a lot more intriguing than the “Car A leaves New York, Car B leaves Los Angeles, where do they meet?” type of problems I was subjected to in grade school.
Joining the chorus of voices dedicated to making math education fun and entertaining is Odd Squad, a new show coming to WPT on Wednesday, Nov. 26. The show uses curriculum-based content, witty story lines and lovable characters to help kids ages 5-8 learn math. In each episode, these young agents save the day (with a little math) when something unusual happens.
Just check out this behind the scenes video with Odd Squad creators Tim and Adam to see how fun math has become and to learn about their sneaky little way to teach math to kids.
I’m pleased to say today’s teachers are making math education much more practical, intriguing and entertaining. And if we can apply some sort of Common Core standards to the Odd Squad cast’s funky dance moves, those awkward P.E. classes may be a thing of the past also.