Was this what having a true math experience feels like? Thanks to my friend Gemma, I read a book and found a blog today called CTK Insights, and of all the fascinating (and out of reach) knowledge I see in the website, I arrived at the Early Math suggestions page, and read about this problem, breaking up a chocolate bar... I read through it and UNDERSTOOD what was presented, and I got a WOW... this is truly neat! I can connect with math. (By the way, do you remember a post by Cindy where she said we don't have to make grammar interesting, grammar is ALREADY interesting. That's what the author of the essay Lockhart's Lament says about math. He claims that math is not done for practical purposes, and regardless of it, he says that math is very interesting and the original questions are much more enticing than the fake real life situations. Compound interest is truly practical and it's very unlikely that it awakes any interest in children... (the only time interests interested me is when we've had to get a loan or to know the pitiful amount we gain by having money saved)).

[...if you know algebra then you can figure out how old Maria is if we know that she is two years older than twice her age seven years ago!" (As if anyone would ever have access to that ridiculous kind of information, and not her age.)

Algebra is not about daily life, it's about numbers and symetry- and this is a valid pursuit in and of itself: Suppose I am given the sum and difference of two numbers. How can I figure out what the numbers are themselves?
 Another very Charlotte Mason kind of quote,
What other subject shuns its primary sources- beautiful works of art by some of the most creative minds in history- in favor of third-rate textbook bastardizations?
I'm going to watch again The Story of Maths. As the Lockhart says, how can we not learn math and have no mention of its 'history, philosophy, thematic development, aesthetic criteria, and current status?'

I'm more excited than ever about getting the Life of Fred books for elementary, they seem to me written by a person passionate about math, with a math outlook in life for the sake of it, and someone who has questioned himself about math or is able to see what others have said in response to genuine intellectual art exercises in a quest for the simple and the beautiful, for the fantasy world of ideas and their amazing perfection.

2 opinion(s):

Kelly said...

I looked around the link to The Story of Maths to see if there's a way to watch it now, download or streaming, but I don't see anything. Do you know?

Here's something you would probably love: Donald in Mathmagic Land. We watched this in my 6th grade math class and I remember loving it. I showed it to my children a few months ago (it was on YouTube at the time -- haven't checked there lately) and they loved it, so I'm planning on buying it... eventually.

Silvia said...

Thanks for sharing with me... I've fixed the link, it should work now. If it doesn't just type bbc, the story of maths, and you'll get to the amazing documentaries I loved watching last year.

I need to check that too... and I don't mind buying a bit more of good math things as I can... I want us to love math, it's possible, and we can... I was going to say, we ought, we will, ha ha ha.


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