Spark the Natural Curiosity of Kids with ‘Into Math with Imagination’

Mathematics is defined as “a boring subject that has nothing to do with real life and is developed just to torture every student for eleven years of school.” *

Just kidding! Math can be as fun and imaginative as any other subject in school. Galileo Galilei described mathematics as the language of the universe, which is very elegant but he forgot to mention that it helps us do cool stuff! Math is all around us every day. How can we help students who are reluctant to embrace this message and seem anxious learning the material?

To help students who struggle or lack motivation in mathematics educators have turned to the discovery method as a support or alternative to rote learning of arithmetic. Discovery learning exercises give students the benefit of seeing mathematical concepts applied directly to their favourite subjects and activities. These exercises use arithmetic to develop the underlying skills that support competency in math, especially logical reasoning and the ability to discuss ideas.

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A good mathematical education begins with arithmetic, but the objective of discovery math is to prepare students for real world experiences by mastering the skill of solving problems. This is the reasoning behind Yasmina Roberts’ discovery learning series: Into Math with Imagination. These three storybooks combine mathematics, fiction, and non-fiction to give kids a chance to explore mathematical concepts in different settings. Readers will discover math in these stories the way they encounter it in real life, and hints embedded in the story will guide them toward the correct manner of solving the problem.

Antventures, the first in the series, is for children in Grade 1. The story follows Limpo, a young ant who decides to skip school and observe the adult bugs working in his community. Already, it doesn’t sound like your typical math book!

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Mystery in the Sea is for students in Grade 3 and up. Oct is a fastidious young octopus who enjoys collecting and exploring. He’s lived his entire life on the 4th layer of the coral reef, or the 7th depending on whether you count from the top or bottom. This time he’s taking on the mystery of the missing Blue Diamond, which was stolen from Queen Snake.

Logic Land is also for students in Grade 3, but you’ll find more than math to puzzle you here. Logic Land is a world of wizards who would rather use math than magic! Yes, the power of human logic is their go-to method for solving problems.

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Yasmina Roberts has a Master’s degree in mathematics from the University oToronto and has taught math in both public and private schools. Her love of puzzles is second only to her love of the natural world, and she hopes to pass on this joy through her series, Into Math with Imagination.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*The preface to Logic Land, by Yasmina Roberts
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A New Way to Teach Children the Canadian Charter

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S. Evelyn CimesaApril 21, 2016 | Products

We’re excited to announce the release of La Charte pour les enfants, the French edition of Canadian bestseller series The Charter for Children. This collection of witty, illustrated stories introduces children to the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

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Play-based Strategies to Get Youth Learning

S. Evelyn Cimesa | March 18, 2016 | Play-based Learning

Play is one of the most effective methods of engaging youth. It promotes social and emotional learning, provides opportunities for challenges and perseverance, and children are natural experts at it.

Children connect with the world through play. They attribute meanings to words as they explore their surroundings, they learn the basics of communication, and they learn to interact with other people in a safe learning environment.

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Five Ways to Encourage Creative Thinking

Leonard Judge | December 11, 2015 Creativity


Defining creativity is not as straightforward as one might think.

What is it really? Where do we begin and what are we aiming for when we attempt to encourage creative thinking in children?

A common definition for creativity is simply to use one’s imagination to think about and develop original ideas.

1. See things in new ways

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When considering strategies to help children in early childhood education environments to think creatively zoom in on ways to help them to think about old things in new ways.

This really is, after all, the goal of creative thinking. We are encouraging them to develop new connections in the brain and stretch the limits.

Bring something to the classroom, that everyone knows and understands well and help the children to think about it in a new way.

Example: Apple
It’s a fruit; we can eat it. What else can we do with it? We can crush it and drink it. We can take out its seeds, plant them, and the apple will become a tree one day. It’s an apple, but it is also a sphere. What about its colour? Are apples always red? The goal — see something common in new and creative ways.

2. Have open-ended group discussions

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Have plenty of classroom meetings in which you talk about open-ended subjects. Ask for answers and make sure you encourage and accept all answers as relevant.

Use these discussions to solve problems. Your goal should be to allow students a safe place to say what they feel freely and without threat of censor.

 

3. Use traditional creative tools

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Painting, writing and even reading can encourage creativity. Fill your room with the tools of creative endeavour and provide ample opportunity for children to express themselves in this way.

 

4. Use the Socratic teaching style often

Dec11_Blog4Lead your children to where you want them to be, but help them to get there on their own using their creative minds.

Sample question: What if you saw an elderly woman in a department store unknowingly drop a $50 bill and walk away? You are the only person who saw it. What would you do?

 

5. Use magic

Dec11_Blog5Many children respond well to magical, ‘let’s imagine’ exercises. You might ask students to imagine what they would like to be if they were not human. You can also suggest something and then listen to the children’s responses.

Example: If you were not a human but a bird, what would that look like? What would that feel like? What are the problems of being a bird? What are the benefits? How would your life be different if you were a bird? What do birds need to survive? How is this different from and similar to what you need?