Archive for December, 2012

December 13, 2012

‘Mixing in Math’ Goes to Mom’s Homeroom!

We want to show (parents and kids) that there’s a lot of math in the things you already find fun!—Marlene Kliman, Mixing in Math

By most accounts, we consider modern, involved parents very lucky. Today’s parents have access to a vast array of products, resources and technologies to facilitate math learning for their children. But excess of choice comes with a high cost.  Research shows that too many choices often leads people to be less—not more—satisfied once they actually make a decision on a product or methodology. And ready access via the world wide web to research studies indicating the importance of informal math learning in fortifying everything from students’ conceptual understanding in the classroom to future STEM career pathways often makes parents feel MORE pressure to make the right decisions on math teaching products and techniques. Thus many parents in our LeapFrog®-inundated era encounter the following conundrums:

“What are the best tools and products to be using to help my kids become comfortable with math?”

“How can I help my kids become comfortable with math at home if I am not comfortable with my own math skills or if I didn’t like math as a kid?”

The answer is much more simple than many parents think. You can ‘mix in’ math— from measurement to estimation to algebra—into activities that you’re already doing with your kids using supplies you already have around the house. Sound too good to be true? It’s not. Creating these tips, techniques, methodologies and activity adaptations is exactly what TERC’s Mixing in Math(MiM) project team has been doing for years. MiM Senior Scientist Marlene Kliman says it best, “we want to show (parents and kids) that there’s a lot of math in the things they already find fun!”

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Click the above image of Marlene to visit Mom’s Homeroom and view the video!

In fact, Marlene—along with a local family—was just featured in a new video for Mom’s Homeroom— an online resource hosted by MSN and Kellogg’s Frosted Mini Wheats—showcasing some of her favorite MiM activities for parents to easily implement into their kids’ everyday routines. Marlene shared 3 (of the roughly 200) MiM activities including Penny Jar, Soaring Towers, and Fair Shares that could be scaffolded up or down for varying age ranges (preK to 5th grade) and math comfort levels.

Even better? All MiM activities are free, offered in English and Spanish, equally adaptable for classroom or informal settings, and available at: mixinginmath.terc.edu. Be sure to check them out and download your favorites—they’re kid-tested and mom/dad-approved!

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