Sunday, October 19, 2014

Playing Maths - "But these problems need brains! And our text-books have easy ones!"

Hello friends,

Firstly thanks a lot for taking out time in reading my long emails -- Math conversations. And more importantly, even sending your feedback/comments. I had requested this earlier too and I request/ repeat again, Plz share your reply with the group so that everyone can benefit and learn from your views/opinions and may even comment on the same, which can probably lead to an interesting discussion thread. After all, that's why we have created a group right? :-)

Secondly,I have also received requests to re-send the group invitation because the system generated emails had slipped into other folders like Promotion/Social etc and by the time you read it -- the invitation had expired. So here is the link that you can simply hit and your request to join the group will straightaway come to my inbox, which I will approve much before it expires.

Thirdly, I am so happy that within such a short span of time, more than 100 (116 till now) Mathsteachers of various schools and educators/ educationists have become part of this google-group. Hope to see more constructive discussions in the near future. If you know any Maths teachers who would like to be part of this Learners group, plz share this idea with them, and by this way, you get an opportunity to touch the lives of even their students! :)

New members/ recipients may plz visit our group page (above link) to get updated about/ learn from/ comment on any of  the previous stories/ posts/ documents shared in the group.

And yes, finally the main part --- I am glad to share with you all one of the Math conversations that I had with a student couple of weeks back. Hope you will see some value in this. And I would wait for/ love to listen to your feedback :-)

It was 9 and I had just reached home, when the door-bell rang again and I could hear the voice of my mom, “Yes, you may go inside!”

And I saw a boy dragging his feet towards me while carrying a wide smile and raised eye-brows. What was more surprising that he also carried a book in his hand! It’s been over 3 years I stay with them, but nothing such has ever happened. I mean, the only thing that the children of our building ask/expect from me, whenever they see me, is a ‘Game or Puzzle.’ But today – a Book! My childhood memories came alive and I saw myself in him. I was pretty sure that he had come for some clarification or guidance. I was happy to see these changes, but more than that – was Excited J

“I don’t understand this problem”, he says with a shy tone, handing over the book to me.

“Ok, what is in it that you don’t’ understand?”

“How to find the value of Circle minus Triangle? Which option is correct?”

“What do you feel, which option is correct?”

“I don’t know. Everything is given as addition”

“Ok. What information is given in the problem?”

He converted the written symbolic language into speech and then stopped for me.  I felt I figured out the cause and so tore out a page from my book and copied on it, the diagrams same as above, but with different numbers.

“Tell me, what do you feel what could be the values of Circle and Triangle here?”

“I don’t know.”

“Give a try. What can be their possible values?”