July 02, 2007

Math and Science

From Decrepit Old Fool I found the following questions:

1. What in our current education system stands in the way of teaching math and science?
2. How can we stimulate kidsí interest in math and science?
3. Would anyone like to share an especially good or particularly bad personal experience in math or science education?

The answer to number 1 is ... I don't know, my kids are not in public education yet... just preschool.

2. By doing different things on a daily basis and occasionally on special basis to show them the math and science around us. See the answer to 3...

3. Not sure if it is good or bad, but here are some of the things I do with my kids and I find to be a great experience for me!:

a. When they as ask for some treat... like jelly beans... I'll give them 2 or 3.. when they ask for more... I ask for how many and then we 'add' them together. 2 plus 4 more is ??? 6! Great.

b. We make volcanoes or play with magnets. While we have fun doing it, I also point out stuff. Like the magnets, we'll get toys and see it they will stick to them. If not, why not. If yes, why.

c. Cooking. We talk about the measuring of ingredients. Why when we mix them together you get something different than all the individual ingredients.

d. We go on 'nature walks' and discuss animals. Who eats who, why we have flowers, why they are different colors.

Is it fun? You bet. If I get too technical or I lose their interest, we stop any 'discussion' and go on to do 'fun' things. Usually they ask to do this stuff again and again.

Talking about nature walks... we took one the other day. I swear we find more 'nature' around my house than we do on these walks!

Spider with egg sack on it's back:

Image Uploaded by ImageShack Toolbar

Baby lizard (one of many):

Image Uploaded by ImageShack Toolbar

Here a baby frog:

Image Uploaded by ImageShack Toolbar

There a baby frog:

Image Uploaded by ImageShack Toolbar

Everywhere baby frogs:

Image Uploaded by ImageShack Toolbar

And I 'rescued' more worms than I care to count:

Image Uploaded by ImageShack Toolbar

We also listened. I had the boys close their eyes and tell me what they could hear. From cars to frogs to birds. It was entertaining.

Posted by vw bug at July 2, 2007 06:37 AM | TrackBack

You have the right idea. Keep it fun!

Posted by: Jody at July 2, 2007 08:20 AM

Interesting questions. I find question #1 interesting. Always blame the educational system first, hunh. Actually, it's parents like you that help that process, and all you do at home. It's hard to teach anything if a kid doesn't have a background in it that starts at home. And more and more, all kids have experience with when they come to school is video games. I actually had a parent brag about their child beating all the levels on a violent video game when he was 4!!! And then they were wondering why we were having to conference about his poor achievement in the classroom.

Keep doing what you're doing. It may seem like simple stuff, but it lays the foundation for their future success. :)

Posted by: Mrs. Who at July 2, 2007 11:05 AM

I wish Pop would have teached me, instead of teching strangers kids...

Grandmom tried to teach me math..I think the brother brain sucked me in that department and left the english skills....

Posted by: Bobby at July 2, 2007 04:10 PM

yay for baby frogs! we primarily find baby toads. by the hundreds.

that spider must die. And torch the egg sack. KILL IT!

Posted by: wRitErsbLock at July 5, 2007 08:12 AM

Thanks for contributing, vw bug! Your kids are lucky - there are a lot of different lessons folded into your observations and attention.

One cool thing about the screen pictures is it records the size and proportion of the animal against the grid of the screen. For instance, the window screen behind me has 1.45mm squares (counted a hundred of 'em and measured, divided). If you have the same kind of screen, that makes the lizard about 7 cm from nose to tip of tail.

WritersBlock, I once had a grad assistant who figured into a spider story. I was sitting at my desk and kept shooing a hunting spider off my papers. He noticed and asked what it was. I showed him the spider and he became visibly alarmed; "What kind is it?! Shouldn't we kill it?" Only later did I realize that since he was from Bangladesh, there were probably some spiders in his home town that one should not take lightly...

There are only two poisonous spiders in Illinois and neither one would crawl out on your desk and dare you to scoot them aside.

Posted by: decrepitoldfool at July 7, 2007 02:25 PM