Maths is fun!

Maths is fun!


Mathematics Рit is  always a challenge to teach and to learn. Mathematics is a language in itself. Where traditional languages translate sounds into symbols, maths translates numerical concepts into symbols. But ultimately, both of them allow us to express thoughts on paper.

However, language is still easier to teach because the connection of sounds to symbols is relatively straightforward. Also, language is much, much more frequently used in daily life. Being the major mode of communication, it is read, written and spoken all the time and the rules of language are often picked up without the necessity of formalization.
But with maths, it is a whole different ball game. Yes, we do have numbers all around us but more and more daily maths applications have been delegated to machines. And often the regular usage of mathematics stops at counting and perhaps totalling.
So children often find maths alien with concepts hard to understand. And when it is taught as a set of repetitive procedures for symbol manipulation, it becomes boring with children experiencing failure.
To avoid this, it is important to introduce maths in daily life. Explicitly verbalising mathematical ideas whenever the situation arises, giving time to children to build a concept slowly and showing how maths can solve real world problems is the key to unlocking maths potential.
For eg. when we began counting at Kanhas we did it through games. I had made this ‘Frog races’ game where children had to throw a dice and hop their little frogs to a log. We also played snakes and ladders¬†and marble games with dice. I did this till all the children were comfortable counting to 10.
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Frog races
After that, I introduced groupings in ten. We used craft sticks for this purpose. We grouped 10 sticks to make a bundle and through play we learnt how 11 is 1 bundle and 1 stick, 12 is 1 bundle and 2 sticks and so on. I think doing this helped the children learn to count to 100 before they turned 5 years old.
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Craft sticks make great maths manipulatives!
We learnt shapes through a whole series of fun crafts.
Rectangle Houses
Circles – Sudarshan Chakra
If we can make maths as accessible and fun as regular language we will soon have all children loving it!

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About the Author: Shweta Shetty
Suvarna Radhika Devi Dasi (Shweta Patil) has been practising Krishna Consciousness for over 15 years now. A qualified software engineer and Bharat Natyam Dancer, she has now ventured into the field of early childhood education. She has completed a certification in child care and is applying her spiritual and academic experiences to create a unique Vedic training program for children in Melbourne.

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