We are really pleased, because when we teach math, engaging both gross and fine motor skills, kids who were losing their math facts with symbolic visual learning can remember them.
I am not much for voting but boy could we use $250,000 to purchase math blocks and produce animated training videos. So if you are on Facebook, please sign-in and write Play Math in the business search and VOTE. It’s not super easy but is SUPER NEEDED:).
In our simple motor math program, Play Math, we teach meaningful math using soccer, kick and tennis balls, along with polyspots, marker boards, markers, cards and base ten blocks to play math motorically. We see math, say math, play math, write math and build math so that the children begin to develop the ability to THINK mathematically.
What is Play Math?
Play Math is the motor math program I developed when my fifth grader was having difficulty remembering her math facts. As a parent, my heart-strings were pulled as I watched my bright daughter learn her math facts and forget them the next day. I wondered why? I phoned Dr. Martin Fletcher, Clinical Director at Eisenhower Center, a state-of-the-art traumatic brain injury clinic for answers. He is a cognitive scientist who has taught math to children for years.
Over the course of eight months we studied research regarding cognitive science, brain development, learning, psychology, motivation, play, mentoring and physical education. Then we developed a motor math program that combines research from multiple disciplines to help children ages 6-11 learn their math facts, factors and conceptual math.
The most exciting aspect of this program is that children helped develop it. We piloted the program in a local school, with children ages 7-12, who had difficulty remembering their math facts. I learned more from the 30 children than they learned from me. Their creativity was stunning. We even named some of the activities after the children who developed them, like “The Austin” and “The Kyle.” You can read about those in the program description It’s ALL FREE right now! Just email me on our contact page and ask for it.
In ten 45 minute sessions, the children went from being students to mentors, teaching other children their math facts. 90% of the children who “played math” doubled their multiplication math scores in six to twelve weeks. I can imagine what you are thinking, I was shocked as well.
How Does PLAY MATH Work?
When we engage the cerebellum and the frontal lobes of the brain, though motor math, we introduce the children to whole brain math. No longer are we relying on only visual and auditory input, we are utilizing the whole brain and body to learn math skills.
1. Here is an overview: VIDEO
FOUNDATIONAL PLAY MATH CONCEPTS
WE SEE ~ We see the number relationships with base ten blocks and marker boards. We begin with pre-symbolic math looking at and talking about the numbers represented by base ten blacks. Many children experience “AH-HA” when they can see what 9 + 4 actually looks like.
WE SAY ~ Math is a language based activity. We say what we see, we ask questions and we communicate about math as we play.
WE PLAY ~ We introduce the math concepts, we wonder aloud and allow the child to see, say, play and build math. It is important that we do not instruct. Children get enough instruction in school. We want to play and have fun with numbers and math concepts.
WE TOUCH ~ We encourage the children to touch the base ten blocks. They count the ones, move the rods and talk about the numbers they are building.
WE MOVE ~ Each activity has a motor component, some use fine motor manipulation and others use gross motor movement. This was we engage the whole brain not just the visual and auditory brain systems.
WE CROSS ~ We incorporate large motor movement in all directions using rhythm. We begin with simple ball bouncing to establish rhythm. Then we move to passing balls across the body, to the side and overhead. Crossing the midline integrates brain hemispheres and enables the brain to organize itself.
WE BUILD ~ As the children begin to build numbers with the base ten blocks, we start to teach them that multiplication is fast counting. We teach them the “over” and “up” numbers to introduce multiplication and factors.
WE WRITE ~ As we progress we start to write number equations, fact families and factors.
5. Currently, I am providing school districts and parents with super simple training over OoVoo as well. My non-profit interest is to bring the program to inner city kids this Fall. The national educational tour starts in January 2013. Let us know if your school district desires a training.
As a mom and pediatric psychologist I am invested in helping kids learn math skills to enhance competence as well as the future quality of their lives.
Eager to hear about your math experiences. Thank you for your support! Talk soon.