Introduction to the FREE Booklet: - Multiplication using Manipulatives.by Geoff White, B.Ed.
This introduction is necessary because I want to make it perfectly clear what we are trying to do here. The feedback I am getting tells me that people are looking at the attached appendix on Multiplication using manipulatives and shrugging, as if to say, “So?” “So you play with blocks and do sums like 2x3 = 6, so what? Just learn that 2 times 3 is 6 and you’re done. Easy. What’s the big deal about that?”
The big deal is this, for the last 100 plus years all that kids have been made to do in school to learn math is to memorize facts, rules formulae and process. There has been no attempt to achieve UNDERSTANDING. The result of this has been math anxiety, frustration, and abandonment of math as soon as possible, thus no chance at a high-paying and rewarding career in Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics.
The source of this frustration and failure is that all the children ever saw were symbols: 1,2,3,4,5, +=-/ and x. square roots, %, etc.. The thing is that ALL YOU CAN DO WITH SYMBOLS IS MEMORIZE THEM. Pages and pages of symbols, such as x^2 + 3x + 2, and rules for operations on them, all of which have to be memorized.
You cannot get to UNDERSTANDING by mere MEMORIZATION.
What we are doing in Mortensen math is making it visual, tactile, providing concrete experiences of the world by using manipulatives (plastic blocks, tiles, etc.) so the child can build concepts of how things work, without being simply told and given stuff to memorize so they can get an answer. There is a special way we do this involving seeing numbers as rectangles, counting the over and up dimensions and more.
“We are decoding this mathematical language, x^2 + 3x + 2, into a concrete reality so it can be understood. There is no mathematical concept that a child cannot understand if it is presented at the child’s level.” - Jerry Mortensen.
Using plastic blocks not only makes it concrete, providing tactile experiences, it also makes it visual. Now the child can SEE how the numbers work, how big they are relative to each other. In adult life, we solve real problems by visualizing solutions, by seeing what the problem is and imagining ways to solve it. We don’t just memorize a rule and an answer appears. So why teach math that way?
The appendix on multiplication shows how to put out the blocks, so that the child can SEE what six is, and how many threes it takes to make six. She can hold six in her hand and grasp concepts using all her senses and thereby develop a visceral understanding of the world through mathematics. So, put out the blocks. Build some rectangles. Count how many and start enjoying it. Let’s play math!
Go here to get the FREE booklet: How to teach Multiplication with Manipulatives using the Mortensen Method http://www.geoffwhite.ws
Teacher's Handbook for Teaching Math with Manipulatives
- In use in schools and homes around the world: Canada, USA, UK, Eire, Holland, Belgium, Australia, New Zealand, Papua & New Guinea, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, SW Africa, Mexico, to name a few where I have placed it personally.
Table of Contents The Premise The Five-Minute Overview of the Method Key Phrases in Mortensen Math Very Brief Summary of the Method Psychological Principles at Work Introduction - cont'd Create a Math-Rich Environment The Teacher's Role & Student Self-Esteem Six Key Ideas from Jerry Mortensen Appendices: Section One - Counting Section Two - Addition Section Three - Subtraction Section Four - Multiplication Section Five - Division Section Six - Fractions Section Seven - Algebra Section Eight - Solving Equations Section Nine - Functions & Relations Section Ten - Story Problems Section Eleven - Mortensen Math Program
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The Teacher's handbook, 250 pages, full color, $65 USD
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