Learning begins with sense-data

Learning Begins with the Senses

Burger King once tried to sell a 1/3 pound hamburger to compete with McD's quarter pounder. People wouldn't buy it b/c they thought 1/3 was smaller than 1/4. It's a 3, right? smaller than a 4.

Karen T doesn't get the visual part of multi-sensory maths. The problem most people have is that they think this: 1/3, is the fraction. It is not. That is just the NAME of the fraction. So, what does the fraction look like?

In Mortensen Maths we SEE all numbers as rectangles. The fraction is a rectangle, 1/3 over and 1 up.

It is all about the "material of use" in teaching maths. Everybody else, except us, is using a sea of meaningless symbols to teach it, while we are using a visual, tactile, multi-sensory number concept that entails understanding by its very use. If I show a child this, 1/3, versus 1/4, - just the symbols, of course she will get it wrong. If I put a colored rectangle of plastic in front of her, pink, say, and a coloured rectangle of plastic, yellow, say, and ask, which is larger? The child will pick out the pink one. Then I say, this is one of three parts that make up one. It is one third of one. This is my one (holds up green square).

This is just counting and identifying, This is how MM introduces fractions, i.e. the sensory experience of holding it in your hand and seeing it, smelling it, tasting it, hearing it scrape on the table, before we show them the notation, that annoying symbols stuff at the end. Learning starts with sense-data, not the apprehension of symbols.

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Table of Contents
The Premise 								P.1
The Five-Minute Overview of the Method 					P.8
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  					
Section One - Counting							P.46
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 & Materials			P.240