For this week, I went back to the Living Math Forum for inspiration. It's hard to use the forum at times, because many of the questions and comments are related to homeschooling and different practice books and programs to use. I'm unfamiliar with most of these, and can't offer much insight. That's why I was so excited to see a post on multiplication charts. One person posted that their child's practice book had a multiplication chart to fill in at the beginning. Here's the post:
I commented on a bit of a side note on my feelings about multiplication charts. I have mixed feelings since I recognize how helpful the charts are with children just learning. And I agree with the original post that it's a great idea to have a fill-in chart. However, sometimes kids rely too much on these and other supplements. Sometimes, kids aren't forced to learn basic multiplication because they can just use the charts. I think that, even though it's great to have these resources, there has to be a time when the children just need to learn enough to get through harder math problems.
My other form of networking today stemmed off a picture I saw on Bon's "Math is Not a Four Letter Word." Someone posted a picture of a demolished house, with the caption "Division by Zero."
I posted, though I'm not sure if it showed, about how interesting this was. Clearly, the picture is meant as a joke, but I think we keep "dividing by zero" as a grand secret from children. This goes against the curious nature of children! Why can't we divide by zero? Why can't we give an answer? Teachers need to fuel that desire, encouraging their students to ask those bold math questions. I feel like it's one of those standard math rules, and we can base lessons around that. Perhaps teachers could plan a lesson where each child draws or creates a picture of what they think would happen if one divided by zero. It would be a fun, interactive way to think creatively about math!