Make Math Real

Rules and Symbols are not Math

There is a new disturbing trend in math learning games – that of using symbols, in place of math. Take Dragon Box for example. It uses symbols instead of numbers or quantities. Kids learn to move the symbols based on rules. It is the kind of rules based math learning that puts kids off math in the first place. Math is confusing enough for kids without making it more symbolic, more rule based. Another such game is Wuzzit trouble. These are fun games, and that’s it. They will not magically turn our kids into math geniuses.

We need to make math real. Associate numbers to real world quantities, not just map them on a number line or a map. Making math real deepens the understanding of the math, helping kids do better in School. Using more symbolism only makes it more confusing. There are very simple things we can all do to help our kids understand math…

Make math real for your 5 year old today

Give your 5 year old a treat of 3 M&Ms, but, tell him its 5 M&Ms. When they say that’s not 5, ask how many you should add to make it 5. Watch how fast they learn the difference between 3 & 5.

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