So much good mathematics begins with play … with arranging, manipulating, folding, cutting, and drawing objects and shapes. Except for the drawing, there need be no pens or pencils in sight!
Even the abstract thinker draws on his/her experiences with manipulating objects. They have sorted them, placed them in groups, stacked them, compared them, arranged them in patterns, etc. All our fundamental abstract concepts are learned in this way. We even develop different problem-solving strategies, extrapolate and interpolate results, discover and analyse patterns, and make inferences and generalisations about the objects that we play with. Even older children (and adults) can benefit from such play, although it is of fundamental importance for the developing child.
Having been inspired by W W Sawyer’s book, The Search for Pattern, as a teenager I must admit to the belief that all mathematics is based upon pattern and our search for it. I also believe that it is important that we manipulate shapes and objects because the same part of our brain that controls our fingers is involved in our calculating with numbers and discerning the patterns that they make. In other words, we are training that part of the brain.
It will take time to populate this part of my site with ideas and puzzles/problems that you can use and solve, but that does not diminish their importance!
I attend university in the US and am starting the more difficult math courses. I have never studied and managed to stumble along for a very long time and now I have no idea what I am doing. I can follow along with lecture and understand what they are saying but when left on my own I have no clue what to do and where to start. So I’ve recommitted to start over and build a solid foundation. Looking around youtube alot I have found some good quick fix stuff but man I am converted to Graeme Hendersen. I really appreciate your very thorough approach to learning and can’t get enough of your explaining mathematical concepts. I am eating up everything and am excited to master math. Man, I sound super nerdy but it’s true. Thanks
Garett M (on a CCM YouTube video about How to Find the Equation of a Parallel Line in 4-5 Lines of Work)
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