# Author Archives: michele

A recent New York Times article made a splash when it cited research showing that math-anxious parents who try to help their kids with math homework are doing more harm than good. They are transmitting their own anxiety to their children, and the result is poor grades. Furthermore, parents don’t even have to help with […]

Remember the 3 E’s? Engagement, Enthusiasm, and Encouragement make up the base of a magic potion for inspiring a child to learn. The E’s are characteristics that parents, teachers, and tutors must bring to the table. They are our job, not the kids’. Today I’m introducing the other half of the recipe…the 3 C’s: Creativity, […]

I am currently enrolled in an on-line certificate program called Developmental Therapy-Teaching (DTT). The course was created by Dr. Mary Wood of the University of Georgia, and it is based on her book, Teaching Responsible Behavior. I have to admit that I don’t love the title of the textbook – I get a little hung […]

About a month ago I wrote about my plans for organizing a math night at a local elementary school. The event was SO much fun that I decided to share some photos. Thanks to the school staff, the parents, and the students for making it a great success! These photos represent only a small subset […]

No More Summer Backslide Are you worried that your kids’ (or grandkids’) math abilities are going to slide backward over the summer? It is a common, but preventable, problem. There are lots of ways to reinforce math skills during the school break. A quick internet search, or a search on this blog, will bring […]

One Test Could Be the Deciding Factor My heart goes out to young students at this time of year, especially this year. They are living with the specter of one all-important standardized test and the possible implications of their performance on that test. I’m talking about the end-of-grade (EOG) test that is required in North […]

Now’s the Time! If you’ve ever wanted to have a math night at your child’s school or homeschool group, now’s the time. This event makes a great stress reliever for students, either before or after state testing. And I don’t know of any better way to get parents involved in their children’s math education. The […]

Math in Nature It’s April, and spring has finally come to the North Carolina mountains, where I live. And spring always makes me think of math. Nature is the original mathematician, and she offers lots of fun activities you can do with your child to reinforce math skills and introduce new math concepts. Here are […]

The Problem with Word Problems Word problems are hard. Word problems are confusing. Kids hate word problems. Why? A student’s first experience with word problems is often overwhelming. They are used to seeing straightforward problems such as “3 + 8 = ?” or “121 ÷ 11 = ?”. Then we throw long-winded sentences at them […]

Fractions Often Elicit Fear Ask a random adult what area of math they find most difficult, and they are very likely to say, “fractions.” They were never comfortable with fractions as kids, and this discomfort followed them into adulthood. The pattern continues with many of today’s kids. I’ll never forget the day that my (then) […]