I thought about these issues in the 80’s while attending Chico State University. Many of my classmates were anxious and resistant to math. They were learning how to multiply fractions instead of learning how to TEACH how to multiply fractions.
The anxiety was palatable, and the professor, who LOVED math could not understand or relate to the struggles of her students. At one point, I was scolded for being too creative in my teaching methods and not just sticking to the pre-prescribed methods and solutions. All I could think about was if these methods really worked, then my fellow students would not have to re-learn the concepts.
I have a belief, that if you can’t draw 4×3 than you don’t KNOW 3×4. It can be drawn on a number line, in groups, in rows or even on cat’s paws, but if you just know the answer is 12 because you memorised it from a flashcard, you don’t know it. And this lack of knowing will affect future math comprehension.
I developed Arithmetic Village because I saw a need for a bridge between concept and procedures. The core of Arithmetic Village is visual representation of math concepts and clear rules with a gentle approach. It is not the end all be all of math solutions. It might not wipe out math anxiety and instil math understanding forever or for everyone, but it is a start.
Arithmetic Village fans intuitively know this too. That’s why they enthusiastically support Arithmetic Village products and facebook page. We all know that math needs to be more friendly and we instil that into the children we teach. I don’t know if AV supporters will ever fathom the deep gratitude I have for their persistent support.
Right now, I feel a shift, the world of math is changing, the scale is tipping.
I am excited, relieved, and hopeful that with this research, more and more children will find a way to a joyful journey with numeracy.