Making Math Magic
Mathematics is all around us and we use it every day. From the time we wake up to the time we go back to bed we use math – while telling time or when collecting the right amount of change. And with applications in the fields of science, economics, and computing technology, math is pretty much an indispensable part of our lives. Besides facilitating the progress of science and technology, knowledge of basic math helps us understand of how the universe works. Logical reasoning and problem solving is only a couple of the skills that knowing math imparts. This is why at our school we want students to enjoy learning this fundamental life skill.
Math Can Be Fun
Like with any other skill, practice makes perfect. We do not want our students to be afraid of mathematics or even think of it as a tough subject. We agree that there are some students who are better at math than others, but the truth is that most students are competent at math. The traditional way of teaching math involves building a foundation on algebra and arithmetic, which can be a bit dry. Mathemagic introduces students to probability and statistics in a way that creates a sense of wonder and kindles their curiosity. Math magic tricks liven up the class and create a new context for mathematical reasoning. Students usually go beyond asking ‘What is the answer?’ to looking for ‘What is the trick?’ Students have fun adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing, without using calculators. Some students even come up with mathemagic tricks of their own.
Benefits of Mathemagic
Some mathemagic tricks need students to compute with the four basic operations –addition, subtraction, multiplication and division – fast and sometimes with very large numbers. Mathemagic makes this computational practice fun. Students are eager to find out how a trick works. If some tricks work for some students and not others, students are eager to fix mistakes so that they get the right answer too. The most significant benefit of mathemagic is that it pushes students’ inner motivation to understand how math works. They embrace mathematics and apply concepts to familiar and new theories. They find mathemagic tricks in calendars, a deck of cards and other everyday objects.
A Wonderful Feeling
Demystifying math is our primary goal with the use of mathemagic. When students try and decipher the mechanisms behind a math trick or when they are in awe of the algebraic reasoning behind it, we feel like we have done our job. Students have greater appreciation for number properties, are better observers of number patterns and approach higher algebra more confidently driven by their own need to know.