Education and Family

The Learning Curve

Roger Boswarva & Virginia Koenig

The Learning Curve – Math Made Easy by the Author of “The I Hate Mathematics! Book!”

Mathematics is the bane of too many students; and it need not be.

Mathematics is too often a difficult subject for parents asked to help with homework: it should not be. Today you will learn how to conquer that fear.

Today’s guest with Roger& Virginia is Marilyn Burns, the founder of Math Solutions, an organization that has been dedicated for almost 30 years to improving K–8 mathematics teaching through providing professional development and resources.

A former classroom teacher, Marilyn has written more than twenty books for teachers, including: About Teaching Mathematics and Math and Literature; and more than ten children’s books, including her first: The I Hate Mathematics! Book, and The Greedy Triangle.

Her most recent project has been to develop Math Reasoning Inventory (MRI), a free online assessment to help teachers find out what their students really know about mathematics. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Information about MRI, including more than 80 video clips of actual interviews with students, is available on the MRI website.

Marilyn continues to teach elementary students on a part-time basis, relying on her classroom experiences to inform her writing and speaking. In 1991, she was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Bank Street College of Education in New York. In 1996, she received the Glenn Gilbert National Leadership Award, given by the National Council of Supervisors of Mathematics to one mathematics educator each year. In 1997, she received the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education by the Association for Women in Mathematics.

Hear Marilyn explain how easy math is to understand along with why so many have had difficulty in “getting it.”

Hear Marilyn in what is Virginia’s favorite part of the interview: the story of The Greedy Triangle that thought it didn’t have enough sides! It’s the plot of a kid’s book Marilyn wrote which explains that as the triangle acquired more sides, it eventually became so round, it rolled own the hill! What a great way to excite kids about math and give them needed insights!

Math must be presented to kids in a manner that makes sense to them.

A question parents must learn to use is: “How did you get that answer?”

Start your kids early with math. Hear Marilyn explain how a parent can teach math to a child by having them help lay a dinner table.

You’ll get the answer to what the difference is between mathematics and arithmetic.

And much, much more.