‘Math Rocks’ on ABC Family Network
The above photo is from USA Today.
What are Math Rocks? What are moves to do when you’re made to look like a rock on Dancing with the Stars (or a dairy company in Sunbury, Pennsylvania)? Rock it like a rock.
Could a tie-in with a high-energy TV dancing competition—or foreign countries—bring some social and educational value to helping kids learn math? It’s been proven that performing basic math at home, after school, and in class can help children manage stress, develop communication skills, and build confidence and self-esteem. But kids who have lower self-esteem and low interest in math may turn to sketching and art-making and play to create and express themselves. That creative mindset can be a good way to increase a child’s curiosity and encourage involvement in math.
This creative programming has been shown to include themes around math: places and objects that represent the math concepts that are contained in a lesson plan. For example, this article looks at mathematics as a series of shapes.
Each week the Math Rocks team creates an episode with the goal of using creativity to engage students in math lessons with accompanying activities. Children can watch Math Rocks at 7 PM EST on ABC Family, Hulu, and YouTube as they work on a math problem.
That I would dedicate myself to giving kids a sense of self-confidence through an entertainment media program is not new. I have spent years trying to prepare my kids for an ever more important task: growing up and having to understand math. Though I try to push things so they don’t fall into bad habits of not thinking critically, my own lack of experience does not mean I didn’t do a terrible job at earlier years of schooling. Like so many parents, I didn’t go to college. I worked in television, in marketing, in architecture, and wrote more commercials for clients than I can count. If I got that much for a job with low demands, then there must be an actual reason to get out of bed to actually do the work, right?
I found that I learned more from the feedback I got from the most straightforward of algebra students: the kind of kids who were making good grades in first grade despite growing up in the richest of neighborhoods with the best of everything. These were kids who didn’t understand how to solve problems logically or even had the skills to write down mathematical procedures.
If you’re interested in exploring the topic further, in October I wrote an article for Pro Publica, “‘Project Noodle’: Teaching Math In the Philippines.”
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Recipetips post with more math-related articles was first published on www.recipetips.com.