Once upon a time, in 1997 my oldest son Andrew started kindergarten.
As an Austrian immigrant that was an exciting time for me. I envisioned the endless possibilities he would have … Harvard, Princeton, Yale, the MIT … Having been born into a family with four generations of teachers and principals I was going to do my best, so he would do well and get a scholarship. Andrew was a bright little boy, interested in everything, so, surely he would get straight “A” s. I practiced with him at home.
Can you imagine my disappointment when around Christmas Andrew came home with a report card which listed his math skills as “P” for “progressive” rather than “S” for “successful” – in kindergarten? I scheduled a teacher’s conference and asked, “Why does my son George, who can add, subtract, multiply, and divide within 20 – in his head – have a “P” on his report card when you haven’t started adding 2 + 3 yet?” Andrew’s teacher said, “Mr. Kerthenrich, George cannot count to 100 yet. Only kids who can count to 100 get an “S” on their report card.”
I said, “Well, what’s that got to do with anything? Andrew understands the concept of math, you can ask him right now how much 8 times 2 is or something like that and he will give you the correct answer.” The teacher said, “Well, but that’s not what the K-benchmark asks for.”
I tried to argue that the benchmark was not chosen well because a child first had to be able to work with 10 numbers before it could even grasp the meaning of 100. Eventually, I just promised her that with my methodology George would be the best math student in her class. Indeed, this methodology I had grown up on work as it had always worked.
In April of that kindergarten year, Andrew added, subtracted, and multiplied within 100 – in his head. So, is Andrew a mathematical genius? No, he is not. Andrew is just like any other reasonably smart kid of his age, but since he learned to associate numbers with the real life he could develop his math skills much faster. And, THAT’S JUST IT – a child does not have to be “born for math” to learn with this simple methodology. It works for any child, and slower children learn even faster with this methodology because it empowers them to tie math to other things – hands-on.
Hands on Mathematics, Numbers from 1 – 10 (US $13.00) teaches basic numbers up to 10, plus details 5 tips how to turn your child into a child who is not only good in math but also loves math. Can my child do just as good in math? Of course! My math book series teaches exactly what I taught Andrew and other children, all of whom mastered math extremely well. My books empower you to teach this type of simple math, even if math was not your favorite school subject.
Will your method help me to get my GED diploma? Yes, this method works for adults too, moreover, I am involved in creating GED Math Practice Tests for the portal Covcell.com and I enjoy working with adult learners. My work can be found on the website Covcell.com/GED Math Practice Tests. Standards for math teaching changes. This time, the augmented STAR tests included additional items written specifically to match the California standards.
Can my child do just as good in math? Of course! My math book series teaches exactly what I taught George and other children, all of whom mastered math extremely well. My books empower you to teach this type of simple math, even if math was not your favorite school subject. Learning numbers with visual pictures and playing entertaining dice games makes a lot more sense. E.g.
All insects have 6 legs. (Which kids does not like bugs?)
“This is how you dial 9-1-1.” (Well, that info could even save lives.),
“One picture says more than 1,000 words”. Chinese proverb
How do I know that this methodology works for my child too?
Over the years I have worked with many more children, and all of them (including ESE) improved their skills rapidly with this hands-on, interdisciplinary, more play-than-work method. In fact, I am so confident, that this methodology works for your child that I give you a double money-back-guarantee.
On June 10, the State Board approved new Math Textbook Adoptions designed to support achievement under the new state standards. Finally, districts can use AB2519 funds to buy new textbooks to replace “fuzzy” math.
There is still a long way to go and there is still resistance from those who put us in this position in the first place. However, there is the hope that better materials will arrive in the classrooms soon.