Friday 9 December 2016

The magic of Maths Week

Published 19/10/2011 | 05:00

Maths Magician Andrew Jeffrey (pictured) believes we should "remove the fear and reveal the joy'' of the subject.

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As part of the Maths Week events, which runs until Saturday, he entertained 1,000 kids at the Helix in Dublin on Monday. He had the following tips for parents:

•Encourage your children but don't stress them out. A motivated mind in a positive frame of mind learns faster.

•Emphasise that maths is not so much about numbers as the patterns and structures behind the numbers. Once we start to see it in this way it frees the mind from merely remembering rules and processes.

•Tell them that maths is about having the right questions, not just the right answers. Good questions include "Why does this work?", "Will this work with other numbers?" and "Can I predict what will happen if I try . . . ?" This is how great mathematicians have always operated and how some of the greatest discoveries were made.

•Help your children to see maths not just as a science, but also as an art and as a language. Encourage them to talk about their maths rather than just trudge through pages of meaningless sums.

Irish Independent

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