Today, while I was waiting for all the chickies to gather in my room, the nine year old asked if I had a calculator he could use to verify some math he was doing. I did. He punched in his numbers but the answer wasn't making sense to him so he asked for my help. I began to sweat bullets. I don't do math, that's why I teach a foreign language. What am I saying, math is a foreign language! Fortunately, the problem was something I know all about, percentage. Whew, managed to dodge that bullet. After we dabbled with a few problems, he then said there was a shortcut his teacher had shown him. Shortcut? In math? He then proceeded to explain it to me, mhmm. I'm glad that Rocket Man has a mom, a dad, and a Papa that will help him with math shortcuts and longcuts because that is not my forte.
The time to leave came and we headed to the car, Math Whiz was not ready to quit. As we're cruising down the highway, he asked if I had a calculator on my phone so he could verify his answers. I told him I did but was not able to get the phone out of my purse at the moment; sixty five miles an hour and fumbling in a purse with precious cargo is not a good combo. Once I got us to the back roads I slowed down and gave him the needed electronics. A couple of minutes later he said, 'Oh, wow. Oh, wow. I just surprised myself.' To which I replied, 'what did you just do?'. Math Whiz, 'I just did something that my teacher showed us yesterday and I got it right, first time!! I'm going to do another one to see if I can do it again!!' Yes, exclamation points are needed, he was that excited. I smiled and then thought to myself, when do children loose their joie de vivre for school? When do they begin to think that school is a chore rather than something that will enhance their lives? Why didn't I like math like Math Whiz does?
I thought it would be fun to share just exactly what Math Whiz was doing so I had him take a couple of shots of his work.
Then I sneaked a couple of him doing his math thing.
May he feel as enthusiastic about Calculus in seven years. I'm pretty sure he will.