Wednesday, August 30, 2023

turning leaves

Today at the Clear Spring School, I assisted with the Kindergarten woodworking class. I helped to set up the project and guided our new teacher, Thomas, in preparing stock. I also delivered two books that I think will be helpful (in addition to Making Classic Toys that Teach, and the Guide to Woodworking with Kids). The books are From Truths to Tools by Jim Tolpin and George Walker, and Framing Square Math by my friend Joe Youcha. Both are important in developing a hand-centric means of teaching math. Framing Square Math could be used as a step by step classroom curriculum. And I hope it will be.

Teachers tend to teach the ways we were taught, and if we observe the numbers of kids who are turned off by math, we might arrive at the  understanding that the ways we teach math are wrong, a thing made obvious by the fact that only a few develop an excitement for it. 

The problem is that those who catch the math bug and love it, are often ill-equipped to teach it, for teaching (to be most effective) requires a different, hands-on approach. Framing Square Math offers an alternative. And the wood shop is the perfect place for starting out in math, even at the Kindergarten level, which we did today by introducing the square for marking wood. Do the Kindergarten kids need to know they're doing math? Perhaps not yet.

Make, fix and create... Assist others in learning lifewise.

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