Now that everyone is back into the routine of work and school, we can take stock of things that might help us and our kids. One thing that we have been thinking about is engaging our kids in subjects that have a “dull” reputation — like math.
According to a 2018 Stamford University study, a positive attitude toward math will result in better achievements in math classes in children. This is not a big surprise. “Having a positive attitude acts directly on your memory and learning system,” the lead author, Lang Chen, PhD, said about the findings.
How to get positive
Of course, the next question is: how do you cultivate that positive attitude? This, I’m sure, depends on the child in question.
Success in math requires logic, organization and precision. Also, there exists a more subtle and qualitative aspect to mathematics. For instance: do the numbers have associations, emotions, or personalities? These associations will aid in memory.
Sports as a memory aid
My son is a big sports fan and has a very good memory for sports. Speaking to him about this, we realized there are some numbers he knows very well: Athletes’ jersey numbers. The number 99 belongs to one man: Wayne Gretzky. It is also 9 x 11.
And so, for sporty kids, we developed a downloadable multiplication table using the jersey numbers of hockey players. We’re going to offer it free here on the site for a couple of months for now. We hope teachers and parents will find this helpful for young sports fans.
Associating players with math facts may produce that positive attitude kids need. Perhaps “Orr times Coffie equals Giroux” is a first step for young math students to get to “4 x 7 = 28.”
Thanks to Cade Askey for his ideas and research on this project. Check out his hockey card blog!
So far, two sizes are available in the downloads section: an over-size poster 36 x 24 inches, and a tabloid-size 11 x 17 inches. Let us know what you think!