“When a third grade student with a sparkle in her eyes and excitement in her voice challenges her class with a math trivia, I know that my strategies to teach, explain, and immerse students in math are working, says Shashikala Lele, a retired Montessorian. One such student asked her class to name one geometric shape that can create hundreds of different shapes if multiples of these are put together. The answer is a triangle; 16 isosceles triangles arranged in a special way form a tangram square.
Her book, Math Magic Moments, is written with the intent of helping educators of young children create a fondness, curiosity, and love for math by using an array of activities that are innovative and stimulating. The purpose of writing this book is to offer help in opening numerous avenues for students of all learning styles, inclinations, and achievement levels of math. Studies show that children in elementary grades love to play, win, defeat, draw, solve puzzles, and write and read stories. All activities in Math Magic Moments are tailor-made specifically for this age group (grades 2 to 5).
Educators can choose from a wide variety of card games, board games, humorous stories, page-long stories, mathematical short stories, puzzles, and craft ideas, build upon them or get inspired and give special touches, all focused on math, and designed for elementary school students. The author thinks, the purpose of writing this book will be served if educators and students get inspired to be creative, think of variation and innovations, and have their own take on the given activities. Each student can indulge in the math-based activities of his/her liking. The common thread passing through all the activities is the focus on building kids’ knowledge of and fondness for math.
Ms. Lele is confident that her modest wish for young minds’ perceptions of math to transform from unpleasant and scary to magical and beautiful will be fulfilled after children are exposed to the activities of Math Magic Moments.