Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Figuring it out

You remember Angel? The child who drove me to distraction over maths while homeschooled? Not so much because she couldn't do it, more that she wouldn't because she had convinced herself she couldn't.

Last week she announced "I'm working as hard as I can in maths, because I want to get moved up to the top set". Why? Because her friends are in the top set. Who says peer pressure is always a negative thing!

This week she showed me the project she had been working on in class. Hard to describe, but it was an investigation into the properties of numbers in a grid - working out general rules to find the difference between products of opposite corners in a number square taken from any part of variously sized number grids. (It truly is impossible to explain without seeing it. So why am I trying?) . She had done pages of immaculately neat - and correct - work, and had stuck only at the final hurdle of working out an overall general rule involving square size and grid size. Given that it was an algebraic formula involving two variables and squares I'm not surprised she stuck. I'm just amazed that she made it that far, happily. What a difference a few months makes!

She also informed me that having to work on maths for an hour at a time was OK ... "when you spend time practicing it, maths is a lot easier". Well yes, dear. I could have told you that. And have. Frequently. But for Angel, it has taken working alongside others to realise that yes, she can do maths, and yes, practice does help.

1 comment:

Romany said...

Rolling my eyes with you on that one! LOL!