"We underestimate children by assuming that they will only enjoy learning concepts that have obvious physical models or applications. While I would encourage a teacher to serve pieces of pie or pizza to their class to illustrate a point about fractions, this is not the only way to get kids interested in math. Children will happily play a game with numbers or mathematical symbols, even if it has no obvious connections to the everyday world, as long as the game presents a series of interesting challenges, has clear rules and outcomes, and if the person playing the game has a good chance of winning. Children are born to solve puzzles: in my experience, they are completely happy at school if they are allowed to exercise their minds and to show off to a caring adult. What children hate most is failure. They generally find mathematical rules and operations boring only because those things are often poorly taught, without passion, in a manner that produces very few winners." --John Mighton, JUMP Math: Teacher's Manual for the Fractions Unit (Second Edition), copyright 2005, JUMP Math.
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