Avoid Hard Work gives a playful view on ten powerful problem-solving techniques. These techniques were first published by the Mathematical Association of America to help high school students with advanced math courses. Natural Math adapted the ten techniques and the sample problems for everybody!
Let’s Avoid Hard Work!
Perhaps when faced with a math problem you simply know what to do. It’s like the sixth sense to you. It’s not solving the problem itself that you find difficult, but the explaining of why you did this and not that. Or maybe math problems for you are like magic tricks without the “reveal” part. You follow all the instructions word-for-word and you do pull the rabbit out of a hat, but how did it get there in the first place?
Math, whether you are explaining it or learning it, can seem like a lot of hard work. Have no idea how the bunny got into the hat? Most magicians don’t either… when they first get started. Feeling stuck and frustrated is not the end, but rather the beginning of an adventure.
All mathematicians, scientists, and engineers go through this not-knowing stage. Anyone who solves problems for a living or as a hobby does. And many of these people don’t want to work hard if they can think of an easier way of doing things. Avoid Hard Work is one of ten powerful techniques for you to learn. Think of them as ten tools real professionals use, made accessible for children. After all, computers used to be just for a few top engineers, and now kids carry these tools in their pockets!
Here’s how it works:
Participants from all over the world meet twice in an active, face-and-voice webinar. During the workshop, you will try the activities live, ask questions, and discuss ideas with other participants and the workshop leaders.
Between the meetings, you can do math activities with your children or students. We want you to bring your experience back to the second workshop. Bring the successes, the challenges, the struggles, whatever happens – so we can help you and your children take the experience further.
Our second workshop will give you the support, feedback and confidence you need to try out even more math activities on your own.
Click to download sample pages. Read questions and answers, try the activities with your children, and let us know what you think!
Yelena McManaman is a blogger, education consultant, and developer, focusing on young children. Yelena homeschools her son and organizes classes and events for kids. Online, Yelena helps other parents collaborate around advanced math for young children. Yelena has two published books, Moebius Noodles and Avoid Hard Work.
Dmitri Droujkov works in requirements and development management, programming, and design for educational software and platforms. Through design of smart tech tools, Dmitri supports and enables deep innovation in STEM education. Dmitri leads live and online events, and edits Natural Math books.
Easy Complexity is one of the seven Natural Math main principles, and the focus of this workshop. Easy Complexity is how a five-year-old learns calculus. Tell stories, make art, and find analogies that make your math friendly. Gently grow your happy familiarity with complex ideas. We make math easy enough for open play and complex enough for advanced mastery.
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org or ask in comments to this page.