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Do you know examples of being immersed in a math culture from the moment the baby was born? How can we make it happen? More details at http://www.moebiusnoodles.com/2014/08/math-like-music/

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Tia Knuth

**Answer** by Tia Knuth
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Oh! This would be amazing! A culture of mathematics in which all ages participate and enjoy themselves....my toddler is in a music class (Music Together) I hope this text all fits because I really want to show a comparison here..

This email came to me from the Music Together Program. Read it and think about applying each concept to mathematics-

"We all know that Music Together (Math Together?) is a music (math) education program, but you may not have realized that it's a language immersion program, too! Yes, music (math) is really a language - a critical form of human communication deeply rooted in all of us. In his theory of multiple intelligences, Dr. Howard Gardener cites "musical intelligence" as one of the eight intelligences by which we know the world around us. According to him, musical intelligence runs in an almost structural parallel to linguistic intelligence. Our goal in class is to help our little ones begin the development of their musical intelligence in a meaningful way. Since little children learn from watching and imitating their important grown-ups, while you are in class, it is the most profound kind of music learning for your child if you stay musical for the whole 45 minutes! We ask you to put your talking voices on hold and use your singing voices, so that the children can have an "immersion" experience. Speaking directly to children during the types of activities we do can interrupt important musical processing in their brains. Between songs, please don't talk to your child or another adult. Instead, use non-verbal communication - smiles, gestures, etc. The quiet spaces are very important, and singing the 5-1 (bum! bum!) when we put instruments away is the whole group's job - not just the teacher's! In classes where the adults really practice these important parts of our program, the musical progress made by children is stunning! Remember we are modeling - the children really are paying attention to what we do. When we model focus, we teach our children focus. During these quiet moments we often hear the children humming or singing softly - we can miss that chance if we're not listening for it. If you must say something to your child in class -try singing it - it's fun- your child will like it, too! Most importantly, RELAX & HAVE FUN! We look forward to singing with your child and you very soon!"

**Thinking of math this way and as a cultural endeavor, it's crucial to note that adults must be involved in this entire process and we must get the message out to parents and adults in the world that it's never too late to start doing math and to never talk negatively about math in front of kids (or ever). Sharing experiences is one thing, but talking about it as if you've failed because you "never got it" is detrimental to our global future! **

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Thank you for sharing these directions to parents. I think we should adopt something similar for Natural Math. We already talk about parents "borrowing some math goggles" to see math everywhere - it's like "singing voices" in this story. I need to think of more metaphors for math immersion. Alice in Wonderland has some good ones, starting from that "curiosier and curiosier" feeling!

What math immersion comparisons and images make sense to you, Tia?

Fantastic! We too have participated in the Music Together Program. I love the parallel you have highlighted here - Math immersion. I have been so inspired by this website that I approach math differently with my son - it's a part of our lives all the time. I'm still working on integrating it "naturally" into our days but I've noticed such a difference in him. He's only six and the other day I borrowed a toonie from someone and he said mom now your -2 but if I give my allowance you'd have two dollars. I never would have thought to introduce adding negative integers, multiplication, fractions, division, decimal points, to my son at this age had it not been for this website. Then today I over heard him ask his dad if he could use the laptop to play on the calculator. He sat there for a while typing in random equations and seeing what came up. I could over hear him trying to say the numbers and math sentences. Then he switched it on me and asked me to say the numbers...I'll say it is far easier said then done when you are given a 13 digit number. :) Anyways a long winded way of saying thank you @Tia Knuth for the reminder and thank you @MariaDroujkova for the commitment to math literacy that you share with so many people and how you have forever touched our lives. You have left a true legacy that will live on in our children :)

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