Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Carry over addition

As someone who never remembers a time when she did not love mathematics, I could never understand the utter distaste with which my older one treated the subject. Try as I would, I could never seem to interest him in the subject. The groupings and patterns that I saw without even trying, remained invisible to him even after I described them to him.
Needless to say, his understanding of the subject matched his enthusiasm for it. Forget addition and subtraction, even counting up and counting down were huge tasks which he was normally unsuccessful at. Then came the phase when he started mechanically doing his sums- without enjoyment, but with reasonable success. About a month back, he actually finished his homework without any help. He was elated about getting the answers right, but that was about it.
And this weekend, he had to do addition with carry over. I broke my head trying to teach him to understand the concept of 10s and 1s, but got nowhere. Then suddenly, he got it- he just got it. He figured out how to group the 1s to get sets of 10, and learnt to ‘carry over’ the 1 to the 10s column. What he did not get was to add that extra 1, while totaling the numbers in the 10s column. But, he had fun doing it, and after showing me the workbook full of answers that were 10 less than they should be, he told me “Mamma, this is lots of fun.”
I couldn’t care that he got all the answers wrong- I was glad that he was having fun getting there. I can only hope that he continues to love numbers – the answers will sort themselves out in time.

4 comments:

ladyfi said...

I don't like maths very much - at least not school maths - although I can do it in my head when I need it in shops and stuff.

My daughter also struggles with maths, but it is lovely to see the difference when they finally understand one of the concepts!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Fiona, and I LOVE Maths- have always done. And thank heavens I do, because 85% of my work is pure numbers.

InkTank said...

i HATE maths! but i LOVE the way you write! reached here via gouri dange's blog. its heartening to come across one more good writer. my definition of a good writer is simple. if you get engrossed in the writing, he or she is a good writer. will read more from u sure...

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Thank you, InkTank. That is a huge compliment. And my definition of a good writer is exactly the same as yours (a great writer being someone you can read more than once, with equal pleasure). I'll visit your blog too one of these days.

And are you sure you still hate maths? Maybe if you revisit the subject now, you would find that it is not as bad as you thought it was?

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