Grandchildren - Trixie, Eva and Rose, from left to right, in June, 2011.

I began teaching children at a time when I knew a lot of mathematics, but nothing about how to teach arithmetic. Since then, I have taught arithmetic to hundreds of children and learned a lot about how to do that. This website represents some of what I have learned - mostly with videos of brief, informal lessons. (Mostly with my grandchildren, who were conveniently available.)

If you would like to see a small sample of such lessons:

  • click here to see me helping Trixie (at 2 years, 8 months),
  • click here to see me helping Rose (at 5 years, 8 months),
  • click here to see me helping Eva (at 7 years, 8 months).

Big picture, the lessons proceed in 5 steps.

  • Learning to count.
  • Using models and counting to solve word problems.
  • Solving word problems with simple “shortcuts.”
  • Solving word problems with more advanced shortcuts.
  • Learning the standard algorithms.

The first 4 steps are all discussed and illustrated here. The last step, learning the standard algorithms, is for the most part a matter of rote practice. To that extent it is not doing math, and therefore of not much interest to me.

The Goals tab above provides some background.

Rob Madell