Professor Mom

Chronicles the life of a mom, teacher, and writer trying to stay sane amid the chaos of daily life.

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mouse's picture mouse

OK, I'm a bit of a math nerd, and I'm not quite sure what a mathhopper is either. I sure hope it's a concept clearly explained earlier in the book--but have this suspicion it's not.

I'm picturing numbers on grasshopper legs. And if that's the case, I can't imagine they jump predictably enough to predict where they'll land.


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Oh - I'm with you. Only right now, it's me in front of a class of 14 students with significant intellectual disabilities, trying to explain to them how you convert inches to feet and inches, even though they only use calculators and their answers come out in decimal points. So I'm showing them the steps, which turns into a mess because it is now a four step equation and two-step equations are difficult for them. But I really want them to get it and I have no idea to explain to them how I know what I know, because I just know.

I can only imagine how it will go in our house when our kids are getting into more abstract math concepts. Hubs and I are both more gifted with our words, though they escape us when trying to explain math concepts! :-)


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I really dislike that little mathhopper guy. The other problem is that L. never seems to understand these concepts, so when it comes time for homework I have to both learn the concepts quickly, and explain them to him!

Omaha--you made me feel much better about my own math deficits!


Omaha Mama's picture Omaha Mama

Drawing a number line or making one on the computer may help L to conceptualize the hopper. Imagine someone actually hopping on a line of numbers. Or he could make a little hopper and physically hop the guy up the number line. That might be more fun! Or he could make a big number line that covers your whole table...
I'm suddenly picturing a fun game for my B at home, she's learning to skip count. That math hopper guy could be fun, if he's more than just words on a page. Maybe???
Maybe math hopper could be hopping down a numbered pipeline underground.


Mary-LUE's picture Mary-LUE

I felt the same way about math once I entered junior high. We had leveled math classes so I started out in the mid level 7th grade class. I did well, so they put me in the mid level 8th grade class. I didn't do well, so they lowered me to the high end seventh grade math... the same up and down happened my eighth grade year. It was horrible. I just skated through math in high school.

The ironic thing is that when I took the CBEST (in order to substitute teach), I scored almost perfect on the math. I am definitely less intimidated now, but I had to reteach it all to myself when I helped Colin. And, sadly, I will have forgotten it all and have to reteach it to myself when it is Marley's turn!

Good luck!


beck's picture beck

Math. Yuck.
My math fears are a large part of what keeps me from homeschooling - my kids would be soulful, artistic and unable to count past 12.


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

I like your mathhopper ideas, Omaha. I'll try and help L. get more creative with them...and clearly, mary-lue, you're a math genius! I have no idea how I would score on anything related to math these days, so maybe it's better I don't know my true mathematical limits!


Hetha's picture Hetha

I have the poorest aptitude for math as anyone I know! I remember all through grade school having a need for an after school tutor to help me with math. The good news? I married a theoretical mathematician :-) No explaining math homework in my future (insert evil laughter here)!


Aliki McElreath's picture Aliki McElreath

Oh, I'm so envious Hetha! My husband does have an aptitude for math, but he's certainly no theoretical mathematician!