RSM is on TED! Masha Gershman, our Director of Outreach and RSM alumna, spoke about the roots of "Russian Math," and its key tenet that math can be the vehicle that delivers children to their fullest potential.
No matter your child’s level in mathematics, RSM is designed to be intellectually challenging. We only grow when we experience victory over challenge, and our program is designed with that in mind. It’s ok if your child doesn’t catch on to everything at first; be patient and supportive. Their ‘aha!’ moment is coming, and it will be glorious. When it does come, use it as teaching moment to boost your child's confidence - gaining knowledge doesn’t come easily, but it’s worth it in the end.
2. Make RSM a family experience.
Children react to and reflect the attitude of their parents, so even if math isn’t your favorite subject, find aspects of it that you’re interested in, and discuss them with your child. Our homework can be intriguing even for parents - have fun with it yourself. Give your child a pat on the head while they do their RSM homework. Anything that conveys that math is important in your family goes a long way.
3. If you’re new to RSM, don’t be afraid of ‘I don’t get it.’
Our problems are specifically crafted to not have obvious solutions. Students have to work their way through multiple steps, trying different approaches throughout, to get to the correct answer. Many new students aren’t accustomed to this type of work. This is a learning process, and soon, the ‘I don’t get it’ attitude will transform into ‘Give me a second…’
4. Encourage your child to "own" their homework.
In our homework assignments, we include not just review, but problems that take our students a step beyond what they’ve learned. It is completely natural for students to find certain aspects of their homework assignments challenging.
If your child can’t complete one or two problems, please have them mark it for their teacher. If your child is stuck on a problem, please refrain from teaching them yourself. We have a particular methodology and mixing the messages will confuse your child further. Ask your child to show you their notes from class and walk you through how the teacher explained this type of problem. Let them guide you. If this doesn’t work, free homework help is available at our branches.
This is what we mean by "owning" the process. Guide your child to identify where he or she needs help, and to ask for the proper resources to get that help - either in class with the teacher, walking through the problem with you, or at a homework help session. 5. Make use of your teacher.
From managaing finances, calculating the time and distance between school, home and violin class to not needing a measuring cup to know how much water a recipe requires, a mom knows all the math to run a family. If there's anyone that does math on a daily basis without even realizing it, it's got to be someone that fills the role of being a mother.
Last week, NPR ran a story detailing the "Russian Math" phenomenon, following the growth of the Russian School of Mathematics from a kitchen-table passion project to a school that serves over 20,000 students across the country. But what is "Russian Math," and how does it differ from other approaches?
A previous post by Julia Turchaninova titled When it comes to introducing math, how early is too early?, says that when it comes to math, the earlier the better. She emphasizes that just like ballet or music, introducing a good number sense begins with an early start in training and that young children–between the ages of 0 and 6–experience the period of the most intense and easiest time learning your child will ever have.
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