Friday, August 30, 2013

Math Concept

In the US TV series “Numb3rs”, Dr. Charles Eppes (played by David Krumholtz) asked his audience to choose 1 card from 3 cards wherein 1 card has the imaginary prize of brand new shiny red car. The audience, by majority, chose card number 2. But instead of opening it, Dr. Eppes opened card number 3 – it was blank. Now he posed the challenged again to the audience if they wanted to change their card choice.  The audience ambiguously replied in the negative, wanting to keep their card no. 2 choice.

That is when Dr. Eppes, revealed a mathematical truth – that since their chance or probability was increased from 33.33% to 50%, the logical and mathematically correct decision is to make another choice. The “logic” that the original choice also represented the 50% probability is misleading because it was originally chosen when card no. 3 was not yet revealed.

In Zek’s homeschooling the most challenging subject for us to teach is mathematics (the rest are just downright difficult). My wife and I, both taught the traditional approach to mathematics, will be the first to admit that this subject has always been our Achilles heel. And this becomes more obvious this school-year on Zek’s fourth grade. He always catches us in our blank stares into nothingness (my wife and I call it “deep thought” :D) at most of the “Think and Try” exercise at the end of each lesson.

Yesterday at CFA, we had an introductory seminar about math mapping and the benefits of new math learning and teaching methods. It was quite enlightening for me and the rest of the co-attendees how a seemingly complex math problem be explained in simple solutions that our kids can grasp. I’m really looking forward to have Zek explore this learning technique so he will understand its foundation, its grass-root concept thereby growing to enjoying and liking his math subjects more.   

(photo downloaded from the internet with labelled credit to

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