Speaking math constantly with Joy Ferrante

measuring-spoonsSpeaking math constantly with Joy Ferrante

Student Success Podcast No. 11, Dec. 18, 2013

Today’s Guest: Joy Ferrante

Joy discusses how parents can be deeply involved in their child’s math learning. We use math and other school subjects all day long — how often do we use those concepts and tasks to help our children learn? Calendars, cooking utensils, house addresses… anything can be turned into a useful, effective math lesson for children, and not just young children.

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Guest Biography

Joy holds a Masters of Science degree from University of Maryland and taught mathematics at Archbishop Carroll High School in Washington, DC. She spent two years with the Wildlife Conservation Society in the Republic of Congo teaching and developing curriculum for local schools and families. Joy works with A+ Club students to better their academics, guiding them, sharing her enthusiasm with them, and helping them find academic success.

Topics Discussed

  • There’s math everywhere!
  • It is a part of our lives and should be for our children, too.
  • It should be fun.
    • Joy’s child, Cedar, engages math all the time
    • Joy vocalizes and has him do math whenever possible
    • For him it’s fun
  • Parents need to engage their children in it all the time
  • The math you do in your head you should do directly and openly with your children
  • What about parents who are afraid of math?
    • even the simplest math things should be shared and taught
    • parents don’t realize they do math all the time
    • for more advanced math, have students teach it to the parent
    • learn and discover it together
  • Speak what you do in math: house addresses, calendars, time, weather, cooking, tipping in a restaurant… we use math all day long.
    • Cooking: need to bring children into the kitchen more anyway for healthy eating
  • physical interactions with math
    • Joy’s son can set out large numbers using blocks such as 4,253 and he knows that the 4 = thousands, etc.
    • measuring in the kitchen especially useful for working with fractions
  • time and clocks are great
    • uses fractions
    • based on 60 not 10 (non-decimal base)
    • we use it all day long and it involves complex math such as fractions
  • even high school kids often struggle with simple math because they don’t practice it enough
    • can’t perform difficult equations if they can’t follow basic math such as multiplication, division, positives, negatives
    • Joy’s strategy on using the football field for understanding math concepts
    • parents can help students read the math questions properly
    • even if you don’t know the math concepts, you can help clarify the questions
    • parents should not be afraid of getting into the textbook.
  • percentages & fractions are everywhere!
    • when you’re eating a pizza, teach fractions!
      • rather than calling it a pieces, say, “who wants a quarter or an eighth of a pizza?”
    • figuring out a tip = great math practice!
    • super important for high school kids to be comfortable with fractions and percentages
  • Bromley asks what’s an algorithm?
    • Joy couldn’t answer
    • but that doesn’t make her afraid of finding out!
  • bringing other subjects to our kids
  • we should be incorporating constant learning all the disciplines
    • history, English everywhere
    • be excited about everything
  • Joy final advice to parents:
    • you know more than you think you know
    • you are natural teachers
    • be excited about it and so will your children
    • parents are the first teachers



Host: Michael L. Bromley
Original Music by Christopher Bromley (copyright 2011, 2013)
Background snoring: by Stella
Best Dogs Ever: by Puck & Stella

DC Dogs!




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