Dec 21, 2023 | Red Deer

The joy of crafting and giving gifts

As a crafter, I love making special gifts for my students, creating cherished childhood memories. Inspired by my kids' experience in a dull math centre, I believe learning, particularly in math, should be both educational and enjoyable, leaving positive memories.

This Christmas, I challenged myself with two tasks: personalizing elves (easy) and crafting candy holders from cardstock (time-consuming). The open-and-close mechanism of the candy holders made the process more time-intensive. Yet, I opted for it so that it can be reused, creating lasting memories. Well, I didn’t think it would take days to make it; but as a crafter, I enjoy the process. Not my dog though. She hated it. I became off-limits in my craft-room, and we missed our usual walks – she reluctantly walked with dad, her number two favourite human 😊

The day it was done

Finally, the day it was done, I came to the centre late afternoon, exhausted from working since very early morning. There were only two students at the centre, one in grade 3 and the other one in grade 5, joyfully engaged in playing the spinning wheel. They were asking each other a question based on the type of math that came up on the wheel.

These two are true Mathnasium kids, having developed their math skills through the Mathnasium Method™: they strategically answer questions using their number sense. For instance, when asked “Which one is smaller one-eighths or one-fourths?” “One eighths! Because it is half of one fourths!” “What is 37 plus 37?” “Well, 30 plus 30 is 60, then add 14 .. seventy-four!!” said the third grader. “What is 17 times 5?” “It’s half of 170, so it must be …. 85!” "What is 7.5% of 250?" "It isss ... (thinking hard with both eyes closed) 15 plus 3 plus 3/4 .. sooo .. it's eighteen and three-fourths!!" (jumped excitedly).

These kids have been with us for years, and as a teacher, seeing the incredible results of the effort put into crafting and molding their math brains patiently for months and months is truly rewarding. My fatigue disappeared, and the soreness in my fingers from squeezing the glue were forgotten. There’s an overwhelming sense of pride in watching these kids freely and cheerfully create and answer each other questions.

They might not realize that the fun games they play are incredibly rewarding for us teachers. They stand as proof that, like any other muscles, growing and maintaining math brain muscles requires months and even years of dedication. If you want to go far - beyond just fixing grades - Mathnasium is the place to be.

Christmas Gift Mathnasium.jpg

Next project: Christmas Foodie Sessions!

Now I promised students Christmas Foodie Sessions for the last two days before Christmas. Meatballs and pie, here we come!

To our Mathnasium parents, may your kids enjoy our handmade gits crafted with love. For all parents, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!