Dr. Cotter on Multiplication

Multiplication has been the mathematical downfall of many children, not so much because of the algorithms, but memorizing the 100 facts. Before expecting the child to learn the facts, we need to teach the meaning of multiplication. Describing it as … [Read more...]

Dr. Cotter on Math Anxiety

Math anxiety can be thought of as a learned fear of numbers or anything to do with math. It results in feelings of tension and fear at the sight of numbers or math symbols, causing poor performance in math, especially on tests. Sadly, in the U.S., … [Read more...]

Dr. Cotter on Measurements

Measurement is an application of math that is an important part of everyday life. We measure length, area, volume, mass (weight), temperature, time, angles, and many other attributes. For more than simple comparisons, we need numbers and a basic … [Read more...]

Dr. Cotter on Problem Solving

A few years ago while on a shuttle to speak on math at a convention, I started talking to a young man next to me. When he found out I was involved in math, he said he could solve story problems as long as someone told him what operation to use. The … [Read more...]

Dr. Cotter on Manipulatives

Are manipulatives necessary for teaching math? What is their purpose? Are some manipulatives better than others? These are important questions to consider when teaching math to a child. A concrete manipulative is a physical object that a child … [Read more...]

Dr. Cotter on Teaching Math

I’d like to take some time to discuss the science and art of teaching math. I call it a science because much research has been done into how children learn in general and especially math. I call it an art because each child is different, requiring … [Read more...]