25 January, 2021

Navnirmiti's maths kits add up to a new world for young children

Navnirmiti's maths kits add up to a new world for young children
If there’s ever a bunch of kids who may never know that awful blankness that grips so many of us when suddenly called upon to split a tab six-ways—that desperate, almost paralytic fear of numbers which goes by the name of maths anxiety—it’s the first-graders we see gathered around the Mathemat.

"I love maths because it’s easy. You know, counting and doing sums," says six-year-old Ashna Mahajan with a conviction which would sway the most crusty math-phobe. "We get to play with beads," chips in classmate Krishan Chawla, more inclined to get to the heart of the matter. Bent over perforated foam boards, this lively class in Bandra’s Arya Vidya Mandir school is plugging the holes with beads to make the number "nine". Some groups come up with three neat rows of three beads. Others lay out lines of five and four. Another group comes up with two rows of four and a solitary bead. Unwittingly, they are figuring out the concept of addition: that different combinations of beads can add up to nine.

"The mathemat has brought maths alive for them. The kids learn by doing...



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