What a chapter, chapter 2 was. One word, YUCK! I spent much of this chapter wondering a few things. What is this "math" all about? Is it really for elementary kids? Why learn this?

Ok, let me back up a bit. I realize my introduction may seem a bit negative. I think this intro is similar to many students when it comes to math. Math can be a confusing bustle of numbers, surrounded by formulas, rules and exceptions. It can be hard to keep it all straight. More importantly, if you can't find a link to life with math, then it seems like a drag. So, let's briefly recap what I learned.

As I started with Chapter 2, I developed an understanding for sets. Ok, a set is just a grouping of something. I got that. One to one correspondence? Do they align up to another set equally? Sure, no problem. Subsets - come on. Is this group in that group. Zing. A proper subset, sure it's a subset of a given set, but one element is missing from the first set that is listed in the second set. That's a breeze. Unions, intercepts, uh, I can do symbols. A U and a upside down U, not so tough.

Next, we got properties. Closure, Identity, Commutative and Associative. I don't recall this from school, but hey, I open to new things. Now, I am a bit of a definition freak. I like them. Give me a word and tell me what it means. Closure property - "For whole numbers a and b, a+b is a unique whole number." (Mathematics for Elementary Students, 2008) Ok, um let's move on to Cartesian product with A cross B. Ohhhh, like 6 x 6 = 36. Not so bad. Let's skip forward to Hindu and Egyptian numerical systems. Oh and let's not forget Mayan and Babylonian. Ok, as weird as this was, I actually felt like I got these down.

These examples are just a snapshot of what I have learned. As I pull in the beginning of this post and ask my questions, WHAT? WHY? HOW? I think it is really important for students to understand these questions. As I went through the information, I found that when the book gave examples in "real life" I had a much better understanding of what the definition of a word was and how it does relate to everyday. It made it easier to learn and well, worth learning.

Here is a link to a website called Yummy Math. It is designed by some math teachers to help make math relevant to everyday life.

Yummy Math