How Making Math Real Changed My Son’s Life
Written by Beth Gagnon, parent & educator
Dear David, Michael & Making Math Real,
Yesterday was the final day of the Pre-Algebra class. I wanted to tell you in person how much I have appreciated your wonderful instruction, but there were many others attempting to talk to you, and I had to leave and catch my plane back home.
But I did want you to know how much my Making Math Real experience means to me. I started coming to the classes from Arizona three or four years ago when I was home schooling my dyslexic son because our local school district does not even acknowledge dyslexia, (“it doesn’t exist”) let alone attempt to accommodate it in any way. I had Michael and Evan for most of my classes that Fall, and took my son all of the way back through all of the 4 Operations curriculum. Very simply, it changed his life. He had always struggled with and avoided math, and finally, for the first time ever, it made sense to him. He would jump up with excitement and hug me spontaneously as the light bulb came on for him. It was incredible! I have a teaching background, and found myself thinking of several students I had taught in the past, knowing that Making Math Real would have made all of the difference to those kids just like it had for my child.
I know that it is discouraging to live in a world where we see math being taught incorrectly, developmentally too early, at surface level, or in a procedural way. But with your amazing understanding of brain research and the variations in processing styles, and the gift of your ability to use clear math language that scaffolds mathematical content in manageable increments is directly improving all of those issues each and every day. Making Math Real is empowering teachers and other adults to be able to improve math instruction, calm math anxiety, and create interest and desire to pursue math passionately.
I want to thank both of you for your patience (I am one of those people in class that has to ask you to repeat the prompts sometimes) and for sharing a great deal of your valuable time (lots of weekends and summer weeks) and expertise with me. I consider it a gift to have been able to learn from you and hope that I will be able to help others as you have helped me and my son.
I may be back, but I want you to know that I feel forever indebted to you for all that Making Math Real has changed in my life.