So here's a re-cap of my frist two weeks of class and what I've learned...

In

**chapter one**we concentrated on problem solving, this has always been my weak point, but I'm improving. We learned Polya's Problem Solving Strategy. There are four parts to his strategy:

**1.**Understand the problem. (play aroung with it.)

**2**. Devise a plan. ( Make a drawing, a table, a model, guess and check, or maybe work backwards. There are a lot of different ways to approach this. It all depends on what you are most comfortable with and how you learn.)

**3.**Carry out your plan.

**4.**Look back over the problem and your answer. (Is your answer reasonable?)

We also covered using patterns for problem solving and solving problems using algebra. I realize now that I have been using algebra for many years and it is not as horrific as I have made it out to be.

In

**chapter two**we worked on Venn diagrams. These can be very complex. We created our own and voted on the best. Unfortunately, I am not very witty and mine wasn't worth any extra credit , we had some very clever people in our class. I really liked the Michigan weather/MCC parking situation diagram. When dicussing Venn diagrams we learned about set, elements, sub-sets,compliments and relations.

- The set is a group of something.

- An element is an individual piece of a set.

- A sub-set is a related group within a set.

- The compliment is any outside of a set.

- A relation is 2 sets with some sort of correspondence.

Functions and deductive reasoning are also covered in chapter 3. A function is a relation where each element of the first set corresponds to exactly one element of the second set. I was able to put this new knowledge to good use. My oldest son is currently taking Algebra 2 in high school. He is just now learning about functions and I was able to explain them a little differently from what he learned in class. It was helpful to us both.

I really enjoyed the logic and reasoning part of this chapter, I love the puzzles and I hope that when I teach I will be able to introduce lots of fun ways for kids to learn math. I think it's important for it to be fun to learn. Maybe math won't get such a bad rap.

Click here for some fun ideas.