What does The Math Program do?
Click here to view statements about The Math Program by some of our parents and students:
What is The Math Program?
The Math Program is Jerry Glynn and Don Cohen, its co-founders and only teachers. And that's all we do. Jerry's wife Joyce has provided many important inputs from her experiences; Don's wife Marilyn has done an excellent job of keeping the books.
The Math Program is an environment we have set up, which allows us to enjoy doing mathematics ourselves, as well as doing it with people of all ages (3 to 73) and all abilities. Students come to us in small groups, but we work individually with each person. We have been gratefully supported by people in the Champaign-Urbana community. It is a local program, except for grandparents who import their grandchildren from Washington DC, Bloomington IN and Chicago, and except for a number of teachers who have come from all over the country to find out how they can do a Math Program, in their home town. We are in a constant change mode, because we, our students, their learning styles, the mathematics we and they are learning, and the interactions of these, are changing. It's a very exciting time.
Why do parents continue to send their children to The Math Program?
Each person is a unique human being, we enjoy their differences and devise an individual curriculum for each student. We have students all year. Parents send their children to us for many reasons--because their children are bored in school and need or want to be challenged; they are having difficulty with subtraction; because they want them to do well on the GRE, GMAT, ACT, SAT or SSAT test; because they want them to prepare for their college and/or high school math the summer before; or they've heard we're great for their kids and math. We start algebra early. We start coordinate geometry early--we work on important mathematics. We build confidence. And we enjoy our work! Some students like Ian, have worked with Don in The Math Program for 11 years; he also scored an 800 on the math section of the SAT--the highest possible score! He earned a Ph.D. in math at The University of Chicago, not long ago.
We want our students to understand what they are doing. The
ways we get them to "learn how to learn" are listed in "On
thinking about and doing mathematics"
What materials are available for students to work with?
We use many different materials as models, to capture a child's interest and to help visualize the mathematics: Cuisenaire' rods, geoboards, pattern blocks, gummed shapes, scales, dowel rods and rubber bands, calculators (graphing, timing, fraction, programmable, scientific), a Nautilus shell, a pineapple, a library of interesting books to go home on loan, puzzles (the Soma cubes, the tower puzzle, shuttle puzzle, the chinese ring puzzle), games (nim, sprouts, Conway's Game of Life,and Racetrack). We have materials with which students learn to do 12x13 in their head. We use computer programs such as Derive; Mathematica; DP Graph, Logo; Quickbasic and we have many other things, including pencil and paper, from which appropriate material can be drawn upon, for use with an individual student.
What is The Math Program not?
The Math Program is not a course. It is not a school. It is not a thing that's written on paper; this page is not The Math Program. It is not a place for students just do homework, although we will help with that. The Math Program is not just for bright students. The Math Program is not just for students who have difficulty with math.
Don and Jerry have come up with a number of "Math Myths" - things that are NOT true - but ideas people, because of ignorance, expedience and/or things they were taught, try to shove down their students' throats:
1. You can't take 7 from 3.
2. When you multiply, the answer is bigger.
3. You have to add from right to left.
4. When you subtract the result is smaller.
5. Fractions are small numbers.
6. There's only one way to do something.
7. When you add the result is bigger.
8. When you divide the result is smaller.
9. I can't do it unless someone tells me how to do it.
10. Math is hard and only a few people can do it.
11. You have to know everything about whole numbers before you can do fractions.
12. You have to know algebra before you can learn about calculus.
Some exciting things that have happened since 1988:
Because of the fact that we have small groups of students after school, this gives us time to work together on mathematics, on how kids learn, and on sharing with the world some things we enjoy doing. About 10 years ago and since, Jerry has written two books on Derive and Mathematica.
In 1988, Don wrote "Calculus By and For Young People (ages 7, yes 7 and up)" and then did the videotapes, worksheet book, Matrices book and Map-- all under the name of Don Cohen-The Mathman.
The Japanese translation of his book "Calculus By and For Young People (ages 7, yes 7 and up)" was published by Kodansha Ltd., in August 1998 (they have since sold 22,336 copies in about 3 1/3 years!).
Don's book "Calculus By and For Young People-Worksheets" is now on CD-ROM in Japanese and English, published by Mr. Hiroshi Takimoto.
Don's book "Changing Shapes With Matrices" was published by Kodansha, Ltd. also, and they sold 5,490 copies in the first 8 months!
Needless to say we think The Math Program was a great invention. Don has even had children and grandchildren, and nieces and nephews of his students! Besides his own grandchildren. These are the good old days!!