Benedict Cumberbatch and Teaching Math

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Wired posted a little thing about Benedict Cumberbatch on Sesame Street doing a bit of math. The video clip left me rather bummed out. There was no math instruction in the video aside from sequencing 1, 2, 3, 4. Saying there are more apples than oranges because "4 is a bigger number than 3" is ... unhelpful. 4 isn't bigger. 4 holds a position further down the number line than 3 (as the Count just demonstrated). Thus, 4 represents a value larger than 3. And in math, that's what's important.

In other words, while fun and funny clips involving recognizable celebrities can be enjoyable to watch, teaching a concept requires much more thought and explanation.

That's what you get in MathTacular. The Unbelievably Understandable Math you come to love in the quirky skits teaches math concepts. It's much more than funny clips. We demonstrate, in the physical world, abstract math concepts. We show why 4 apples is quantitatively more than 3. As mentioned in the comments of the above clip, the oranges are larger than the apples, yielding, potentially, more orange. There is no such ambiguity in MathTacular.

Haven't heard of MathTacular? Have a student who's struggling to understand certain math concepts? Are you getting flummoxed by those dreaded word problems?

Get MathTacular

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Guardian

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