Quotable: What to Do When You’re Stuck

When a kid is feeling bad about being stuck with a problem, or just very anxious, I sometimes ask him to make as many mistakes as he can, and as outrageous as he can. Laughter happens (which is valuable by itself, and not only for the mood — deep breathing brings oxygen to the brain). Then the kid starts making mistakes. In the process, features of the problem become much clearer, and in many cases a way to a solution presents itself.

Maria Droujkova
Natural Math discussion of math club activities

Does It Work?

While I was collecting entries for the Math Teachers at Play #35 blog carnival, I ran across this post by Dave Lanovaz:


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6 comments on “Quotable: What to Do When You’re Stuck

  1. I love this, Denise. I’ve never thought of this before. Thanks so much for sharing! I’ll share on my blog, too.

  2. Pingback: Math Teachers at Play #35 « Let's Play Math!

  3. Pingback: Thinking (and Teaching) like a Mathematician « Let's Play Math!

  4. This is a very cool idea—I am definitely trying this with my 6 year old—he gets so frustrated when he can’t get something right on the first try—-thanks for posting :)

  5. Pingback: My Ebook: Kindle & Smashwords Updates Available | Let's Play Math!

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