A few weeks ago, TangoMan from Gene Expression sent me this fascinating description of a teacher’s use of the Socratic method to teach binary math to schoolchildren. It’s too interesting to excerpt; read the whole thing.
I don’t teach math to little kids very often, but I’ll have to keep this in mind if I ever get back into math mentoring. One thing that came to mind in reading this page: this is the answer to the inane claim that the only alternative to teaching little kids boring drill-type math that will surely turn them off the subject forever, is to gloss over the boring routine stuff and give them calculators while they’re still at the age where they’re liable to chew on them. The kids in this link learned some real math, and had fun doing it.