When Canaa Lee started teaching math at Little Rock Central High School, she knew she had her work cut out. With many students struggling with both literacy and numeracy, understanding mathematical concepts proved a challenge at best. However, having hit on the hugely successful idea of ‘Math Stories’, Lee’s acclaimed magic bullet has now been compiled into book form.
Titled, ‘Algebra for the Urban Student: Using Stories to Make Algebra Fun and Easy’, Lee’s game-changing text contains the same stories and information that has had students excelling in class and parents begging Lee to spread her wisdom as far as possible.
“With their combined literacy and math struggles, I started writing stories for my students. They loved the stories and could not wait for me to write the next one! In addition, I started getting compliments from parents because they too understood the assignments and were able to help their child with their homework. It was a win- win situation!” says Lee, saw her students progress to become independent thinkers and logical problem solvers.
She continues, “Algebra for the Urban Student started off as a collection of math activities and stories to help my students to appreciate and understand that math can be both easy and fun. Once I had written enough activities and stories, I was able to compile them into a book, good for people of all ages.”
As Lee attests, most students are condition to detest math from an early age.
“These struggles extend long before they walk into an algebra classroom. There is much attention given to reading and literacy, but little or no attention is placed on numeracy. Students excel in reading because they hear and/or read stories every day. Reading stories helps to build their imaginations and create their own thoughts and opinions about the world. The question becomes, what if the same emphasis were placed on math, where kids are exposed to math situations in the form of a story? Everybody loves a good story, and Using stories to teach important mathematical concepts is what it is all about,” she adds.
With a big focus placed on ideas and concepts that are easy to relate to, students are able to use the book to formulate pictures and ideas in their head. At this point, math concepts can be easily introduced to complete the mental puzzle and put everything together.
This model has made great waves across the education sector, with many critics and noted industry experts praising Lee for her ground-breaking approach to raising numeracy proficiency.
“Kids fear what is hard and do not understand. Algebra for the Urban Student makes math both reader friendly and easy to understand,” she concludes.
‘Algebra for the Urban Student: Using Stories to Make Algebra Fun and Easy’, published by iUniverse, is available from Amazon: http://amzn.to/UQh3CF
For more information, please visit the author’s official website: http://www.edukateacademybooks.com
About the author, in her own words:
My name is Canaa Leona Lee. I was born in the small Delta town of Brinkley, AR. I earned my Bachelors of Science degree at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, AR in 2001, and started teaching at South Hills High School in Fort Worth, TX. In 2005, I received a Masters of Arts in Mathematics Education at the University of Central in Conway, AR. While working in Little Rock Central High School, I began to see that most students struggled in mathematics because of their limited reading abilities. As a result, I decided to write stories that would incorporate reading and algebra simultaneously. Students and parents loved my stories! My students could not wait for me to write and tell another story. In addition, parents were able to help their child with their homework without ever having to step foot in my classroom.