Math Games on the Web

January 31,2008 Source: Deccan Herald, India

Hema Vijay

Four out of five kids carry a reluctance that borders on fear, towards their math class.

The reason, experts say, is that our math books are dull, too serious, and far removed from our everyday lives that they fail to catch the attention of children, leave alone excite them into taking up math for a career. It is in this context that sites like piques the interest of educators and parents alike.

The creation of Chennai-based Sitalakshmi Seshadrinathan, a math teacher who has a three decade-experience in teaching math, this website addresses the logical and analytical skills of students. The website throws at you a range of simple puzzles based on math and logic. There are also mind games that exercise thinking abilities. Solving puzzles not only exercises one’s brain but also aids lateral thinking, Seshadrinathan says. Kids get fascinated when they discover that there is always more than one way to arrive at a solution. The key to solving puzzle is to approach the puzzle with a clear mind and without any preset ideas, Seshadrinathan suggests.

Vedic Math

The site also introduces children to Vedic math, a much forgotten concept in this day when abacus math holds the sway. Vedic Mathematics can be much more thrilling, and has tricks and short cuts to address numbers and operations, the site elucidates. Many such ‘tricks’ are available and explained on the site.

The website also hosts a section that students can use to hone their creative skills, a section on understanding math concepts using the dots and crosses in kolams, the decorative design drawn near the threshold of a house and a popular tradition in South Indian homes. "Decoration was not the sole purpose of a Kolam. Apart from physical, it involves good mental exercise. Drawing a kolam keeps a person focused and requires a good deal of concentration", she says. There is a lot of room for creativity while drawing a kolam, apparently, which go on to develop your lateral thinking abilities. The website currently hosts 104 puzzles. Seshadrinathan plans to post 500 more puzzles over the next two years. So, you can keep revisiting the sites to check out new puzzles. It takes a couple of days to develop each puzzle, shares Seshadrinathan. The website accepts members, and currently has 120 members. Membership is free. Not just students, the mind games in the site can be played by anybody to sharpen their thinking skills. "Knowing what children feel about their math books, I developed this site with the idea of getting students to shed their fear about math", Seshadrinathan says. "The math puzzles and exercises in the site will also help students face aptitude tests better", she hopes. Another objective addressed by the site is to help children apply their math knowledge to everyday life situations they face.


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* :

8 + = 16