When I was a child in school, we were taught that using our fingers to figure out the answer to an arthmetic problem was wrong.  Some kids even got their hands slapped for doing it.

But it looks as if in this case it was the teachers who were wrong.  Research is showing that using gestures while one is thinking about a math problem actually improves thinking.  This seems to apply whether we are trying to solve a problem, being taught how to solve it by someone else, or explaining how we solved it.

So hand shakes all around.  

There are several radio podcast on children’s gestures on line well as several books by the author who has studied this subject most extensively.


About Terry Sissons

Terry Sissons is the author of The Big Bang to Now: All of Time in Six Chunks, and this blog is a dialogue about the universe and what’s happened in the last 13 billions years.
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