Is There Such A Thing As A “Math Person?”

Is math ability determined by nature or nurture? Miles Kimball of Quartz, an online news outlet, claims that “everyone should think of herself or himself as a ‘math person.'” According to a “2007 National Institutes of Health Public Access twin study…genes account for somewhere in the range from 32% to 45% of mathematical skill at age 10.” That means that over 50% of mathematical skill is determined by the environment, and it is therefore crucial to make sure kids are surrounded by a math-positive environment.

“If a kid has a bad experience with trying to learn to read in school, or is bored with the particular books the teacher assigned, few parents would say “Well, maybe you just aren’t a reader…” Similarly, if a kid has a bad experience trying to learn math in school, or is bored with some bits of math, the answer isn’t to say “Well maybe you just aren’t a math person.” Instead, it is to find some other way to help that kid with math and to find other bits of math that would be exciting for their particular kid to help build her or his interest and confidence.”

Check out our products for fun and innovative ways to do just that!

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Danica McKellar, Actress and Mathematician

Danica McKellar UCLA
























Not only did Danica McKellar play a smart young girl on “The Wonder Years,” but she loves math in real life, too, proving she “looks the part” just as much as anyone else. In NOVA’s “Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers” series, McKellar explains that after “The Wonder Years,” she went to UCLA where she took a math class she was scared of. “I got a five on the AP Calculus BC exam, which is the highest score you can get on the most difficult calculus exam offered in high school and I didn’t think I’d do well? Who did I think would do well? Somebody who looked the part more than me.” And yet, she got the highest score in her first multivariable calculus class and became a math major and math tutor, even co-writing a research paper that proved a new theorem. McKellar’s math experience is not unlike what we hear all too often – that math is scary and not for everyone, only those people who “look the part.” And yet, McKellar has proved that that’s not true.


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E-Readers Can’t Replace Books – But They Can Supplement Them

The Guardian published an article earlier this week claiming that while it may seem “that young people are giving up on traditional media,” that is not actually the case (link included below). In fact, when it comes to the paper book vs. e-reader debate, “A survey carried out for the Bookseller Children’s Conference in 2015 claims that 16-24 year olds…prefer physical books to digital books, with 64% saying print books were their favourite.” However, “the world is turning increasingly digital” and technology can open the door to new possibilities, especially in the field of education – and that is exactly why we have created an app to go along with the “Hello Numbers” book and Team Ten. The young reader can read the book with an adult, or explore it with decoder by him- or herself, but the digital app (free for download from adds an element of interaction with things to touch and hear. With the app the “reader” can explore with Team Ten in ways the book does not allow. It’s also important to remember that little compares to “the feeling of actually holding a book” and being to flip back and forth through the pages, but together the book and the app re-enforce and enhance each other.

Mississippi State University Presentation

June 19-20, 2016

MSU logo


Later this month, The Numbers Lady will be presenting through the Math Science Partnership program at Mississippi State University! She will be providing instruction on how to teach math in a way that promotes numeric literacy to middle school teachers as part of MSU’s IMPACT2 initiative to “deepen the content knowledge, pedagogical skills, and technology-integration skills of 4th – 6th grade math teachers from across Mississippi.”

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