Getting Started with Jerry Mortensen

Extracts taken from the Getting Started Manual:

Jerry Mortensen founder of Mortensen more than Math,

“MORTENSEN MATH uses hands on tools which draw upon the senses. Students learn mathematics by seeing, touching and moving colorful blocks and tiles. This method has been instrumental in producing America’s top mathematical students. The secret, in part, is that children using this method grow up loving math. There is never any fear of failure.

No mathematical concept is beyond one’s grasp if it can be presented in visual, tactile form. You will be amazed to discover how simple and obvious math concepts are — concepts that you may have believed only a few could grasp. No one fails with Mortensen Math.”

Mortensen more than Math Principles:

1. No mathematical concept is beyond the grasp of a child if the teacher is willing to present it on the plane of the child. Algebra and Trigonometry can be easily understood at the First-grade level.
2. Mathematics is a VISUAL form. Understanding math comes from the ability to SEE the concepts and not in working with abstract numbers and mechanical processes.
3. Math is HIGHLY SENSORIAL. Students must work the problems with their EYES and their HANDS before they move to the abstract.
4. Mathematics is a road travelled in small steps. Any successful program must lead the student through small increments of understanding, and have a built-in ‘check for error’ as well as a built-in system of rewards.
5. Careful repetition is the key to internalization of the math. Each new concept must be repeated thoroughly before moving on.
6. A successful math program must have a unifying element: A sense of conformity to a common idea. In the Mortensen Math system, every concept that is encountered is taught through the action of building rectangles, a simple and clear concept that bonds everything together.

The program design provides transitional bridges as the student moves from working with manipulatives. to drawing/interpreting sketches, to working with symbols, and finally to visualizing and thinking abstractly.

Mortensen more than Math is the power of simplicity in a concrete conceptual model that focuses on five areas or strands of mathematics,

1. Arithmetic
2. Algebra
3. Measurement
4. Problem Solving
5. Calculus”