MatheMagic!® employs integrated learning, i.e. presenting a subject in context with other subjects. So, for those students who might find doing arithmetic tedious, meaningless, too easy, or too difficult, we can put the concepts in the context of how the ancient Egyptians built pyramids, or how kids can make their own robots, or how the Hubble telescope sends digital images of far-off planets. This engages their imaginations and grounds their thinking in visuals. It makes math a little friendlier especially to kids who “are expected to know” concepts, but are perhaps not developmentally ready to handle certain mathematical abstractions. Also, kids remember better when concepts are put in a colorful, visual, or dramatic context.

I discovered the effectiveness of using magic in teaching in the early 1980s while taking a year off from a successful show business career to teach in New York City. I found that not only could I get the students’ undivided attention, but the emotional mood was receptive, creative, and expectant, with their imaginations wide open. To see a coin disappear or a flower appear from nowhere momentarily stops the mental chattering and gives the implication that anything is possible. They intuit the idea “anything is possible” could apply to them.

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