Kids are not always fond of math, but there are ways to make the process of falling in love with it easier. Meet Pierre the Mountain Climbing ant, a teacher’s tool for making the math class exciting and fun.

Increasing and Decreasing…

I just tell them that, for this, Pierre the Mountain Climbing ant always crawls from left to right – just like we read.

If Pierre is crawling uphill, the function is increasing. If Pierre is crawling downhill, the function is decreasing. (Ok, this is isn’t earth shattering… they get better! This is just the student’s first introduction to Pierre.)

The fun part is to draw Pierre on the graph… The trick is to make a really pathetic stick drawing ant:

Polynomials…

I always draw all the bodies first, then put all the arms in the air… Then I pause to admire my work and put the “Weeeee!” on. Delivery is everything.

My students always remember what a polynomial is, since they can’t get this stupid picture out of their minds. I’ve seen their notes… They all draw the ants… and the “Weeee!”

I call these roller coaster graphs and draw Pierre and his friends taking a ride:

Limits…

This is where Pierre is most effective as a learning tool. By this time, the students are quite fond of him.

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