By Suzy Wiesenhart
What is Mathnasium? Almost 35 years ago, the Mathnasium Method was founded by Larry Martinek, a teacher in public and private schools. Instead of relying on memorization and repetition, he focused on helping children build deep mathematical understanding through a combination of mental, visual, verbal, tactile and written exercises. He developed a complete curriculum from pre-kindergarten math to advanced algebra. Today, Mathnasium is a global franchise, teaching children math in a way that makes sense to them.
Becky McDaniels is owner and Center Director of Mathnasium, located at 1048 Bloomingdale Ave. in Plaza Bella, serving Valrico, Brandon, FishHawk and Riverview. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree with honors from Kappa Delta Pi in Elementary Education at the University of Tampa and has taught elementary school for 12 years, including private, public and charter.
A few years ago, McDaniels was offered a third grade position teaching math and science; that particular year, all 36 students in her class received a 100 percent passing rate on the FCAT and the only class in the county to do so. This past year, McDaniels was to take the position of Math Coach/Curriculum Specialist for the Hillsborough and Pinellas County Schools, but she had different plans.
“Building character and confidence in young people is very important to me,” noted McDaniels.
McDaniels has always lived in Brandon, and stays involved with her community, as does her husband, Lance. She has many volunteer hours at her children’s schools and her local church, loves to work with teenagers and enjoys attending sporting and music events at neighborhood schools and parks.
Finding ways to teach her students that made sense to them ignited a passion within her for mathematics. Helping students become more confident helps them understand that math is not about learning to be ready for the next math class – it’s about learning to think. She feels that Mathnasium is a great vehicle to build confidence. Developing strong ‘numbers sense’ is a foundational piece that will help them succeed in math. Children are often amazed at the doors that can open with the different mathematical keys they hold as they build on their math concepts. It builds a sense of real accomplishment; a confidence that spills over into all aspects of their lives.
McDaniels is excited to bring Mathnasium to Brandon and the surrounding area, where she will continue to contribute to students and causes in her community. You can reach Mathnasium at 655-MATH or visit www.Mathnasium.com/Brandon for more information.