Rhythm and rhyme help make sense of maths

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - ASANDA SOKANYILE

A CAPE TOWN teacher has put a creative spin on daunt­ing sub­jects like maths, which gave him sleep­less nights when he was in high school.

Kurt Min­naar, a Grade 8 maths teacher at Eben Donges High School in Kraai­fontein, is a pro­fes­sional hip hop dancer.

He put to­gether a rap and dance video which helps pupils with their times ta­bles. The video also keeps his classes up beat.

“Teach­ing chil­dren through what they love makes a world of dif­fer­ence,” he said.

Min­naar is a YouTube sen­sa­tion too. A clip of his mar­riage pro­posal, singing and danc­ing, to his now wife went vi­ral with close on 100 000 views.

Min­naar said: “I can sym­pa­thise with the pupils. I know what it’s like to do maths but not un­der­stand it. This is a sure way to en­sure that the kids have fun while they study. I also want to show them that maths and mu­sic are both a uni­ver­sal lan­guage.”

Min­naar said he wanted to help “up­lift the morale of other teach­ers as this coun­try’s ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is flawed. We also need to get the re­spect for the teach­ing pro­fes­sion back. And that comes with get­ting the pupils to love and re­spect what we do”.

“Why do par­ents need to pay tons of money to send their kids to schools in other ar­eas when there are schools in their own neigh­bour­hoods?”

Grade 8 pupils Tidi­malo Moat­sana, 15, and Rashied Nga­mange, 14, said Min­naar’s method had helped them with the sub­ject.

Tidi­malo said it had broad­ened their think­ing and per­spec­tive on life.

They said he had helped them achieve more than they had ever ex­pected and that they could un­der­stand the the sub­ject bet­ter now.

Grade 8 pupil Storm Spa­nen­berg, 13, told Week­end Ar­gus Min­naar’s teach­ing method was “in­spir­ing and creative”.

“He makes it in­ter­est­ing and makes us want to learn and chal­lenges our think­ing.”

His class­mate and friend, Nt­sika Dan­tile, 13, could not stop singing Min­naar’s praises, too.

“Be­fore I came to his class I was get­ting be­tween 30 and 40 per­cent. Now I am do­ing much bet­ter, I’m get­ting be­tween 70 and 80 per­cent, which is amaz­ing”.

Min­naar now hopes to raise enough money to com­pile a CD with the times ta­bles and have them dis­trib­uted na­tion­wide. He also wants to pro­duce dance videos which he be­lieves would be “in­stru­men­tal to the learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of young chil­dren”.

asanda.sokanyile@inl.co.za

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