.Grandma's Magical Math

"An easy way to learn math facts!"

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    Eva "Grandma" Hanson

"If you want to nurture children's love of learning, teach them to do something really well, so they can be proud of themselves. I have found that memorizing math facts gives students confidence in their ability to learn.   That enables them to master other subjects as well."

Eva Clover was born in 1910. She grew up on a farm, riding horses, milking cows, and keeping up with her 3 older brothers. After graduating from Iowa State Teachers College, she taught in a one-room school house with grades one through eight. "There was no janitor to get the wood from the shed and start the old pot-bellied stove, in below zero weather. There was no one else to clean the school room and the two out houses. No water fountains - the teacher carried water from the pump in a bucket. The dipper in the bucket was used by everyone."

To prepare children, who spoke practically no English, for the first grade, Eva started a kindergarten in the German community of Melvin, Iowa. Later, as a 3rd grade teacher, she became part of a select group of "experimental teachers" who were given freedom to experiment with their own new and creative ideas. She was a faculty presenter at the Progressive Education Associationís Regional Conference in Des Moines.

It took Orvald Hanson, another gifted experimental teacher, several years to talk Eva into marrying him. "I didnít want to stop teaching." It was depression times. Jobs were scarce. Iowa state law was that there could be only one breadwinner per family.

Eva, Orvald, and their two daughters moved to Charleston, West Virginia. Mrs. Hanson resumed her career, becoming a substitute teacher in the public schools and a private tutor in 1955. The system of teaching math facts with pictures and songs developed from her efforts to reach students with severe learning problems. She used these same pictures and songs with students in regular classrooms, and found that students of all ages and ability levels enjoyed learning this way. Teachers, parents, and principals begged her to write a book. She didnít want to write a book; she wanted to teach.

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In 1987, a year after Orvaldís death, Eva Hanson met Jeanette Beisner. Eva was playing her guitar, a gift from Orvald, and Jeanette was singing in a group that went into patientsí rooms in nursing homes to visit and share the joy of music. Grandma Hanson had found the person to write her book.

 

Eva Hanson  1910 - 2006   A long life well lived.

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     Jeanette Beisner

 

"Math is fun when you know the answers."

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As a small child, Jeanette Hogan seemed destined to become a teacher. She played school with her younger brother every afternoon.  She expanded her "school" to include two older children who could not read.  "Of course, I helped them memorize books, but I thought I had taught them to read." In high school, she joined the Future Teachers of America, and was given the responsibility of a classroom on two occasions, when the teachers were absent.  She began working as a nursing assistant, and decided to change her plans.
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Jeanette received her B.S. in Nursing from Emory University in Atlanta. She married Bob Beisner, a chemical engineer from Georgia Tech.  They moved to Charleston, West Virginia, where she became Director of In-Service Education at Charleston General Hospital.  She also taught federally sponsored classes to prepare welfare recipients for hospital work.  While their two sons were pre-schoolers, Mrs. Beisner was a full time mother and homemaker. She taught private piano lessons for 14 years.  Then, wanting to "go outside and be around some adults," she worked for Merrill Lynch as a billing clerk and wire operator for 2 years.
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"Jenny Bee" has composed many piano pieces.  None have been published, but her compositions have been performed by herself, other professional musicians, piano students of other teachers, and even a hand-bell choir at such places as church services, weddings, funerals, piano recitals, and at the Charleston Towne Center Mall and the Governor's Mansion.
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Upon learning about Grandma Hanson's exciting new method for teaching basic arithmetic, Mrs. Beisner encouraged her to write a book.  "If you don't want to do it alone, perhaps we can do it together.  I am not an elementary school teacher, and I am not especially good at math, but I can learn."  So she became the student of a truly gifted, incredibly creative master teacher. 

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Mrs. Beisner has traveled extensively as a representative for Mrs. Hanson.  She has given workshops for teachers at both public and private schools, at school supply stores, and at education conferences including the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics 2001 Annual in Orlando, the Central Regional 2001 NCTM in Columbus, the Eastern Regional 2001 NCTM in Somerset, and the 2002 NCTM Annual in Las Vegas.  Mrs. Beisner retired from traveling to work on a teacher training video which is now available.  See the GMM Products page for details.
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Jeanette Beisner is now a grandmother too!
 

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