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Lawrence Martinek

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Name  Lawrence Martinek

Lawrence Martinek httpsmedialicdncommprmprshrinknp200200p

Lawrence F. Martinek (Larry) (born November 24, 1948) is a Los Angeles-based mathematics educator and creator of the curriculum and educational style that later became known as the Mathnasium Method.


Lawrence Martinek Lawrence Martinek at MoMath Event

Teaching career

In 1973, Martinek graduated from California State University, Northridge with a degree in Mathematics and a minor in Physics. He earned a California Standard Secondary teaching credential and began teaching mathematics in the Los Angeles area in 1974. Over the next thirty years, he worked as a teacher, curriculum designer, teacher trainer, and educational consultant for the Los Angeles Unified School District and public and private schools in the area.

In 2000 and 2001 he served on the California Mathematics Standards Commission, helping to set the cut-points for levels of proficiency on the California STAR student tests. He has self-published several volumes of mathematics materials, and in 2002 wrote several mathematics workbooks for Gifted and Talented students for McGraw-Hill Children’s Publishing.

The Mathnasium Method

Larry began developing the Mathnasium Method early in his teaching career by writing his own supplemental materials to school curriculum. In 1985 he produced his first book, Math Tips for Parents, a guide for parents and teachers based on his own experiences and his work with his mathematically precocious son, Nic. In the book, Larry argues that students build confidence and mastery in mathematics through successful encounter and interaction with carefully selected materials. He emphasizes that an approach combining oral, visual, mental and written modalities helps children to develop Number Sense, a grasp of mathematical fundamentals necessary for developing mastery. The Math Tips for Parents handbook was warmly received in the Los Angeles education community, and Martinek and his son continued to develop and add to the curriculum over the next fifteen years.

In 1999, Nic died at the age of 19 in a car accident. As a legacy to his son, Larry continued to refine the curriculum that became the Mathnasium Method in April 2002 when Larry became Chief Instructional Officer of Mathnasium LLC. True to Larry's original vision, the curriculum teaches math through a combination of mental, oral, visual, tactile, and written approaches. Larry bases the Mathnasium Method on the premise that children’s dislike of math stems from the frustration and embarrassment of not understanding the way math is taught in the classroom. Using oral and written diagnostic tests that assess a child’s grasp of key math concepts, a personalized program is created. The student is guided through the curriculum by trained Mathnasium instructors, and advances to a new level of study when he or she demonstrates mastery of the subject. The Mathnasium Method covers pre-Kindergarten to 12th grade Mathematics and is used in Mathnasium Learning Centers worldwide.

Personal life

Larry Martinek also is a proficient guitarist. While a student at Culver City High School in Culver City, California, he played in The Strangers, a popular local rock band. In 1967, The Strangers went their separate ways and Martinek continued to play with various combinations of musicians. For many years, he has concentrated on playing jazz/rock influenced music with his flautist wife, Lynn. He has written several instrumental songs but not for commercial release.


Lawrence Martinek Wikipedia

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