Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

This Former Teacher Created a Business to Bridge the Gap Between Math and Creativity

The founder of Dasher Creations shares how she's empowering children through her company's Calculate and Create program, and how you can add math and creativity together with your own kids.

By
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Shanequa Dasher is a former teacher who is bridging the gap between math and creativity through her company Dasher Creations. She sat down with Jessica Abo to talk about her program "Calculate and Create" and shared some fun ways you can connect creativity and math with your children.

Jessica Abo: Shanequa, tell us about your background and how you became so interested in bridging the gap between math and creativity.

Shanequa Dasher:
As a classroom educator for over 10 years, I noticed a big disparity between children who were on the creative side and who were more logical, mathematical brains. So, I bridged that gap through my time as a creative and realized that we could bridge the two, creativity and math, to make a program called Calculate and Create.

Tell us a little bit more about this program and how it works.

Dasher:
We provide online courses, in-person classes, and after-school programs, and we create crafts that intuitively have math included in them whether it's a measurement, learning about circumference, or learning about different types of groupings and sizes. We take those craft projects, and then we incorporate that math. I have a master's degree in curriculum and assessment and instruction; so, I used that curriculum development to create a program that's engaging, fun, and sneaks math into the craft.

What do you think is the appropriate age to start incorporating math concepts?

Dasher:
I'm calling it babydom. You can start from babydom, for example: 'You have a very small hand, and mommy has a very big hand.' Big and small are math concepts. They just don't have quantitative data to them. So, you're saying and talking and using that language with your children from the very, very beginning of birth. Just like you read to your children, give them some math concepts, that problem solving, that lovely, lovely, lovely math.

What are the four ways that we can incorporate math and creativity?


Dasher:
My tips are to become a Calculate and Create STAR. So, S, share your math thinking with your kids. Oftentimes, we do so much math thinking, and we're not even realizing it. Oh, my gosh, I have a dollar, and I need seven more cents for the tax. What should I do? Oh, I should probably add a nickel and another penny. Literally, those are simple to us, but saying those things out loud for your kids makes a world of difference. They see you engaging in math thinking, and they begin to do the same.

T, take advantage of those teachable math moments. You have times in the kitchen where you're cooking, you're measuring, you're doing all of the quantities. You have times in the bathtub, when you can say that the bathtub is a quarter of the way full, half full -- there's so much math thinking that can happen in your home. So, you want to just take that time to use it and take advantage of it.

The A in STAR is access. Give your students or your children access to math tools that they can use at home, whether it's a tape measure or measuring cups. Give them access to that. Give them ownership. Let them use them as they want. I know water sounds scary for you, but let them take those measuring cups and fill them up with water. It's okay. Let them take the tape measure and measure how big the TV is, measure how big their couch is. When I tell you I've done this activity with my kids, and I've given them a timer and let them do that, they have so much fun, and they don't even realize it's math.

Then R, reflect. Take about 60 seconds because, naturally, math thinking is not going to happen for you as a parent or any layman parent by themselves. I'm a teacher. I've done this for years. It doesn't even come naturally to me. You have to be intentional. Take the time to reflect on ways that you can have those experiences in your house. I have plenty of tips for it. You can visit my website for that, but take the time to reflect. Take 60 seconds and say, 'Hmm, this is how I can use math today to build confidence in your children and to really, really get them thinking mathematically.'

Latest

This Physician Is on a Mission to Empower Home Health Aides. Here's How She's Doing It.

Dr. Madeline Sterling shares how she's working to improve the lives of home health aides and their patients. Plus, her advice on other researchers trying to pioneer a new space in their field.

Celebrity Chef Fabio Viviani on Finding Food Fame

Interview with the CEO Fabio Viviani about how culture should be the number one goal for any business, finding — and using — celebrity, and learning to stick to a specific system.

How to Fix Brain Fog and Boost Your Focus

The No.1 productivity killer is brain fog. Here are Ben Angel's tips for beating brain fog and boosting focus.

How One Small Button Can Transform the Creator Economy from a Buzz Word to an Actual Economic Model

The co-founder and CEO of PIP, a creator economy monetization solution, shares how his company is helping content creators get paid more easily.

This Company Wants to Pay You for Your Steps. Here's How it Works.

The co-founder and CEO of Sweatcoin explains how the company’s move-to-earn vision is helping people be healthier while also getting brands in front of 100 million users.

Javier Correa of Sombrero Mexican Food on Restaurant Expansion Strategy

Interview with Sombrero Mexican Food Owner Javier Correa Jr. on celebrity endorsements, finding an effective pace, and the balance of scaling a business.

Do You Inspire the Best in People? Apply for the Tony Hsieh Award

The Tony Hsieh Award seeks out progressive, value-driven leaders and innovators

3 Ways to Achieve 'Superhuman Focus' in Just Two Weeks

Focus is a valuable asset for any entrepreneur. Here's how to upgrade your energy, focus, and drive.

5 Questions to Ask Yourself If You're Thinking About Becoming a Health Coach

The chief revenue officer at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition shares how the program works and the myriad of ways you can use a health coaching certification.

Josh Altman and Matt Proman Are Teaming Up to Disrupt the Real Estate Industry

Serial entrepreneur Matt Proman and real estate mogul and 'Million Dollar Listing LA' star Josh Altman have joined forces to launch BidMyListing.com.

Robert "Don Pooh" Cummins of Brooklyn Chop House on Opening Restaurant Doors

Interview with the Brooklyn Chop House owner and franchising expert about working in the music industry, opening restaurants, and creating avenues for black entrepreneurs.

Feeling Unmotivated? 3 Biohacks to Supercharge Your Focus and Drive

Here's Ben Angel on the top three motivation myths and how to use biohacking to become more focused.

This Physician Wants to Change the Way You Carry Your Baby

Dr. Lena Shahbandar is a physician and entrepreneur who designed a new baby carrier to help parents and caregivers reduce back and joint pain.

Jennifer Allen of Levy Restaurants on a Commitment to Company Culture

Interview with Levy Restaurants VP of Restaurants Operations Jennifer Allen about running successful businesses, being a "restaurant girl", and her company's strong values.

Discover Entrepreneur Series

Whether you need advice on how to get your business off the ground or you’re just looking for inspiration, our video series have something for everyone. Browse our library below to find a series that speaks to you and your interests.