I agree with my colleague, Samantha, “Dor Abrahamson really drives a clear point about making math meaningful.” In this edutopia video he goes on to describe math as a way of making sense of the things around us. It is a way of thinking and a way of problem solving. So many people think of math as an equation or process and cannot see the reasoning or meaning behind the numbers. It’s the classic, “when will I ever use this?!” that we hear so often in our classrooms and have said ourselves a number of times. Making math meaningful is so important if we want our students to learn and be able to apply their knowledge later on. But that starts with making the math accessible and concrete. Throwing out numbers and equations doesn’t help; a student may know to use a specific process when problem solving to get an answer but they cannot break that process down to make meaning of what they are doing. I really like what Professor Abrahamson says about helping students connect what their brains already know how to do and the methods they are being taught so that they can do much more than just scribble number and actually really get it and apply it in the real world. I think this is where some educators may be faced with a dilemma. While this seems so obvious and important, there are limitations. With testing and miles of topics to be reached in the curriculum it can be difficult for students to reach that meaningful understanding while still getting through the curriculum and performing well on tests. I think this is why we need to really look at how students are learning math and adapt to their understandings so that we can reach the best possible outcome.
How to Fall in Love With Math New York Times BALTIMORE — EACH time I hear someone say, “Do the math,” I grit my teeth.
Corinne Tomaszewski's insight:
I can't count the times I've heard students, peers, or even myself say, "When will I ever use this?" referring to mathematics. It's kind of sad and I never understood how sad it was until I read the section of this article that details how we can appreciate art without being able to paint, or appreciate music without knowing how to play an instrument. There is so much application for math and every one can appreciate and value something that can be related to mathematics. In my classroom, I hope to enthuse my students with the power of mathematics so that they can be life-long explorers and advocates for math and they can pass that on to future generations.
Today's students don't need more technology; they don't need more PowerPoint and computer-based learning platforms. What they need are enthusiastic and talented and creative teachers and professors who see education not as a job but as a calling.
This article brings up a lot of great points. What struck me first was the mention that students are delivered content and taught to memorize what they "learned" in order to perform well on a test that is supposed to be measuring their mastery of the content. When in actuality there is no learning, no understanding, and no retention of the content. This is very true! The second argument I really agreed with is that students and classrooms do not necessarily need more technology. But they need more meanigful experiences and engaging moments with that technology and pedegogy. I am currently producing a research study to support the idea that high-quality technology integration in the classroom encourages students to be more successful with learning and transfer of knowledge. Through our investigation of other research we have found that many teachers are using technology as a replacement to traditional instruction, when they should using it as just a tool or suppor to enhance their pedeogy.
TeachersPayTeachers.com -- 700,000+ free and priced teaching resources created by teachers for download including lesson plans, unit plans, novel studies,
Corinne Tomaszewski's insight:
Love this site! Tons of free downloadables to help you teach math and any other subject. They have colorful and creative ways to get your students engage and excited about learning....and they're FREE!