Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dan Meyer TED Talks: Math

Dan Meyer talks about how exciting it is to teach math in today's world. I was so taken with the power of his message that I have subscribed to his blog and will begin to change the way I teach math on Monday! I can hardly wait! You really have to check him out.

He begins by listing his students roadblocks to learning math:

1. lack of initiative
2. lack perserverence
3. lack of retention
4. aversion to word problems
5. eagerness for formula

The way most of us teach math now (textbooks and cookie cutter problems) does not lead to mathematical thinking and problem solving. We teach "impatience with irresolution". We (and textbooks) present a compelling question with one answer and congratulate them when they get to the one correct solution.

He quotes Einstein who said, "The formulation of a problem is often more essential than it's solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill."

He gives great video examples of the following techniques in the 21st century math classroom:

1. Use multi-media
2. encourage student intuition
3. ask the shortest question you can
4. let students build the problem
5. be less helpful

Join me in following Dan to have great math minds in our classrooms and share what you learn and create in an on-line community!

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