Math instruction is undergoing a major transformation worldwide it seems:) No longer will it be the way many of us learned math. That approach had teachers lecture, model how to solve a problem, and then set kids loose to do a given number of problems in class, and then finish the rest at home. Often times, a clear connection to the real world from the math classroom was rarely made. This approach is finally being re-evaluated and, in the process, radically reformed.
Here is one example from Great Britain where a problem is posed to the class and then it is left up to students to come up with a solution with peers. What is exciting to observe here is that the teacher is not lecturing. She is motivating kids to not just give an answer (which will vary from group to group), but to explain what steps or logic they followed to arrive at their answers. Here, no answer is dismissed or shot down. In such an environment, students are willing to risk sharing and, in so doing, learning. Once in college, no one will hold their hands in doing course work. What better way to prepare students for what lies ahead than by challenging them to THINK, ANALYZE, JUSTIFY, PERSUADE, etc. in school? HOW MANY TEACHERS ARE THERE? (Give this video a few minutes to load.)
This same creative approach just viewed above is being done in elementary school in the next link. The teacher is presenting students with a concept that they have never seen before. She provides just enough input to spark and maintain their interest in trying to see patterns on their own with their table partners. Students never see their approaches to solving the problems dismissed as "wrong." Every student at every table is trying to rationalize her/his approach to solving the problem. This approach, like the one from Britain, validates all efforts. This teacher, like the other, never dismisses a student's response out of hand. Such an instructional delivery style inspires kids to try. Further, if it takes a day or two more to make sure that all students have grasped the concept, so be it. Common Core Standards are pushing for depth vs. breath instructional delivery now.
CONVEYING THE CONCEPT OF FUNCTION IN MATH
ELL TEACHER PROS
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