Monday, November 24, 2014

Why I'm Glad Math is Different Now!

I have a confession to make: As a student I never liked math!

Math was never my favorite subject. Give me a good book to read and I was happy. Have me write thank you.

Then I became a teacher.

When I began teaching 11 years ago, conceptual math just becoming a hot topic. Which makes me laugh with all the talk about how much people hate Common Core because of the way it teaches math. The math we teach is NOT common core. Common Core is simply a list of standards that my students need to master as I teach math. It is so frustrating when parents and teachers bash this "common core math", but fail to realize it isn't common core, but the revolution of math. However, I digress!

Teaching conceptual based math has made me a better mathematician. I now "get it". Dare I even say I LIKE math. I like it because I now UNDERSTAND what I'm doing. I now know WHY!

This is a great video that addresses why math is different now.

Why is Math Different Now from raj shah on Vimeo.

My favorite part is when he points out that the naysayers who say that this "new" math is too confusing and they don't get it, are the evidence that the way math was taught didn't work. Otherwise they would understand the math being taught. The math hasn't changed. Math is still math. We are still adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing. These people were taught, just like me, to memorize an algorithm because that's the way it's done. They never understood the WHY or HOW.

I don't want my students doing something blindly because "my teacher told me this is how I have to do it" or "I know a trick".  As a teacher, my number 1 goal is to get my students to THINK! I want them to read, solve equations, and write proficiently, but above all I want them to THINK! I want them to ask WHY and HOW. I want them to persevere and problem solve.

So despite all of those people who hate the way "math is taught today", I will continue to teach conceptual based math. I will persevere! I will do my best to make sure that all my students LIKE MATH because they UNDERSTAND math!

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