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A Letter to Frustrated Parents of Common Core Math Students | The Mindful Mathematician

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Don't get me wrong, like some of you, I had a high capacity for memorization.  I just did it, I memorized and memorized and very rarely made mistakes.  I graduated in the top 3% of my almost 400 member class and I went on to high levels of math in college and was quite successful.  Now, I'm a math specialist.  It's what I do.  I have spent four years studying and researching math instructional methodologies. Nothing but math every day for 4 years. Do you know what I've discovered?  I didn't have any conceptual understanding of math. That made me angry. I have learned more about numbers and how they work in the last four years than I learned  in my 19 years in public and post-secondary education.  I have also learned how to help young students make sense of numbers, using their own innate understandings, their own built in mathematical ability.  I have learned how to start with what they know, and what they understand and refine that into efficient strategies.  In addition, I have also learned that it takes time.  I must first allow them to be creative with numbers before I push my own ideas of how they "must" solve a problem.  If I have patience and let them make sense of it, they will adopt the most efficient method, and they will become successful in math, not only knowing how to do it the way we learned it, but why that way works and when it's the best strategy. 

Math does require a lot of patience. There's no getting around that.

My 6th grade English teacher, who had a PhD in Applied Mathematics, said very similar things as this blogger:  that the way we teach math is wrong, nothing more than rote memorization, and "not how math works in our brain"... which was why she taught english.

yep. love math. hated math classes.

So is there a good way to teach math? Because if there is I haven't seen it.

her way? <shrugs>

She seems a little angry for me to trust her teaching ways. ;)

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