Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mathematics is a changing

Do you remember back to the good old days of adding and subtracting, vertically and right to left. That is how it was taught and that is how it was done. There was no time to be outside the box. I remember in my high school physics and my PDM ( math) class that we would get the problem wrong if we did it a different way than what the teacher showed us, even if we got the right answer. Now in elementary math it is all about mathmatizing. This has to do with having number sense. It is an amazing school of thought. MTH 222 has taught me all about new ways of doing math. There is a right to left way, there is an English way to do it, I even know how to add and make numbers like the Mayan did with sticks, rocks, and shells. This class has also taught me a lot about new strategies to teach math. They are so far from worksheet after worksheet. The strategies are all about games, making math more engaging.
I tutor a student at Evergreen Elementary. He was so interested in multiplication. Instead of just giving him a time table with all the multiples on it. We played a game that I learned in MTH 222. It is called Circles and Stars. It takes his addition skills and applies them to multiplication. The game allows him to create his own ideas about multiplication. At the end of the game we reflect on patterns he noticed. Then after the game I introduced some of the rules (the boring part) for multiplying by 1's, 2's, and 3's. He was engaged the entire time.
I have also learned new ways to help students with mental math. I use these strategies today at work when I am counting money and adding things together. All theses new strategies that I have learned in the class will make me a better teacher in mathematics.

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