Apr 29 2011

every day is a winding road

by Prince.

i want to make some quality ece, middle and high school teacher-friends in my district. i want to be have a deep understanding of where my students are going and where they’ve been. more specifically, i want to know from algebra 1 teachers and my personal favorite, geometry teachers, what conceptual understanding students struggle with. i know that some districts have great ways of inter-gradegrouping communication and i know that many don’t. i guess i’m curious about why teachers and administrators aren’t all meeting to map the road and to check in at pit-stops. so, in the meantime, current middle school / high school math teachers – apologies if i bore you tears with my question, i just really, really want my students to understand that algebra, geometry and trigonometry are about using some basic tools to address some complex problems. i need to make sure my students have spatial awareness and understand what area means, what ‘equals’ means and how to conceptualize problem solving.

tangent alert!

i’m currently in the process of producing two math videos, but i’m also considering doing a little youtube series on elementary math topics. i just get the sense that they’ll be really boring and i’m not quite sure how to make them interesting and applicable without jazzing them up. at the end of the day, youtube can be a good tool for kids with reliable internet access and a family or personal computer at home. what about for kids that don’t have internet access, how can they get some fun supplementary or even boring but helpful supplementary math education? aside from the after school math club i want to start i’m really out of ideas. never give up though, never surrender – i’ll think of something.

lastly, i swear i care about subjects other than math. i want my students to read and write like pros. i want them to use the scientific method, i want them to write fluently and beautifully. i do care about all of that. i just care about math the most. i’m just writing that down to remind myself.

my brain is a winding road today, sheesh!

2 Responses

  1. Wess

    I am in LOVE with elementary teachers who care about math like you do.

    Asking what my geometry students struggle with makes me want to ask back, “what don’t they?” However, I’m constantly wondering what happened to their 4th – 8th grade years… things like what division means, how to subtract by hand, what negative numbers are and what to do with them… deep deep concepts that go way back hurt them more than anything geometry-specific, I’d say.

    • adrilicious

      thanks wess! you’re totally right, strong understandings of the basics and the ability to apply to basics to a number of different types of problems = key. i’ve been doing a lot of reading / thinking / experimenting with spatial awareness especially in relationship to geometry, but at the end of the day, the inner spatial awareness i hope to help my students develop isn’t useful if they can’t do long division.

      i guess i’m just trying to focus on the intangibles and the tangibles so that students can really understand concepts like similar triangles. but again, they have to be able to calculate and apply mathematical concepts to use that conceptual understanding.

      thank you SO much for answering the question for me. i want my kids to enter 8th grade with sound mathematical knowledge feeling really good about their abilities. imma DEF be asking you lots of questions about how to do that!

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