Thinking Through Math

Posted on October 15, 2013


When I find an online product, with a plea for me to find out more, I usually ask.   Then I have to curb my tongue, because the poor sales representative doesn’t necessarily deserve my wrath at the sorry state of mathematical education.   

    This one wasn’t so bad 🙂   I had real apprehension, since the promotional stuff was all about Data and Common Core Alignment and other Sacred Buzzwords That Have Nothing To Do With What Works For My Students.   Now, I don’t know  whether this would work for my students but I do like that when a student correctly identifies a correct answer as “1/4 + 3/4 = 4/4” that s/he sees the answer *and* pictures of the same. This has been my plea:  that we at *least* show some kind of connection.   If students get answers wrong, they are asked if they want to have a session with a live teacher… who sounds very scripted, but the script includes visuals and interaction.   (I was told the teachers were certified teachers —  I didn’t say that they sounded like computer-generated voices…)   

    There are also more direct connections between the concepts and language. So, f’rinstance, in a problem where the person takes 1 1/2 hours to go 12 miles and we figure out that was going8 miles an hour — walking the student through the process of finding the question and figuring out the unknown and the knowns and their units, and then the formula for figuring out the answer… and getting points alongthe way — they’re *then* asked “okay, later the same person makes the same trip in the same time — but stopped to rest along the way. What does that probably mean?”   and you’re suppsoed to be able to figure out that s/he must havebeen riding faster. 

   I liked it.   I’m absolutely, positively sure it’s too expensive for us…

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