Which lessons?

Posted on October 21, 2013

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I’m thinking of my “pet peeve procedural” lessons — where the tug of war between going through the meaning of what we’re doing and having a way of getting it done quickly sends the concepts plopping into the mud. 

THink about rounding. 

I had a student in Overwhelmed by ALEKS status who a:  had no idea what place values to look for and b: couldn’t remember what to do after that, because c:  the word “rounding” has essentially no meaning, and I’m wlling to guess that … the numbers have a similar painfully foreign-language status.      “Estimating” answers is, I *think!*, put into the mix of fraction problems to “help” students understand.   Well, if you actually work through a problem with a student, you know that for too many of them — and I mean *lots* — it’s this separate thing that makes the problems significantly harder, and they don’t get what it is and which answer in the back of the book goes with it. 

THere has to be a better way (but I’m not likely to get to it in the next 3 minutes — time to gear up for the morning commute 🙂 Frost warning tomorrow night… where are the gloves… rain and 42 with Gore-Tex bliss in the forecast 😉 

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