Twitter landings

Posted on March 3, 2015


I did a tiny bit of tweeting and then things got really busy here… and then it was 5:00 — and there were 68 replies to that thread and it was still going !   It was about math and special ed and ‘math disabilities’ — but in my humble opinion, it’s not really worth talking about “math disabilities,” because so many of them would be iatrogenic.

Included in it was a link to this :  — a “practice guide” for “Response to Intervention.”   I got out of public schools before this little gem moved in, and it’s something I still don’t quite understand, and I’m reasonably certain that that’s because it’s mostly administrative doublespeak.

I managed to land on a chunk of it about manipulatives that I could understand… it talks about just how systematically and expeditiously you should be moving from concrete to abstract, especially since time is such a roadblock.

It does *not* entertain how to discern how much time is enough.

It also made me recall reveling in my Java programming course when our fearless instructor would insist on building those concepts again and again, occasionally apologizing to people for whom things might be “too slow” (but hey, attendance was optional; everything was also online).   Granted, he made *us* rebuild those concepts after the first or second time, but I’m not sure we ever got to that ‘slap the procedure down’ stage.   The “object reference variable” idea is pretty solid, thank you … and I was mucking about with a programming idea for a math activity for multiplication over the weekend and realized that this was an example of where things would blow right up if I used old-fashioned substitution concepts.

So!  It’s 5:35 and time to figure out exactly what my “u-nette” will cover for the OER-STEM course and the Canvas Blended LEarnign course. I’m thinking “understanding multiplication and division word problems per parts and wholes.”

Sigh, and a tweet says that there’s research saying that students who struggle in math for the most part don’t struggle with the concepts.

HEre’s my first off take on that.   No, when you’re studying them, they seem to be as reasonably bright as other students.  They can handle abstractions as well as the next guy.

However, there’s also a wealth of research (the citations I’d sent about the “why students don’t get the concept of math” and what developmental math students really understandin college)   that says that they absolutely do.

I’m betting that the “struggling” students who grokked concepts were younger.   Food for thought.

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