Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why Teach Math?

I just spent two days with Dr. Yeap Ban Har.  I've been in his sessions before but never a two-day intensive workshop.  Here are some of the ideas he shared that really hit home with me.

  • The math we teach isn't as important as the thinking skills we teach.  We need to be comfortable and familiar with information and data--how to take it apart and make sense of it.  
  • Some people are good and this is easy.  Some people will struggle and may need more help.  But we will work and will all be successful.
  • Visualization is a key skill.  It's the minds' ability to see things that are not obvious. 
  • Math is an excellent vehicle for the development and improvement of a person's intellectual competencies.  
  • It's the conversations (questioning) and natural language we have during math lessons that will make the math come alive and make sense for the child.
  • If you have to repeat (reteach) material each year, you won't have time to teach that year's material.
  • Howard Gardener listed many intelligences.  The ability to memorize and the ability to follow procedures aren't among them,  They just take an inordinate amount of practice.  
  • The goal of a math lesson is the leave knowing more than you started with,
Thanks Ban Har.  I'm tired but it's a happy tired.

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