You Can’t Teach Math

A week or so ago I had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Les Steffe, whose research we have been learning from. As he was speaking, he made a statement that I think we notice, but often as an educational system, we tend to ignore. He said, “You can’t teach math.” Now, what did he mean… Continue Reading

Using Fingers to Build Number Sense

It has been a lot of fun to get back into the classroom during the last few weeks!  The Early Mathematics research associates have been interviewing students (3- and 4-year-olds) to see how they say the number word sequence, how they count objects, and how they subitize.  These were our initial interviews from which we… Continue Reading

Thoughts on Sir Ken Robinson, Changing the Metaphor of Education

At the beginning of October, I was fortunate to hear Sir Ken Robinson as one of the keynote speakers at the 2016 California STEM Symposium in Anaheim. This two-day conference consisted of over 3,000 teachers, coaches, and administrators sharing a collection of integrative ideas in the interdisciplinary area of STEM education. The underlying emphasis of… Continue Reading

Episode 11 | The Joy of Doing Mathematics

A man on a mission to reveal to the world that mathematics is a human endeavor, one filled with joy, discovery, and lots of passion. We explore a topic within the High School experience in algebra, quadratics, and ask, “Why do we want to teach this?” James sees this topic as a “story, a piece of poetry…”  We then pursue a question of, “How does a mathematician stay interested in elementary mathematics?” A brief re-statement of Dr. Tanton’s “Fractions are a really deep and incredibly interesting.”  “Do not run away from the feeling of ‘hazy thinking’.

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Awareness

Recently I purchased a new vehicle.  I was excited to drive it, but I was overwhelmed with all of the buttons and knobs.  When I started driving my new vehicle, I stuck to the basic functions that got me from point A to point B.  As I became more experienced around my vehicle, I began… Continue Reading

The Power of Words

Many of you might be familiar with the proverb, “A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver.”  That seems to be an appropriate statement for young children.  In my last blog I mentioned the critical first 2,000 days of a child’s life and the rate at which the brain is… Continue Reading

Professional Noticing: It’s Hard!

Teaching, in my opinion, is one of the most complex occupations in our society.  As Miriam Sherin puts it in Mathematics Teacher Noticing, “the blooming, buzzing confusion of sensory data that teachers are faced with” can be overwhelming.  Remember back to when you were first learning how to drive. You had to pay attention to… Continue Reading

Episode 10 | Discrepant Events, A Way to Engage the Scientific Mind

After a description of a few demonstrations regarding the nature and behavior of water, each that have a “surprising” finish, we discuss how these sort of surprises constitute “discrepant” events. This then leads to a discussion of the “Why” do these events occur, what are the chemical and physical properties at work. We explore how discrepancies can constitute opportunities to cause “perturbation” or a space in the learner to come to a new understanding. We wander off on a minor tangent that generates, for us, a way to more fully investigate these properties. These perturbative events generate within the learner a state of “cognitive disequilibrium” which can then be capitalized upon by a guiding hand to create new knowledge within the learner. We include som […]

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