David Wees's blog

Negative attitudes about math

Attitudes about math

 

No one is born hating math. Our attitudes about it, positive or negative, are a result of our culture, our interactions with math, our experiences with other people while doing math, and the messages we see daily about mathematics.

What can we do as teachers, and as parents, to address negative stereotypes about mathematics?

Reflection on How to Learn Math: User interface matters

I'm participating in Dr. Jo Boaler's course "How to learn mathematics" which started two days ago. Here are my observations so far:

What evidence convinces teachers to change practices?

Research, by itself, rarely changes teacher practices. Presentations on why their practices should change rarely change teacher practices. Attending conferences rarely changes teacher practices (a teacher may adopt a few new things from a conference, but how often has a teacher come back from a conference and begun to teach in a completely new way?).

What does change teacher practice?

Ambiguity in mathematical notation

I'm reading Dylan Wiliam's "Embedded Formative Assessment" book (which I highly recommend) and this paragraph jumped out at me:

Designing open-ended tasks - Part 1

Designing an interesting and open-ended task is relatively easy. The challenging part comes when you attempt to use the task and learn something as a teacher about what your students understand.
 

[Bad math] Polling

Poor polling practice

I hope no one takes the results of this poll by the Conservative party very seriously. Before they even collect results, I know that those results will have significant bias.

Lego and Minecraft in Math

This article originally appeared in my school's monthly magazine, and was co-written with Chelsea Todd, a 4th grade teacher at my school. Note that the lesson idea presented below is Chelsea's idea.

 

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