**Watch this video**. Every time you feel you are confused, just pause and rewind the video and rewatch it. Do this until the video makes sense.

Can't do it can you? It doesn't matter how much you pause and rewind a video, if it doesn't make any sense to you, watching it again isn't going to suddenly change the video so it makes sense.

One critical job of the teacher is to find out where students are, and help them at that stage. Explanations that don't make any sense aren't particularly helpful. In fact, since our goal is to help students learn the mathematics, and **not just the words that represent the mathematics**, explanations may not be helpful at all.

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David is a Formative Assessment Specialist for Mathematics at **New Visions for Public Schools** in NYC. He has been teaching since 2002, and has worked in Brooklyn, London, Bangkok, and Vancouver before moving back to the United States. He has his **Masters degree in Educational Technology from UBC**, and is the **co-author of a mathematics textbook**. He has been published in **ISTE's Leading and Learning**, **Educational Technology Solutions**, **The Software Developers Journal**, **The Bangkok Post** and **Edutopia**. He blogs with the **Cooperative Catalyst**, and is the **Assessment group facilitator for Edutopia**. He has also helped organize the first **Edcamp in Canada**, and **TEDxKIDS@BC**.

- Creating a WiiMote interactive white board at my school for under $50.
- 20 reasons not to use a one to one laptop program in your school (and some solutions)
- For whom are Interactive White boards Interactive?
- What is Edcamp?
- Mathematics education blogs
- Forget the future: Here's the textbook I want now
- Eight Videos to Help Teachers Get Started Using Twitter
- Why educators should blog: A helpful flowchart
- There are no aha moments
- Paper use in schools
- 15 things kids can do instead of homework
- Online Geogebra training
- The difference between instrumental and relational understanding
- What is The Effect of Technology Training for Teachers on Student Achievement?
- Why teach math?
- Using Google forms for a "Choose your own adventure" style story
- Ways to use technology in math class
- We are homeschooling our son
- The Death of the Amateur Mathematician
- A Fundamental Flaw in Math Education
- A Restitution Guide to Classroom Management
- 25 Myths About Homework
- Migrating away from Google Reader
- Free tools for math education
- The Role of Immediacy of Feedback in Student Learning

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## Comments

## Thanks David! Always great to

Thanks David! Always great to revisit the Turbo Encapulator, especially within the context you have given it.

I loved the Turbo Encapulator so much I used to use a short clip of it at back to school night with the parents, right before I had them use their bodies to try and match distance vs. time graphs using motion detectors.

I've also used the "Montillation of Traxoline" with students (and parents and teachers) the first week of school, in an attempt to help them 'unlearn' what they've learned about learning.

What's your take on this: District math specialist just sent us a few pages of vocabulary words that align with the state test/standards. Apparently the thought is our students are getting questions wrong because of the vocab only, but that sure seems like an oversimplified answer to me. We're being asked to really 'push vocabulary' hard and I'm wanting to push back on that. Any thoughts?!

## It saddens me when educators

It saddens me when educators focus on the vocabulary words that represent the meaning over the meaning itself. Use the vocabulary words, fine, but never divorced from what they mean. Teach the concepts first, and then introduce words that mean those concepts, and students will be much more likely to remember the words because they'll have an intellectual need for them.

## gobbledegook

If that is how it is spelt.

I have watched a number of didactic type math videos lately and understanding apart it is highly likely that most of the audience will be asleep long before the end.

Regarding the first comment (above) I am puzzled by the need to a) invent new jargon, and b) to fill several pages with it. I guess it wont be long before we have trigons and quadrigons.

I read the CCSS math document and they are not to blame for this.

## I think Adam's point is that

I think Adam's point is that he has used that document before to explain why just learning the words is insufficient, and why math and science teachers, especially, should do other activities in class besides just "explain the math and/or science."

## What a great example! Added

What a great example! Added it to the Metaphors for Mathematics collection: http://www.pinterest.com/naturalmath/metaphors-for-mathematics/

## Hello Mr. Wees,

Hello Mr. Wees,

I feel like this was a good example to post in your blog. Many people think it is only one way to teach something for others to understand it. This clearly shows that this video is a bit hard for some to understand. Lecturing is not always a big help to some people. People learn many different ways whether it's hands on, listening to an audio, visual, or just plain lecturing.

## Turboencabulator

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turboencabulator gives the history of this spoof, which doesn't detract from its impact, and the point you are making.

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