Math Teaching: What do teachers need to know about teaching math? Strategy over speed, and math thinking over rote memorization. Check out Stanford professor Dr Jo Boaler tips from her new article, Speed and Time Pressure Block Working Memory.
“I was always deeply uncertain about my own intellectual capacity; I thought I was unintelligent. And it is true that I was, and still am, rather slow. I need time to seize things because I always need to understand them fully. Towards the end of the eleventh grade, I secretly thought of myself as stupid. I worried about this for a long time.
I’m still just as slow . . . . At the end of the eleventh grade, I took the measure of the situation, and came to the conclusion that rapidity doesn’t have a precise relation to intelligence. What is important is to deeply understand things and their relations to each other. This is where intelligence lies. The fact of being quick or slow isn’t really relevant.”
– Laurent Schwartz, Field Medalist, One of the Great Mathematicians of All Time
“When I ask them what led to their math aversion, many talk about timed tests in second or third grade as the major turning point when they decided that math was not for them.”
– Dr. Jo Boaler, Stanford
What Not to Do: Timed Tests in the Early Grades, Over-Emphasis on Rote Math
What To Do: Teach Strategy Rather than Rote Memorization, Patterns, Visual Math
Here are another visual math resource to look at. It’s the free Number Line app from the Math Learning Center. It’s available for iPad, Windows, and the Web! Check out some of the Math Center’s other apps too!
The issue about timed tests and strategy for teaching is especially keen for dyslexic students, many of whom have slow processing (especially in the early grades), rote memory challenges, and timed retrieval difficulties.
Big thanks to Dr Jo Boaler from
In the video below, check out Dr Boaler’s webinar for Dyslexic Advantage. She talked about mindset and math anxiety. It’s quite striking to us that they found that children as young as 5 years could develop math anxiety.