The use of open-ended, visual tasks is a very non-traditional way of teaching and learning math. But its potential for expanding students’ mathematical creativity and understanding makes it well worth exploring! Math education consultant Jerry Burkhart shares examples.
Math educator Jerry Burkhart expanded his horizons this summer when he taught a 3-week math exploration course to a class of 22 gifted middle level students from across India. Learn what he discovered about the similarities and differences in U.S. and India math education.
So often we miss opportunities to deepen our students’ thinking about mathematics that would require just a few moments of our teacher time. Take a minute to look at these 10 simple strategies from Jerry Burkhart that transform formulaic math problems into explorations.
Imagine an open-ended math task that gets students asking questions as well as answering them. Jerry Burkhart shows how a problem like this can help teachers differentiate instruction for advanced students while stimulating curiosity and perseverance for all learners.
Tracy Zager’s professor told students it would take five years to become a skillful math teacher. In this message to beginning educators, Zager shares insights that can help push the process. Most important: “Become addicted to listening to students’ mathematical ideas.”
Christopher Danielson used to hate teaching geometry. Now he sees it as a playground of mathematical ideas for middle schoolers, with opportunities for exploration, wonder, and smart conversations. Here Danielson shares ideas and images teachers can use to begin the fun.
Children’s writer and systems engineer Robert Black, who is finishing his third mathematical novel for middle schoolers, describes the challenges of making math stories engaging and offers tips for students and teachers interested in the new fiction genre.
Many students don’t expect math to make sense and learn to disengage their reasoning and even distrust it. Teacher-experts Cathy Humphreys & Ruth Parker highlight an 8-step “Number Talks” process that can promote deeper discussions about how numbers work.
Common Core math experts Leslie Texas & Tammy Jones offer strategies (and free tools) to help students become mathematical thinkers. “The key, they say, is to “seamlessly interweave” the CCSS mathematical practices with content instruction.