Friday, March 13, 2015

Math Contemplations...

I don't know what it is about this time of year, but it seems my manic math tendencies usually come about in March.  Maybe it's because I've finally had enough of what isn't working.  Maybe it's just my love of spring and the idea of beginning anew.  Either way, math is on my mind.  Here are some things I'm contemplating...

Life of Fred - I've been on again, off again thinking about Fred for some time.  Recently, I spoke with Stanley Schmidt by phone regarding his revolutionary math series.  Mr. Schmidt asserted that there is more math in Life of Fred than any other math program on the market.  He said Fred causes students to think, which is the way we need to approach math, with a thinking mind, not with a memorizing mind.  He further stated the greatest mathematicians were thinkers.  However, he also talked about the importance of each child knowing their math facts cold before moving on to certain levels of Fred.  The kids like Fred.  I've been reluctant because it's so non-traditional, however, I just may submit and give it a try!

Living Math! - I'm looking at Julie Brennan's Math Through History Lesson Plans.  My kids all despise math, but LOVE history.  Maybe studying math history would create a spark!?

Your Business Math by Simply Charlotte Mason - I have a friend using this who really likes it!  I'm looking forward to the MACHE convention so I can take a better look at it in person. 

I recently read an article in The Old Schoolhouse magazine titled Math and Online Learning.  It was an interview with Patrick Murray of CTC Math.  I was smitten with Murray's "Five Most Crucial Mistakes Teachers Make" regarding math teaching.  I think his ideals about math teaching are very much in line with Charlotte Mason's. 

I also recently watched the YouTube talk below by Conrad Wolfram.  I get his point on the importance of problem solving, but I'm not quite ready to stop teaching procedural math altogether.  This is where I'm conflicted.  There is something beautiful about the logic of math and algorithms.  I like patterns and symmetry :)

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