Principle Number One: Start with a question.

Watch now to find out the rest:

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# Tag: Math Education

## The Five Principles of Extraordinary Math Teaching by Dan Finkel

## The Precise Relationship between Intelligence and Speed: There is none

## Why the Common Core Makes Sense

## Suggestions for Making Math Real for your Elementary and Middle Schoolers

## Singapore Math Emphasizes Mastery of Basics

Principle Number One: Start with a question.

Watch now to find out the rest:

Being a Southerner in New York City, I always suspected this. There is no relationship between intelligence and speed. What is important is to deeply understand things and to think about their relations to each other. In math education emphases on speed simply create math anxiety and phobia, rather than great mathematical thinkers. From Fields Medalist Laurent Schwartz:

*“I was always deeply uncertain about my own intellectual capacity. I thought I was unintelligent. And it’s true that I was, and I still am, rather slow. I need time to seize things because I always need to understand them fully. Even when I was the first to answer the teacher’s questions, I knew it was because they happened to be questions to which I already knew the answer. But if a new question arose, usually students who weren’t as good as I was answered before me and towards the end of the 11th grade I secretly thought of myself as stupid and I worried about this for a long time. I never talked about this to anyone but I always felt convinced that my imposture would someday be revealed. The whole world and myself would see that what looked like intelligence was really just an illusion Now that never happened. Apparently no one ever noticed it, and 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 relationship 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. Naturally, it’s helpful to be quick, like it is to have a good memory. But it’s neither necessary nor sufficient for intellectual success.”*

**Laurent Schwartz, Fields Medal earner, as quoted by Dr. Jo Boaler in EDUC115N How to Learn Math (MOOC)**

Don’t succumb to hysterical fox-wing fear-mongering. The Core simply strives to advance students to a deeper understanding of mathematics, rather than rote memorization of algorithms. Dr. Jo Boaler from Stanford explains the how and why:

Here are some suggestions for things you can do to help your child with math outside of school.

Every night during dinner or after, have a math minute: ask your child what they learned in math class that day. Was it fun? Give your child a mental math problem based on what they learned that day.

Make sure the mental math problems aren’t too hard. If necessary, make the problems easier – but never be negative or display disappointment. Just be excited when they get one right. Always praise the effort, regardless of the results.

Additional suggestions:

- Make a point to praise your child’s effort in math, regardless of the results
- Ask if class was fun today, was the test fun?
- If you cook, have your child help you with the measurements, especially if you have to adjust the recipe.
- If you don’t know the meaning of a word on the homework, don’t be afraid to look it up, but don’t use yahoo answers, wikipedia is fine, or a math website.
- Have your child re-teach you what she learned in class today
- Take your child shopping and compare prices in differently sized bottles. On your smart phone show her how to check the price per ounce (before you show her that it is often written on the shelf) to decide which one to buy.
- Shopping: if something is on sale, have her figure out the discount and the price.

The New York Times has an interesting article briefly describing the evolution of math education in the United States since the sixties and the latest development – an emulation of the Singapore process which moves more slowly at basic levels in an effort to achieve a stronger fundamental understanding of numbers and basic operations, allowing faster gains at higher levels.