Friday, March 7, 2014

The Year of Math

I've mentioned before that math is my weakest point, but I thought I'd say it again just in case you missed it.  ;-)

In January I noticed that several bloggers were choosing a word of the year, and after thinking about it I realized that I really need to focus on math, so MATH is my word for 2014. 

The first thing I've done is to begin collecting and rereading the books and articles that I've found helpful, beginning with the sections on math in Harvey and Laurie Bluedorn's book Teaching the Trivium, especially the appendix on the history of teaching math.  What surprised me most was how it explained my own experience with math as a student.  But that's another story.

I'm also trying to organize all the teaching ideas I've found in the last couple of years.  It's all scattered -- internet links, articles I've printed out, books, notes . . .  It's a mess, and since I'm very much an out-of-sight-out-of-mind person, I need to put the information I want to remember in one place.

I've been thinking about how to do math with my youngest two for a few years now, but it all feels so scattershot.  Writing it all down will force me think through and mentally organize everything I've been reading over the last few years, so this series (if it materializes at all!) will be me thinking out loud and writing some about what we're doing, not me telling you what you ought to do.

While I think some more, I'll leave you with this article, which you really must read if you're having the kind of trouble I am.  I first read it three years ago, and let me tell you, it really made me angry.  It's what finally spurred me to start doing real math with my children instead of relying on textbook math. 

It's a 25-page long essay, but you'll want to print it out and read and reread it.

A Mathematician's Lament 

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