Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mathematical Thinking?

I'm walking the balance beam between 21st century, rich student-centered learning and the test culture that exists in schools. Yes, like many teachers across the country, I'm trying to do both--teach in meaningful ways while prepping students for the tests too.

The tests create a schedule of sorts for us. Winter finds us getting ready for reading/writing tests, while spring sets the stage for the math tests.

Hence, right now, I'm thinking deeply about math and mathematical thinking.

What are the best habits of mind for successful, young mathematicians? What questions are they asking? Which tools do they access to solve problems, and what processes are they regularly utilizing as they think mathematically?

I enjoy teaching math. I love to watch numbers and word problems expand to models, debate and discussion. And, I look forward to blending multiple tools including video, online practice sites, paper/pencil, manipulatives and problem-based learning to facilitate the development of students'  mathematical process, concept and skill repertoire?

What fuels your math teaching? How do you excite students about learning math?  What habits of mind do you model and foster? What lessons lead your math teaching?

I look forward to your ideas as my students and I embark on Math Month, and prep for the Massachusetts Math MCAS test.  Thank you!