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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Attention to Detail: Mathematical Thinking

A key component of apt mathematical thinking is precision.

The trial and error sites and tools online are great ways to develop that attention to detail.

While studying for a math test, I accessed a large number of online tools.

I especially like the way Khan Academy is organized for study and practice. There are many ways to use Khan well to develop your skill. As I use Khan Academy, however, I'm reminded that we have to make the time to teach students how they can access and use online tools to develop skill and knowledge.

That kind of teaching takes the following actions:
  • Identify the teaching/learning objective.
  • Share what we know and what we think we know.
  • Review the topic details and information.
  • Practice together, then make use of online tools to continue to practice.
  • Test skill and knowledge online and/or offline.
  • Learn more if needed.
Good mathematical thinking builds more than math knowledge. This kind of learning develops attention to detail, patience with learning, deductive reasoning, the ability to see patterns and connections, and process/system think.

The blended math program that utilizes a large variety of tools, resources, and learning processes has the potential to accelerate and deepen students' knowledge and mathematical thinking skills with strength if we make the time to collaboratively build the program with strength and care.