Thursday, January 25, 2018

Math Proficiency: Details

Today students will focus in on the many details of math proficiency. I will begin the lesson by reviewing observations from a recent computation assessment. Essentially I'll let them know how they can complete their work with more precision and accuracy including the following details:

  • Don't squish your numbers as squished numbers often result in incorrect answers because you can't read or organize squished numbers well.
  • Use all the space you need, we have plenty of scrap paper, graph paper, lined paper. Often when you write a bit bigger and use more paper, you do a better job lining up numbers and calculating correctly. 
  • Check your work. Students who checked their work, had greater accuracy. You can check by estimating to see if the solution you came up with is reasonable. You can check by using the opposite operation for example you can check subtraction with addition and division with multiplication. 
  • Don't rush, take your time. In most situations where precision matters, you will not be timed. If you practice a lot, however, in a timed situation you will be able to be quick and accurate too. 
  • Stay focused. If you let your mind wander or talk/fool with a friend, you'll likely not do as well as if you focused. 
In the world of math, accuracy matters. Just think if bridge designers, building architects, or bicycle engineers were inaccurate--that could be very dangerous and simply not as good as when accuracy and precision are used.