It has come to my knowledge that more and more schools are going to online course in Math. This is very problematic. Students are asking to learn on a subject based on a computer that they were never given the correct information in earlier grades. Many schools believe that the more we show them the more they know. While that might be true with some many get frustrated and fall behind. Since Math is something that builds on previous knowledge than once behind you will always be behind. Schools also feel as if computers are a cheaper way to do school and in a short term yes but in the long term no. Our schools need to realize that it is not what you teach them but how you teach them. They must be able to figure out a problem and then be able to do the simple math that comes along with it. In a computer based system they might get a question wrong but because there is not some there looking at them and giving them feedback it could be a simple math errors or they... read more
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Identifying and clearly defining a problem is not pessimistic; it is taking the time to know the problem; only after a problem is completely understood is the best position to start solving a problem.
When working with my math students, I find that they get intimidated very quickly by lots of words or lots of numbers. Also if it has a radical, they shut down very quickly. I try to help them by having them write down everything they already know about the problem. When they realize how much information they already have, the problems don't seem as daunting to them. They can more easily start to plug in the numbers in the problem and are able to find the answers. Also, we do several of the same type of problem, so they start to feel more comfortable with it. I will give them worked examples and extra practice problems to take home with them for independent working if they want more practice.