Rigor is creating an environment in which each student is expected to learn at high levels,
each student is supported so he or she can learn at high levels,
and each student demonstrates learning at high levels (Blackburn, 2008).

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Literacy in Math

I ran across this blog entry about word problems in math.  Written by a professor at a university in Australia, the points are very relevant to our teaching.  Literacy is an important skill--especially in math, and she makes the point with a clear example.  It's worth your time!

Students often complain they can’t see the point of math - beyond basic arithmetic. In response, keen teachers look for ways to show them how math is relevant to their daily lives. Trigonometry is set inside problem solving about rugby ball angles and penalty kicks, probability is used to predict the winners of X Factor and Pythagoras’ theorem is applied to save people from a burning building. This shift to meaning and context in learning maths is laudable, but it does fundamentally change the nature of math teaching in ways that teachers are not currently trained for.

1 comment:

  1. I would also argue that many adults also don't see the virtue of any math topic beyond arithmetic. How many times have I heard "old-timers" equating math skill with the ability to make change, or calculate percentages? They often dismiss any value in the ability to formulate a Boolean algorithm, or sketch the predominant behavior of a polynomial. To them, math skill means addition, multiplication, subtraction, and division.


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