Everyday is a constant struggle with the VALID POINTS you have mentioned above as to why CPM/new math curriculum is doing more damage than my mind ever imagined… I feel useless to my students, my creativity to teach lessons has been TURNED OFF and I see the frustrations in students’ eyes… I have never felt SO STRESSED DAY AFTER DAY and it is barely Week #3 of the school year!!!

I will definitely share your story with my colleagues and hopefully, district, thanks!

p.s. A teacher once told me, “Professors profess and teachers teach”… I think about this when I hear that “expert” mathematicians can’t teach! (aka, professors in universities, etc)… It is true, UCSD has a program to help “experts” relate to their peers/students…

]]>What’s your recommendation for teaching story problems–translating the English into math? Or more realistically, translating the problem situation into math? Since English is so ambiguous, wouldn’t it be better to state the “quantitative reasoning” problem in mathematical terms from the start, rather than convert it to a “story problem” which must then be retranslated back into math? I suspect most “story problems” are not real “problems” at all but are made-up examples to elicit a particular mathematical solution using the skills covered in the day’s lesson.

I would love to see an anthology of genuine “everyday” problems that can be solved with elementary arithmetic: managing time and money and space, allocating limited resources, constructing objects or meals, planning events, evaluating completion or quality or success, computing sports scores, etc.

Then, if we can teach the “formula-tion” part, why not let the students use calculators for the “arithmetic” part?

]]>However, when it comes to No. 2 , students advance further in math if they do understand why methods work. When students struggle in algebra, geometry and higher levels, etc., I have them work problems using very simple numbers so that they do not have to worry about incorrect computation. I also do not let them use a calculator. I spent a long time demonstrating how matrices work to one student. After doing so, it was much easier for her to memorized the procedure for adding/multiplying matrices and knowing when to use them.

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