It's amazing how many math myths are out there these days. Believing these myths can lead students (not to mention adults) to believe that math is "too hard," "not for them," or just plain unattainable. That's nonsense!
Welcome back! Ready to bust some more Math Myths? (Read Part 1 here.)
It is universally true that, for any given body of knowledge, there are levels to understanding. For example, you might understand the rules of baseball and follow a game without trouble. But there is probably more to the game that you can learn. For example, do you know the 23 ways to get on first base, including the one where the batter strikes out?
Questions don’t always indicate a lack of understanding. Instead, they might allow you to learn even more on a subject that you already understand. Asking questions may also give you an opportunity to ensure that you understand a topic correctly. Finally, questions are extremely important to ask yourself. For example, everyone should be in the habit of asking themselves, “Does that make sense? How would I explain it to a friend?” #mathmythbusted
Employing multiple strategies to arrive at a single, correct solution is important in life. Suppose you are driving in a crowded downtown area. If one road is backed up, then you can always take a different route. If you know only one route, then you’re out of luck.
Learning mathematics is no different. There may only be one right answer, but there are often multiple strategies to arrive at that solution. Everyone should get in the habit of saying: Well, that’s one way to do it. Is there another way? What are the pros and cons? That way, you avoid falling into the trap of thinking there is only one right way because that strategy might not always work or there might be a more efficient strategy.
Teaching students multiple strategies is important. This helps students understand the benefits of the more efficient method. In addition, everyone has different experiences and preferences. What works for you might not work for someone else. #mathmythbusted
Stay tuned for more myth-busting, and the next time you hear a Math Myth like this from a student, parent, or even a friend, make sure you bust it!
Dr. Bob joined Carnegie Learning in 2009 as a Cognitive Scientist. He received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology in 2005 from the University of Pittsburgh under the direction of Dr. Michelene T.H. Chi, and he received additional training at the Pittsburgh Science of Learning Center (PSLC) as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Kurt VanLehn and Dr. Timothy J. Nokes-Malach. In his spare time, Dr. Bob publishes a blog entitled Dr. Bob's Cog Blog, and is the author of the book Cognitive Science for Educators: Practical suggestions for an evidence-based classroom. The unifying theme that runs throughout all of these activities is a drive toward helping every student become an expert in a domain of her or his choice. When he isn’t thinking about cognitive science, which is rare, Dr. Bob enjoys long-distance running, mountain biking, and traveling with his wife.Explore more related to this author
Amy Jones Lewis brings her classroom expertise and passion for high-quality math instruction together as Carnegie Learning’s Vice President of Instructional Design, Math (K-12). In this role, she oversees the content development of Carnegie Learning’s instructional resources to meet the needs of students and teachers. Prior to this, she was the math specialist for Intermediate Unit 1, receiving more than $2M in grant funds to provide intensive professional development to K-8 teachers in southwestern PA. As a national consultant, Amy has contributed to projects at WestEd, Discovery Education, and other local organizations. She is the former Director of Educational Services at Carnegie Learning, where she worked with teachers and coaches across the country to successfully implement the Carnegie Learning blended math solutions. She began her career teaching high school mathematics in Malawi, Africa, and Baltimore City, MD, and has a Masters of Arts in Teaching from Johns Hopkins University.Explore more related to this author