Find answers, ask questions, and connect with our
community around the world.

Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler Fact Fluency – the eternal struggle

Tagged: ,

  • Fact Fluency – the eternal struggle

    Posted by Carrie DeNote on May 17, 2019 at 12:21 pm

    After many discussions, debates, PD sessions, and more, I’ve been mostly unsuccessful at helping teachers understand how important it is not to rush fluency – to even understand that fluency is a 4-legged stool and automaticity isn’t the first leg we should focus on.

    So I guess the question I’m throwing out there to the forum is this:

    How do you help educators understand and shift their practice from sheer memorization of basic facts to focusing on the strategies, all the while arguing that speed isn’t everything (when you’re 8)?

     

    George Garza replied 3 years, 6 months ago 3 Members · 5 Replies
  • 5 Replies
  • George Garza

    Member
    May 17, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Speed isn’t everything even in highschool or later.  Jo Boaler spends a lot of time trying to convince the reader to move away from speed drills in favor of conceptual understanding in “Mathematical Mindsets.”  There’s a plethora of research backed reasons, and ethical reasons, but you are talking about wanting to change a culture, and culture is not very responsive to logic and research, in my experience, as evidenced by the number of teachers that still do drills and throw truckloads of low level problems at their students.

    To change a culture, you’ve got to get the local cultural leaders on board and doing it.   In addition, you’ve got to have real world examples that teachers can see and hear, and hear about, that verifies what you’ve been saying.  Maybe you can see if there are some teachers at the school that are willing to work with you to move away from what doesn’t work.  I bet for many teachers they just can’t imagine a better way.  It’s certainly that way with highschool teachers.

    I was talking to a teacher last night, who is open to PrBL, but he just doesn’t believe that students are even capable of doing much better than they currently are.  I was telling him about the research and the success other teachers are having, and he was open and polite, but skeptical, because for whatever reason, our kids are different.

     

    I apologize if this response was a little rambley, but I do hope I was somewhat helpful.  I hope you succeed in what you are trying to do.  Students don’t have to be afraid of math, and what you are trying to do is end that.

     

  • Kyle Pearce

    Administrator
    May 18, 2019 at 12:04 am

    It can definitely take some time for teachers to understand that so much needs to happen before real automaticity (not memorization) develops. We have a module that focuses on this in the full workshop and we will also be digging in throughout the course titled: The Concept Holding Your Students Back.

    I appreciate the suggestions shared by George as well!

  • Kyle Pearce

    Administrator
    May 18, 2019 at 12:04 am

    It can definitely take some time for teachers to understand that so much needs to happen before real automaticity (not memorization) develops. We have a module that focuses on this in the full workshop and we will also be digging in throughout the course titled: The Concept Holding Your Students Back.

    I appreciate the suggestions shared by George as well!

  • Carrie DeNote

    Member
    May 19, 2019 at 6:33 pm

    George-

    Not rambley at all!  Changing the culture is exactly what I’m trying to do and I’ve been trying to do it on my own.  So your post made me realize that I have some rallying to do!  Thank you!

  • George Garza

    Member
    May 20, 2019 at 4:24 am

    Glad I could help Carrie!  Please let us know from time to time about your successes and what you’ve learned.