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  • Tara's Goal and Progress Log

    Posted by Tara Stanton on November 27, 2019 at 1:33 pm

    As a ‘non-math’ math teacher (I am a Music/English/Drama qualified teacher teaching math), I’m looking for ways to approach math topics that do not focus on memorizing the algorithm and using it in multiple ways. I recognize the importance of visual math and seeing patterns, but I have very little pedagogy to support this. My learning happened as ‘memorize the algorigthm’, so I don’t have that exceptional background of understanding concepts in a deeper way, which makes it hard to teach! 

    So, my goal is to find ways to demonstrate topics (specifically, trigonometry and quadratics) in a visual way. I’m looking for more than graphing, but ways to recognize patterns (such as the ones on visualpatterns.org) as being linear or quadratic, and what that means. I’m just beginning to teach quadratics at this point in my course, so I want to focus on that first. I’ve done some graphing, and we’ve used linking cubes to explore quadratic relationships, but I feel like it’s still surface stuff, and we haven’t been able to identify the deeper pattern. Maybe I’m overthinking? 

    Help! 

    Kyle Pearce replied 2 years, 10 months ago 2 Members · 1 Reply
  • 1 Reply
  • Kyle Pearce

    Administrator
    December 1, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Hi @tara-stanton

    Awesome to have you as a part of the community. Thanks for sharing your current problem of practice! I can totally relate when it comes to memorization vs. understanding. I definitely did not have a conceptual understanding of mathematics and thus it has been quite a learning journey that I’ll never “finish” to understanding mathematics conceptually.

    In regards to quadratics in particular, we LOVE visualpatterns.org and actually, @Jon and I both lead some workshops where we use quadratic visual patterns to really unpack understanding. We have that on our “to do” list of tasks to do walk-throughs of. This message might bump that up closer to the top of the list!

    In the meantime, a task you DEFINITELY need to check out is Magic Rectangle. Give it a read and I’m curious to hear your thoughts by commenting here on this thread!

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 10 months ago by  Kyle Pearce.