Thursday, November 19, 2009

Math in the U. S. of A.

In an attempt to get kids focused on problem-solving strategies without getting caught up in the details of formulas and procedures, over the last two days I've given kids tricky area and perimeter problem with no numbers. Here's an example:

S., a student whose dry humor never fails to make me smile, was getting frustrated with one of the problems. In exasperation, he literally threw his hands up and asked, "Why can't we just use numbers--like Americans?"

Oh S., at age 14 you've already identified the key difference between American and other mathematics education systems. How did you figure it out so quickly when it's taken researchers years?

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