Figuring out where to start with solving a problem is the most fundamental skill in maths. Too much time spent on the mechanics of calculation is just one of the reasons students might be in the kind of thinking rut discussed in this article.
One of the Computer-Based Maths graphics, above, explains what I mean in graphic terms. Education systems have long conditioned learners to want to jump to step three, and they flounder when they have to figure out how to get there on there own. That is, they rather need to master steps one and two. That's what this article, and the Computer-Based Maths project, are all about.
Looking forward to your thoughts!
Hi, this is Eddy, math teacher in a high school in Spain. So first of all, sorry ( in advance) for my possible grammar mistakes.
I just registered at the CBM and I found this great post.
Before saying anything I have a main question.
It may sound too obvious (but I have been working with many obvious questions with my students and it's surprising what some kids didn't learn right, and we aren't doing too bad as we scored (north of Spain) over Finland in mathematics):
What is your definition for steps 1 & 2?
Thanks in advance!
You'll see a broad description fo steps 1 &2 (or 'D' for Define, and 'T' for Translate) on the full version of the CBM helix poster here. A deeper examination is possible from seeing how the CBM outcomes fit the steps in the document here. (There's a pdf available to download too)
Hope that helps.