Here are just a few things I learned at the conference:
- · Children learn better when it’s fun
- · Children learn best when they experience some challenge along with a high rate of success
- · The relationship between the child and the instructor affects the quality of learning
- · The best math programs do not use the spiral approach, rather they limit content and concentrate in helping children deeply understand essential skills and fall in love with learning
How will this change my math class? Probably not a whole lot. We already have a lot of fun, use cooperative learning activities, real-life projects and lots of manipulatives. We already use one of the best math programs in the world, Singapore Math (which is one of the rare programs that does NOT use a spiral approach). Mostly, I will concentrate on what I am already doing right, but will also taking the time to make sure that development of essential math skills will be the focus of assessment, re-teaching, and additional practice time. There is no reason to rush children along and hope for the best. Each child has a journey, and my job is to help them travel their journey at their own pace - and to learn to love learning and to feel confident and competent in math.