Mathematics 24x7

There is no escape...believe it or not. Mathematics is everywhere.

What according to you is a greatest challenge faced by you as a Math teacher?

Views: 479

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

It's funny, I've been thinking about this very question this month, as I've been preparing for my first workshop for pre-service math teachers. As a 6th grade math teacher, I believe my biggest challenge is to overcome built up fears, inhibitions, and an "I'm not good at math" attitude, prevalent especially in students who have failed to succeed in math so far. How do you take a failing student or a just getting by student and turn them into a math believer and a math achiever?
For me, it is taking a story problem (hopefully a real-world situation), teaching my students how to develop an appropriate mathematical model of the situation, and then solving it. If a student is faced with a paragraph of information, then she often just shuts down, even if the problem is relatively easy.
Overcoming the "I hate math" attitude. Students do not realize how much this attitude cripples their ability to learn math.
Lack of math in the culture surrounding us. Basically, you can't learn math as your "first language" if parents don't "speak" it. I am working on changing that, but it's slow going. This year is slightly better, because social media crossed the next adoption threshold and is mainstream now.
Attitude! Administrators are not embarrassed to say that they are not good at math, and excuse a lack of effort on the part of students. Math is not a priority, but art and music and sports are.

My impression of many elementary teachers is that they went into teaching because they want to work with young children and to help them learn to read, but when it comes to math, they share their phobias and dislike of the subject. Parents also echo the sentiment. Until something changes, it will be an uphill battle!
The over-dependency on calculators. While technology is nice, but the over-dependency on calculators drowns out the basic knowledge needed by my students. For most of them, single digit multiplication and their respective division problems takes 10 seconds without a calculator. Addition and subtraction takes forever without a calculator. I tried to form a competitive math team last year, but I felt dismayed watching calculus students unable to add 1/4 + 1/3. (They thought the answer was 1/7. And this was more than 1 calculus student.) While calculators provide a definitive answer, this answer can be wrong if the user is not careful. The over-dependency on calculators have erroneously eliminated the need for students to step back and think about whether their solution is correct or not. Once they are set on their thinking on how to solve a problem, if they get an answer from the calculator, they will assume it is correct even when the answer defies a logical sense. This over-dependency is mind-boggling.
My biggest challenge: teaching to so many different levels of intelligence in one classroom. I have over-achievers, B/C students, F students, students who don't care, and mentally retarded students ALL IN ONE CLASS.
Yes, fear for learning Math is a challenge for contemporary Math educators to deal tactfully in a classroom. The strategy which I am using to deal with poor performers is using a selective study approach and appreciating even small things which these students are able to do. Then in the end of the say saying aloud "YES I CAN DO MATH" .It enhances their motivation level and keep the working with higher spirits than developing a fear.
Taleese Walsh said:
It's funny, I've been thinking about this very question this month, as I've been preparing for my first workshop for pre-service math teachers. As a 6th grade math teacher, I believe my biggest challenge is to overcome built up fears, inhibitions, and an "I'm not good at math" attitude, prevalent especially in students who have failed to succeed in math so far. How do you take a failing student or a just getting by student and turn them into a math believer and a math achiever?
Catering to needs of variety of learners is indeed a greatest challenge. A classroom is a blend of all types of students. A teacher has to maintain a balance to keep up all working. The strategy which I am using is giving specially prepared worsheets/assignments according to individual needs of learners. Also , different methods are used like chalk/talk , using multimedia , hands on etc which help in inculcating interest in the subject .

Christy McCormick said:
My biggest challenge: teaching to so many different levels of intelligence in one classroom. I have over-achievers, B/C students, F students, students who don't care, and mentally retarded students ALL IN ONE CLASS.
Hmmm, this is really scary. Mathematical skills need to be learnt by writing and understanding of algorithms is essential. Use of calculators and other technology tools may be used for analysing situations like graphical analysis. Especially at primary and secondary level , children should not use calculators . You see, software developers are good in designing softwares because of the understanding of logic and algorithm of making it. All that need is deep knowledge of concept. So, I agree to you that over dependency on technology is a challenge for Math teachers.

Steven Hsia said:
The over-dependency on calculators. While technology is nice, but the over-dependency on calculators drowns out the basic knowledge needed by my students. For most of them, single digit multiplication and their respective division problems takes 10 seconds without a calculator. Addition and subtraction takes forever without a calculator. I tried to form a competitive math team last year, but I felt dismayed watching calculus students unable to add 1/4 + 1/3. (They thought the answer was 1/7. And this was more than 1 calculus student.) While calculators provide a definitive answer, this answer can be wrong if the user is not careful. The over-dependency on calculators have erroneously eliminated the need for students to step back and think about whether their solution is correct or not. Once they are set on their thinking on how to solve a problem, if they get an answer from the calculator, they will assume it is correct even when the answer defies a logical sense. This over-dependency is mind-boggling.
I agree. Especially at the college freshman level, so many texts include sections on how to solve problems using the calculator. Of course, this is no help in solving applications (word problems), yet I still get students challenging the score they get on exams by saying, "It can't be wrong, I used the calculator!"

Steven Hsia said:
The over-dependency on calculators. While technology is nice, but the over-dependency on calculators drowns out the basic knowledge needed by my students. For most of them, single digit multiplication and their respective division problems takes 10 seconds without a calculator. Addition and subtraction takes forever without a calculator. I tried to form a competitive math team last year, but I felt dismayed watching calculus students unable to add 1/4 + 1/3. (They thought the answer was 1/7. And this was more than 1 calculus student.) While calculators provide a definitive answer, this answer can be wrong if the user is not careful. The over-dependency on calculators have erroneously eliminated the need for students to step back and think about whether their solution is correct or not. Once they are set on their thinking on how to solve a problem, if they get an answer from the calculator, they will assume it is correct even when the answer defies a logical sense. This over-dependency is mind-boggling.
The challenge of teaching math is, IMHO, to study it in order to use it. Exactly as every craft.
In "our" time, that is in 50-s 60-s we didn`t think about our attitude to math - we simple learned it. Modern habit of continuous self - psychoanalysis instead of doing breaks the integrity of world view.
That is my starting point while thinking about the problem. I`m very interested in comment from Maria D. - is it the point?

Reply to Discussion

RSS

© 2017   Created by Rashmi Kathuria.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service