One of the key foundations of Math in the 21st century is that students need to make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Being good at math is not a matter of getting the answer correct and quickly. That sort of Math is foundational, and kids need to know their facts, but will only help them for so long, and will not help them with problem solving unless it is a very easy problem. How students think about Math, persevere in a problem, and work through it is just as important as knowing their facts. When kids encounter a sophisticated math problem, they need to develop a plan of attack. They then need to carry out the plan. Then they need to check the plan and see if it was accurate and efficient. When students struggle through this, they learn more!
Students that they can build intelligence by using new approaches and strategies, trying new things, and working through difficulties. The understanding that they can strengthen their brains, and that can help them achieve more in school and in life.
Tell your child about a time you had to learn something new. Explain whether it was hard to learn and how you learned it. Ask your child if there’s anything he or she would like to learn to do this year.
Erin Rae is the Curriculum Coordinator at Lockport 91.