Historically and in present day, the practice of mathematics is filled with joy, curiosity, and creativity. Mathematicians are constantly playing with ideas and creating for the fun of it. We’re asking questions about patterns, and we’re exploring new ideas all the time. Unfortunately, joyful mathematics is the exception rather than the norm for most students, parents, and teachers. As a math educator, my professional mission is to share a deep love for mathematics with students, parents, and other educators.
Doing math doesn’t need to be boring, and it doesn’t need to cause emotional distress! When I’m putting together a lesson plan, I’m looking to create something that will feel like joyful play from a student’s perspective and function like rigorous practice from a teacher’s perspective. With a well-designed activity, students are eager for more subtraction exercises in the same way they’re eager for more tetherball. Check out http://www.mathforlove.com to find some of my favorite math activities for K-5 students.
My teaching practice is deeply influenced by the work of Dan Finkel, Katherine Cook, James Tanton, Paul Lockhart, Martin Gardner, Vi Hart, Neil Postman, and Jo Boaler. I’m passionate about inquiry based learning, problem based learning, and peer learning. I’ve compiled a list of resources below that give a more clear sense of my pedagogical perspective.
Dan Finkel’s TED Talk
What is the Common Core by James Tanton
Jo Boaler on How Math Should Be Taught
Depth of Knowledge Levels
Some Thoughts on Assessment by James Tanton
A Mathematician’s Lament by Paul Lockhart
Dan Meyer’s TED Talk
NCTM Research Brief on Problem Solving
Student Handout on Class Discussion (from Malcolm Swan)
Improving Learning in Mathematics: Challenges and Strategies
Math is Not Linear by Alison Blank
On Flipped Learning
Dan Meyer on Tasks Promoting Inquiry
How to Think Like a School Math Genius
Alan Wigley on the Challenge Model
NRICH Beliefs about Mathematics