Replay | Mistakes Teaching Math

A Production of the Ultimate Homeschool Podcast Network.

Mistakes Teaching Math | We all make mistakes teaching math but in this episode, we will learn that these can be overcome. Today's guest discusses the program Pat Murray created. | #podcast #CTCMath #homeschoolpodcast #teachingmathMistakes Teaching Math – Episode 369

We all make mistakes teaching math but in this episode, we will learn that these can be overcome. Today’s guest is CTCMath and spokesperson Nadim El-Rahi.

Thanks to our sponsor CTC | Math Curriculum

Not being a great math student until I became a homeschool mom, I was interested in what CTCMath had to offer. My guest Nadim was a student of the founder. Pat Murray. Pat was Nadim’s high school math teacher. The two formed a bond and kept in touch. Years later, Nadim would work with CTCMath. Pat teaches the online courses, and there ‘is also a free trial that you can do. The trial gives the user a little bit about the different lessons, to test out the system before you buy, which is wonderful. That’s CTC, but we’re going to talk about some of the most prominent mistakes teachers make when teaching math. And so you’re going to share that with us.

Mistakes Teaching Math:

Long Explanations

The biggest teaching mistake the long drawn out explanation. Sometimes as parents, homeschool parents, and teachers, we think that more information is better and it’s actually the opposite. Students can often get lost and confused in a long, drawn-out explanation. So if we can just keep the teaching to a short, concise explanation that’s best and most effective when, when it comes to teaching math, um, you can use your time. There may be twenty minutes of explanation and then ten minutes of practice problems. Well, that time is probably better spent doing five minutes of explanation and twenty-five minutes of practice problems. Complicated explanations that show too many diverse methods is also an issue. We think that if we equip the children with more information, it’s going to lead to, better grades and a better toolkit, but often students just need one method, the simplest method, the easiest method for them to understand now is that first method doesn’t work. You might want to try a second method, but the risks can sometimes be that we show the students too many diverse methods and that can often complicate them. And you see it in, in advancements in the curriculum and changes in curriculum and current eyes, uh, traditionally used to be just the traditional methods that were taught. So more and more you see these popping up.

Rote Learning Isn’t a Bad Idea

Another of the mistakes in teaching math is thinking rote learning is a bad idea. Students need only to use discovery learning and believe the hype around the need to discover things and conceptualize things on their own. I’m sure it has its place, at an age-appropriate time. But I always use the analogy of a Rubik’s cube. You can give a child a Rubik’s cube and tell them to solve it. They’re going to spend hours and hours and hours trying to work it out. And most of the time they will probably give it up. But you can show them a simple algorithm and a simple way to solve the root issue. Now, once they’ve done that and I’ve worked out how to do it using the simple pattern, you can see that confidence is lifted. They want to find a bigger Rubik’s Cube, and they want to go on and do more. And maybe that’s when you allow the discovery learning to take place. It is very important in the early grade levels, ensuring that students can instantly recall their math facts. It builds confidence and sets them up for later years too, to really enjoy math more. So this idea that discovery learning and children really need, to work it out on their own, I think is, is a big hype. That’s, beating a lot of confidence in children. But I think the important thing is to learn what your child likes. And then it’s almost like love languages, you know, working out your child’s love language will work out what component of math they enjoy and really pursuing it.

Math Can Be Fun!

Math is not enjoyable. I think the feedback that we get is confidence is that their confidence is down, that they no longer enjoy math is that it’s difficult. We, as parents and educators have to work on how are we going to get their confidence back up. How are we going to try to make math more enjoyable? And often it’s through the understanding of math. When I started to understand it you will see light bulbs and the aha moments begin to click and they want to do more and more of it, then we hear from countless parents that we can’t get them off the math anymore. So it’s really figuring out how to get their confidence up, how to get them really enjoying math again through understanding.

On a side note, the homeschooling movement in Australia is wonderful and growing. The homeschool community is building and growing. The creator of CTCMath, Pat Murray, homeschooled their children.