Posts filed under ‘Math Instruction’

speed vs comprehension

So based on the comments made about the math scores in the United States I see there is great concern about students in the younger grades not knowing their math facts well enough to succeed in the upper grades. Some districts and states sound like they were trying to compensate for that by letting students at young ages use calculators.  I don’t see that as a solution but is the so called “kill and drill” any better.  Is speed and instant recall of math facts as important as strategies and thoughtfulness in figuring out the answer.
So much of what we do in math is reward those that are fast. First person with hand up usually gets called first, games for knowing their addition or subtraction etc. are almost always based on speed. Isn’t it more important that we work with kids on knowing strategies and letting them think through problems first.  Here is an article on the benefits of allowing students to work through the problem even when frustrated.

October 22, 2009 at 8:25 am 1 comment


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