April 11:Dan Meyer was a math teacher for 6 years and now going back to school at Stanford University. He attends many lectures, both speaking and learning. He post all of them on his blog for others to see. The post that I read is from April 8th, 2013. It is called Sal Khan on the Difference between Math and Wrestling Practice. In this he refers to the interview of Salman Khan on Charlie Rose. (Founder of Khan Academy) Basically, students complain about 6 math problems but beg their coaches to push them more and more for sports. Dan summarizes the interview and then posses a question for his readers to respond to just for the sake of having others' opinion. His question is this, "What makes sports practice satisfying and how is sports practice different from math practice?" Many others have commented and I read through a lot of their comments with which I agree. I just wrote that students get a choice of which sports they want to play and get to choose how well they preform at game time. With schooling, they don't get to choose which subject to take or not take, and they definitely don't love "game time" in school because that means that they must recall all the old material. Not to mention that sports are physical and academics are mental. Students NEED to exert energy. And to think they are removing recess from elementary schools. There is no way that those children will be able to focus now... On a side note, you may recall watching one of Dan Meyer's speeches on TED for this class. I recommend watching it again to any math ed majors out there.
This week, Dan Meyer posted about Math tiny games. The "tiny games" part is just that these games shouldn't involve computers or tablets or really any materials other than the brain. They also shouldn't take very long, should encourage interactive communication, and should be fun! All the comments were examples of games that could be played and have given me lots of examples. One of the tweets from Jason Dyer that Meyer included in his post says that the line between Math that is a game and a game that is Math is very thin but students can smell the difference from a mile away. This is so true. Students just hate Math. They don't like it before they even try it. One of my teachers this semester always starts his lectures with some type of unrelated discussion about our weekends or a question about some event that took place. We discuss it and then he sneaks in tricks that make us relate it to math and many times suggests a game that is similar to the event. We are already half way into our lesson and notes before we even realize that we aren't even talking about our weekends anymore. He relates math to our lives in ways that we just get! I think this form of teaching that I see everyday is exactly what Dan Meyer is talking about in his post and also exactly what we saw in the 2 videos in last week's blog. Meyer, Crosby, Anderson, and my teacher Pillen are all great teachers, and I hope that I will develop a style like them someday.