Impatient Problem Solving

“The way our textbooks…teach math reasoning and patient problem solving is functionally equivalent to turning on Two and a Half Men and calling it a day.” Dan Meyer

Below is a TED Talk with Dan Meyer, a high-school math teacher. He states that we have created impatient problem solvers and gives ideas as to how to create patient problem solvers.

Dan Meyer’s List: 5 Symptoms you are doing math reasoning wrong

  1. Lack of initiative.
  2. Lack of perseverance.
  3. Lack of retention.
  4. Aversion to word problems.
  5. Eagerness for formula.

Dan Meyer’s List: How to make patient problem solvers.

  1. Use multimedia.
  2. Encourage student intuition.
  3. Ask the shortest question you can.
  4. Let students build the problem.
  5. Be less helpful.

Last year, I had the pleasure of teaching 2 math classes each day! 😀 I really love math…and pretty much all subjects (this is one of the reasons I want to teach elementary school). It was so amazing to watch my students develop a love for math. I would hear them talking about math in the hallways. When they came to class they would want to share a conversation about math with the class! 🙂 It was so exciting! I tried to make math exciting, applicable, and their own.

I would have them create word problems. I would create real life problems for them to solve. However, I never thought about incorporating videos to make problems for them to solve. I love how Mr. Meyer makes videos for problem solving. Instead of just having a picture…actually have the problem on the video or do it in the classroom. Instead of just using a sports word problem…actually show a video clip of a sports game and draw problems out of the actual game.

Check out his TED Talk above to get great ideas to incorporate into your classroom.

“Math is the vocabulary for your own intuition.” Dan Meyer


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