I've written about Mark Chubb (@MarkChubb3) before. His is a blog I definitely try to make time for. I love everything about what he shares. He clearly loves math and is invested in kids and their math learning. He is really invested in teachers and helping us to improve our craft. What I love most about his blog is that his writing is never judgmental and always pushes my thinking. His response to that pesky New York Times Opinion piece, by Barbara Oakley, is just what I've come to expect from Mark. (And yes, I know that I've posted about that silly opinion piece three times now!)
So, if you haven't already read the New York Times opinion, you can access it here.
Mark Chubb's brilliant response is posted on his blog, "Thinking Mathematically" here.
Mark didn't rant about the article (like I did) but instead, he took it as an opportunity to think deeply about what dynamic practice is and what it means to be mathematically proficient. While the Times Opinion made me all kinds of grumpy, Mark Chubb's post inspired me.
Kids need practice. They don't need rote practice that sucks the joy out of math. Their practice doesn't always have to explicitly fun but it does have to be engaging. So many of the routines I've come across on Twitter provide excellent practice for my students. Many of them are really fun and many, even if not "fun", are engaging. These routines ensure that all kids are thinking, practicing skills and developing procedural fluency. They ensure that students are developing strategies. They cause students to reason and stretch until they have a deep understanding of the math The beautiful bi-product of using practice that is fun and/or engaging is that kids naturally want to persevere. Even when they don't meet immediate success, they become committed to the pursuit and keep on trying. Over time, they learn that they are capable when they don't give up.
Do you want your students to enjoy some fun/engaging practice? Check out the amazing routines at the sites of some pretty incredible math educators found below.
Splats and Fraction Splats and LOTS of other cool routines
Which One Doesn't Belong
Personally, I'm off to think about how I can make the practice in my classroom more dynamic. Kids do need practice. I'll give Barbara Oakley that!