Monday, May 25, 2015

Teaching Numeracy Book Series Introduction

5th grade math

Welcome to my series on Teaching Numeracy!

I am currently in an educator's book club group on Facebook and we're reading Teaching Numeracy by Margie Pearse. I was instantly drawn to this book club for a number of reasons. Most notably is my love of math. Let me be clear, I am not the person who has always been good at math and had an easy go at it. In fact, it's quite the opposite. You can look back at all my standardized test scores since I was in 1st grade and you will see a continual struggle in math and computation. Then, in an instant, you'll see me excel in math as a junior in high school. I also remember and recognize a distinct shift in how I felt about math at this time. For the first time, ever, I understood math. I loved math. It made sense and it felt great. So, my first desire is to get kids to that point at a much earlier stage than I what I had experienced. 

Second, my students struggle in math and I want to be the best possible math teacher that I can be for them. I want to show them that love of math and allow them to all feel the success that I've felt when math finally clicked for me and it all made sense. The obstacle, now, is getting my students there. I've noticed many of the problems that the author of this books describes in my own classroom. It is true. We're not producing numerate citizens at a high rate in the United States. My students can read but they can't apply a math problem in context. They can perform computation but they can't see when they're totally off base and their answer doesn't make any sense. 

I've watching this happen over and over and over this year and each time I've thought to myself "WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!" I realized, upon picking up this book, that this isn't just a problem in my classroom. I'm not some awful math teacher that's lacking the ability to teach critical mathematical thinking. This is a problem all around the United States. 

So, now that I've realized that this problem extends beyond the walls of my classroom, what can I do about it?! Well, this book series is going to share that answer with you! So, if you've struggled with the same things in your class, you're going to want to stay tuned to my blog! I'm going to be posting to the series on Tuesday and Thursdays so that I can share all of my discoveries with you!

I hope that you enjoy this book series. It's the first post of its kind on this blog and I'll be happy to do future book series posts if you end up liking this one!

So, let's get chatting...

What are your biggest challenges when teaching math?


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