In August of 2013, I was enrolled in a free online EdX course, conducted by Stanford professor Jo Boaler. While taking the class, I learned different concepts meant to encourage students to learn and prepare them for future uses of Mathematics. After taking the course, I felt much more confident in my ability to teach in an education system built around high test scores and a lack of critical thinking.
In one assignment, I mentioned wanting to design an activity that would encourage students to create a formula using intuition, rather than needing to look up a distinct one every time they came across a new problem. A classmate mentioned that they would like to see what I come up with and said I should publish my findings or make a blog, so the rest of the class could refer to it.
I chose the name, Dividing by Zero, because in traditional math, we are taught that this is impossible. In higher math, dividing by zero leads to infinite possibilities. I believe that comprehending, remembering, and thinking critically are also near impossible in the traditional methods of teaching mathematics. This is my attempt to do the impossible – I’m going to teach students math while trying to navigate the boundaries and shortcomings of a traditional classroom. And I believe that when students attempt the impossible, the possibilities are infinite.
So tl;dr: This blog is a journal of my discoveries as an aspiring math teacher. It probably won’t be consistent, or mind-blowing. This is just a place to put my ideas for my future classes, and share the possibilities with other teachers and parents who are struggling to teach math to the next generation. Join me in my adventures, struggles, and inevitable triumphs in educating the next global citizens.
For the moment, I’m only blogging when I have something to say. I don’t know how long it will be between posts. I’ll edit if there is a change.
– Brenna Saxton