Math is for Everyone!
I saw this cartoon and thought of my students in my math class. The students in my class are always complaining that math is the hardest subject and you have to have a mathematical mind to even do the questions in the course. So I asked them why they feel like it is so difficult and there simple explanation was "it's never the same sir! There are so many question to know." Then it hit me they were trying to memorize what to do without fully understanding the why, we do what we are doing and fully understanding the concept that was being taught. So from that point on I started to focus on the why, not skipping any simple steps in solving for equations. Getting my students to develop steps for understanding how to go about solving anything from a linear system to a word problem within the course. I wanted them to learn to think about what they learned and apply the knowledge that they got in class. I wanted them to know anyone could do math if they work hard and tried their best. I didn't want them to think that it was a clever scheme meant to trick them. So after I was done my lessons I would give the students a question based on that days class and have them answer it. I would not just have them calculate the question but I had them write out the steps they took in words to solve it. Then I had them get into groups of two and all they could do was read the steps to the other person to see if that other person understood what they did. This forced them to think about what they were doing rather then just doing it. When they were in those small groups they really had to communicate their thought process to each other. I repeated this with my class for a week. At the end of the week I found that they were understanding the why better then they did at the beginning of the week. Has anyone else ever tried a similar method? How well did it work for you?