I just finished a session with the teachers who work as learning assistants in SD#60. We had a great morning talking about how to help make math meaningful to students who are struggling. And it really all comes down to meaning. Caine & Caine (1994) report** “The brain “resists having meaninglessness imposed on it. By meaninglessness we mean isolated pieces of information unrelated to what makes sense to a particular learner.”**

Oh, how sad that so many students go through days, weeks, months, and even years of mathematics in school without making meaning! There are so many great tools and ideas for building meaning and making the connections that develop understanding! If a child is not “getting it” in some area of math, we need to go back in the conceptual development of the topic to the point where there IS meaning and then build from there.

What are you doing today to build meaning in mathematics with your students (or your own children?)

Mathematically yours,

Carollee

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My daughter, in grade 11, so agrees. She has struggled with math and was so relived that the last 2 chapters of her course finally meant something to her. She came home stating, “We are finally doing real life math. Its about time!” That really drove home the importance of making connections for students. We do it in literacy, why not math.