It is always wonderful to hear when what you do makes a difference, and I wanted to share with my readers the wonderful email I recently received from a student who took a university course (Designs for Learning Mathematics: Elementary — a “how to teach math to kids” course) with me a few years back. I love the “ripple effect” that happens when I can help teachers and student teachers change their approach to teaching mathematics, which in turn can make a great change for how students understand mathematics!
Thank you, Laura, for taking time to share this! Here is Laura’s letter with only a couple of edits for clarification. Woohoo!
Don’t know if you remember me, but I took your Simon Fraser University course a couple of years ago. My husband and I relocated to Ontario and I just started my first teaching contract 3 weeks ago in a grade 2/3 French immersion class. My students are very weak in math… but since I have started teaching the way you taught me to, I can already see the ideas flowing in their heads! They are really starting to get it!!!
Two days ago we did our first word problem… they were blown away when I put the answer on the board and told them I didn’t care about the answer, but instead how they got to it! The first day they were a bit shy to try and fail, but by the 3rd day boy were they trying everything! number lines, dot array, hundreds chart, blocks, pictures!!! I felt such joy!!!!
So… I guess I just wanted to say thank you… and to let you know that you are changing children’s understanding of math… EVERYDAY!
THANK YOU, THANK YOU… THANK YOU!!