Smarter by Struggling?

Posted: September 17, 2012 in Uncategorized

I recently was recently intrigued by a video title about the Khan Academy, as I like the resources that Khan produces.

This video really made me stop and think.  First, I’m a big believer that sometimes students (and me for that matter) have to be uncomfortable and struggle with a topic in order to truly grasp the concept.  I’m a big believer in using inquiry-based methods in instruction–and in pushing that there are multiple ways to get to an answer.  I have seen student’s mathematical reasoning skills and grasp of number sense greatly increase when they struggle through the problem and then share with each other the multiple methods used to arrive at the same answer.

In a conference I attended this summer, I heard about a teacher that had started an after school club targeting the idea presented in the above video–the students would take a problem, find a way to solve it, and then upload a video of what they did to find the answer.  There were multiple videos for each problem and students priding themselves on finding another way to get the same answer.

One place where students are doing this type of thing is at Math Train TV.  Other students are using resources like Jing and Screenr.  If you want to learn more about this idea, google “Brian Mull” and you will be certain to find some of his resources.  He is the one that got me started thinking down this path…

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