My Reflection on Math Myths


Myth #3:  In order to find a correct answer, you must always know how you got that answer.

While I was in elementary and middle school the method of teaching was rote learning.  We memorized multiplication tables and formulas.  Our homework consisted of completing drills.  Because of that, I can often get the correct answer but may not be able to explain the logic behind or process of how I arrived at my answer.

This myth goes back to our discussion earlier in this course about meaning vs. method.  Students will be more successful if they understand how to perform a math skill rather than memorize a rule.  This author feels that students need both intuition and logic to be successful in math. 


Myth #10:  To solve a difficult problem, work intensely, and don’t stop until the problem is solved.

When my sisters and I came home from school we had to sit right down and complete our homework.  This had a negative affect on my assignments.  I would rush thru the problems, and be careless so I could go outside to play.  On the nights my mother checked our work I would sit there struggling over a difficult problem and become very frustrated with the amount of time it was taking.

Now I often find myself leaving a problem and coming back to it later.  I did this yesterday with a level 5 Sudoku puzzle.  After a break I can see the problem with fresh eyes and was able to complete it without peeking at the answer.

Giving students the permission to leave a difficult question on a test and come back to it, is a good test taking strategy.  Sharing the strategies we use when dealing with difficult problems, may help the students handle their problems more affectively.


One response »

  1. I think we are showing our age here. I too had to complete homework fore doing anything else. Look how frustrated I would get in paxis math, walking away helped a lot. I just wasted a lot of time staring at the problem though. I guess it is really hard to relearn something that you have be told to do a certain way for so long. ( sorry if you got two of these from me it disappeared, so I did know if it went or not.

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