Video: Problem Solving in the Math Classroom

At a recent seminar that I attended, I was introduced to Dan Meyer’s TED Talks video on the topic of problem solving in the mathematics classroom.¬† The talk is entitled, “Math Class Needs a Makeover.”

Dan begins with a classic quote when he says, “I teach high school math. I sell a product to a market that doesn’t want it, but is forced by law to buy it.” In the remainder of his TED Talk, Dan shares his ideas on how to more effectively teach problem solving in the classroom. His ideas apply equally well to those of us who teach middle school math.

Without trying to re-convey Dan’s ideas, here are a few areas he touches on in his talk:
(Watch the video below to see the details.)

  • math reasoning is “the application of math processes to the world around us.”
  • 5 symptoms that you are doing math reasoning wrong as a teacher
  • ideas on how to teach problem solving
  • the importance of having students formulate the problem
  • 5 suggestions for teaching patient problem solving

The 11 minutes you spend watching the video will be well worth your time and will give you some things to think about when it comes to teaching problem solving in your classroom.

As a middle school math teacher, what do you think is important when teaching problem solving to your students?


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