Can you explain how I learned math? How do I know to subtract to balance my check book? How do I know to round and estimate when I am buying multiple items of the same price at the grocery store?
I did not have Investigations math. How is this possible? Where did I develop my number sense?
I think one of the big issues in math education today is we do not provide students with enough opportunities to practice and apply their math skills. It is not always that they do not have the skills or even that they don't fully understand their skills or number sense. It seems they are never asked to USE their skills in a meaningful fashion.
My class had no idea this week why we were talking about the statistic 3 out of 4 like spagehetti. Shouldn't they understand why they are practing this skill first, and then work on strategies for developing it?
After working on the lesson on finding a familiar fraction for unfamiliar fractions like 6/14 for several days, many in the class were still not able to explain to me how they got their answer (we used class strips or snap cubes), I am ready to hang it up. The sad thing is some still couldn't figure out that 6/14 is close to 1/2 let alone expalin in verbally. I am sure many are sitting thinking "why am I learning this, when am I going to use it". Maybe they are used to being spoon fed, and this IS my first year with the program, but I just don't see the point of spending a week on this strategy and still having students not be able to figure it out when they are using snap cubes.