I know we have had discussions on drills in mathematics classsroom, and I don't necessarily want to start another debate on whether or not it is a good teaching practice. The question I have is slightly different.
As I observe classroom teachers in different schools, many of them open a day's math lesson with what they call a "drill". In many cases, this practice is probably mandated by the school systems. In any event, what I see is not what I consider a drill is. For example, I was watching a classroom yesterday where the teacher opened the lesson with a "drill", Find at least five fractions equivalent to 1 whole. She then gave the students about 5 minutes to work on this question individually or with partners. The teacher circulated the classroom while the children were working on this task. After about 5 minutes, the teacher asked the students to share some of their answers and asked a few questions.
Is this a "drill"? Or, is this a way of the teacher going around the requirement to have drills in her math teaching? Actually, I really don't think the latter is the case because I have seen many teachers in different schools calling similar type of activities as drills. So, what is a "drill"? Are there different kinds of drills? What are the teachers' conceptions of drill? I would like to get other people's perceptions on this.
Tad Watanabe Towson State University Towson, Maryland