Ask, Don't Tell
I was just enjoying my morning coffee and reading some Twitter feeds when I came across an article from NCTM Mathematics Teacher site. It is a 3 part series, at least that is the part that I read, called Ask, Don't Tell. This part was about Special Right Triangles.
You can find the article here by Jennifer Wilson (http://www.nctm.org/Publications/Mathematics-Teacher/Blog/Ask,-Don_t-Tell-(Part-3)_-Special-Right-Triangles/).
It wasn't the article its self that got my attention. We don't really dive deep into triangles and hypotenuses. The part that jolted me was later on in the article. The author received a letter from one of the students at the end of the school year. It went something like this:
- “Before being in your class, all of my teachers would just give me information on a big silver platter. But when I enrolled into your class, you taught me how to learn things by myself and not expect things to be just given to me. Although it kinda hurt my brain a lot I guess it made my synapses fire. I found out that when you memorize something, you’ll eventually forget it, but if you try to learn it and understand it, the info just sticks to you.”
The second sentence is the part that "awakened" me this morning. " you taught me how to learn things by myself and not expect things to be just given to me." This student is spot on.
Too often I am guilty of giving information instead of having the learners learn. With our blocks of time for instruction this year, I am really looking forward to the extended time so we can do more exploring.