Even though most people who read this blog know me as a critic of ed reform, the thing that I spend most of my time thinking about, actually, is how students learn math and what the best ways to teach it is.
Depending on how you count it, I’ve been teaching math for at least 23 years. My first year as a professional teacher was in 1991, and that was 29 years ago, but I took a few years off after my fifth year of teaching. But I was tutoring math when I was a high school student which was back about 35 years ago. And even before that, one early memory of mine was helping my older sister with counting when I was about 4. What I’m getting at is that I have been teaching math for a long time.
I teach high school now, but I’ve taught in middle school too, and as far as elementary school goes, I have two children, one is 9 and the other is 12, and I’ve helped them with their math and studied the skills that they have learned in their schools.
In this pandemic, parents find themselves in the position of trying to help their children with their math more than ever. So something that I’ve thought I might do is create a series of videos that go over what I consider to be the essential skills I think kids should know as they progress through the grade levels.
Depending on whether anyone is watching these, I could see myself making about 50 of these 40 minute videos, starting with lower elementary and going though Algebra II and Trigonometry. Anyway, here is the very first one in the series and it covers what I think the essential math skills I want my own children to master by 3rd grade.