This is a problem-solving strategy that can be used with difficult concepts such as manipulating ratios or fractions.
If a problem is confusing, the numbers can be rounded, or simpler numbers can be used to help make a plan to solve it.
Instead of relying on calculators, students learn strategies that can improve their concentration and estimation skills while building number sense.
And, while there are educators who oppose math “tricks” for valid reasons, proponents point to benefits such as increased confidence to handle difficult problems.
If you are consistently getting every problem in a class correct, you shouldn’t be too happy—it means you aren’t learning efficiently enough. The problem with not being challenged sufficiently goes well beyond not learning math (or whatever) as quickly as you can.
I think a lot of what we do at Ao PS is preparing students for challenges well outside mathematics.
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Moreover, she has access to an excellent math teacher in her school who sometimes can’t help her get past these problems, either.
(This is no slight to him—I have students bring me problems I can’t solve, too! ” We ask hard questions because so many of the problems worth solving in life are hard.