I really enjoyed this TED lecture by full-time ninth grade math teacher Dan Meyer. His main point is that modern math textbooks do so much hand-holding that they fail to inspire students to think through the problems. Instead of teaching math, they teach students to “decode” the problems by all-too-apparent reference to the exemplars.
As a result, many math texts cultivate impatience. Dan argues that we’ve got to stop thinking about math as merely computation skills. In support of this point, he quoted a man named Albert Einstein: “The formulation of a problem is often more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skill.”
Dan is doing his best as a teacher and a blogger to change the way students look at math class. I should not be something students resist, but rather embrace. His approaches to teaching math are easy to understand, and he offers many creative applications along the way.