Wenrick, M., Behrend, J. L. & Mohs, L. C. (2013). A pathway for mathematical practices. Teaching Children Mathematics, 19 (6) 354-363.
“A Pathway to Mathematical Practices” highlights the variety of ways to solve math equations. In the article, it gives prime examples of how each student might potentially solve a math problem to get the same result/answer. Although students may get a correct answer, the article states that without reasoning of how the answer came to fruition, it is not a viable measure of comprehension.
The display of teaching styles from Ms. Mohs’s class is somewhat different than how I was taught when I was growing up. Through the examples given, it makes sense why a student would be able to understand this format; however, at times I myself found some of the methods confusing and had to review the examples multiple times. Although this is the case I feel that this is the same way a student would feel in a real life class situation, and due to that it allows me to see that a variety of options to solve a math problem can be a positive thing. On top of that, the student will have to fully explain the answer, which will allow me to know that there is clarity.
As a future educator, I personally feel the two ideas that are more beneficial for a math instructor are to communicate and to listen. It’s important to communicate to the student that there are multiple strategies to find a way to success when solving math problems. Allowing them to have options gives the ability to express the problem in a way that makes sense to them. Due to this factor it is also important for me as an instructor to listen and understand that student confusion is natural but will drive a student to look for other options to solve the problem. It is my duty as an instructor to help them as best I can with the strategy they feel most comfortable.
For me to successfully fulfill the expectation as an instructor I will need to become more competent in understanding all the concepts that are used to solve mathematical equations. The decomposition method from Figure 5, Example A has given me the most confusion. This would be a concept I would like to focus on more so I can fully understand the structural breakdown of the solution. In order to communicate the best explanation, I need to have full clarity of the concepts myself.