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Monday, June 29, 2009

Multiplying Decimals

As we move along into ever more complex lessons, it gets more and more difficult to just sit down and teach a concept. And so we discuss, at great length, how we should teach these ideas.

Today it was multiplying decimals.

Amber, Justin, and I all come at math from vastly different perspectives. This helps us as we hash out our ideas. I'll say something like, "I've always hated the 'just count up the place values and move it over that many' mentality. We need to explain why you do that."

To which Justin will reply, "But that's just the way it is. We need to teach them the rule first so they will remember it."

Amber will jump in with, "Decimals are really tenths, so we should start there..."

And around and around the three of us go. But this is really helpful because that means we're addressing at least three different views of math in our lessons and hopefully clear up any confusion that one particular view of math would create.

Unfortunately, we can confuse ourselves from time to time. That's why I've started writing up notes and solving problems on a scratchpad. I've never really had to do that for our videos before:

Multiplying Decimals Notes

It's one thing to present an idea and, if the concept doesn't stick, change your approach and try a different method. But we don't have that luxury on these DVDs. Instead, we must consider all the possible objections and confusing bits and address them in a single scene.

And so far, with the three of us working together, that has worked out beautifully. It's a good thing.

 ~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Morgan said...

If you ever need someone to review any of your mathtacular via blog, let me know!

Sounds like the video is going to be pretty helpful. 3 views on math has got to be a good combination for making a video that will help all types of learners.

Happy Elf Mom (Christine) said...

"Look! Mr. Calculator is going to help us today! Say HELLO to Mr. Calculator, kids!"

Luke Holzmann said...

Morgan, I'll keep that in mind <smile>. So far, we have had great responses from people who have watched the first three and we hope to continue that tradition.

Mrs. C, you're hilarious. Reminds me a bit of Mr. Radar... <smile>


Heather the Mama Duk said...

That's so great how you guys figure out how to explain all this by working it out together.

Luke Holzmann said...

Teamwork is a beautiful thing. <smile>



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