What is wrong with the old ways of teaching math?

Teaching focused on one strand at a time—such as mastering computational procedures followed by problem solving—has not helped most students to achieve math proficiency. Results of major national studies dating back decades suggest that students have never been particularly successful in developing computational skills beyond whole numbers, and they have been very unsuccessful in applying the skills they have learned.10 They also haven’t demonstrated much understanding of the math concepts used in either computation or problem solving.

How can teachers develop all the strands of math proficiency when they already have so much to teach?

By teaching math in an integrated fashion, teachers will actually save time in the long run. They will eliminate the need to go over the same content time and again because students did not learn it well in the first place. They will not spend so much time on a single strand, deferring the other strands until students “are ready.” Rather, the five strands will support one another, which will make learning more effective and enduring.



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