The thing about math is you can look to a school district for guidance or you can actually teach it properly, assessing the needs of your students carefully and moving them each along at the proper pace with the proper curriculum. You could pick up a district pacing guide and say, “Oh, I need to teach division this week and then fractions next week and then half a week on geometry, half a week on probability…Then I’ll be ready for that first district benchmark test!” You could pick up a district math book and teacher guide and say, “Oh, I teach 2 digit multiplication on Monday and then 3 digit multiplication on Tuesday and then long division on Wednesday…” OR you can say, “Hmm, my students don’t really know how to subtract all that well and when I did simple sums of ten they were hesitating a lot, so I’m going to start out carefully to help them develop an inner number line, as well as doing good, slow, deep work with place value and jumping around on a 100s chart. We’re going to take a few, basic concepts of the connectivity of numbers and approach those concepts from about 15 different angles using all sorts of methods, varied to allow traction for all sorts of learners.”
The thing about math is it takes real problems and discourse and getting your hands on stuff, as well as lots of time practicing and doing drills and creating your own problems and really learning to make sense of what problems are really asking. It takes conceptualization and memorization.
But the real thing about math? The thing that burns deep inside my brain right now? That thing is that I need to plan next week’s math ahora mismo. Hasta luego.