The "New" Math
Have you heard anyone say, "What's up with this NEW math?" or "This isn't the way we learned math back in the day!"
Well, the "new" math isn't really new at all. The focus has simply shifted from memorizing a traditional algorithm to allowing students to "think" their way through a problem. This research-based method integrates mental math strategies and allows students choice and voice in how they would like to solve a problem. Can you imagine being able to choose how you would have liked to solve a mathematical problem when you were in school? There may still be one right answer but there are many ways to get there... and the journey keeps kids engaged!
The math standards call for our students to "justify, explain, extend their learning, and make connections." There is no doubt this is a different process than what you may have learned. But then again, so are the times. Our modern world requires creativity, out of the box thinking, and innovation! The traditional algorithms do not serve our students and their current reality, and do not challenge their thinking.
So the next time you sit down with your kiddo to work out some math, focus on the journey and remember, the math isn't new, just all the ways to get there!