While browsing through some math blogs I came across a post by Dan Meyer that sort of sparked my interest, the post was called WTF Math Problems. In it Dan talks about the problems that arise in math classrooms that leave the students thinking “WTF”? I found this article particular interesting right now because in my EMTH 450 class we are talking about issues that arise in mathematics and Mark Johnson did his on student motivation in the classroom. The reason I correlate these two together is that fact that I think too many times teachers look past these WTF moments because they were not what they planned for their lesson and they may not take them to where they want the lesson to end up. But I say embrace these moments, because like Dan says in the post, these moments lead to some of the greatest discoveries in mathematics. From dividing by zero, to finding imaginary numbers.
These moments of WTF should be happening more in our classroom, it could maybe start to lead to more interest within mathematics classrooms. Students may start to have a curiosity about why something became the way it is, rather than just memorizing a formula to get the right answer. We don’t get taught in University on how to respond to these types of moments, and I don’t think that is a bad thing. These moments need to come natural, the discovery and the WTF moments are what we as math teachers should be striving for!
I really enjoyed reading this article, I love Dan Meyer’s stuff and I think he is someone to look up to as a math teacher!