Deb Morton - The problem with tricks
I once had a student that was convinced that there was a special maths "trick" needed for every question she did and it made her very anxious because she never knew which one to use or if she even knew the trick at all! That alone made me stop using the word "trick", like it was some secret knowledge or magic act whic was potentially mysterious and unable to be understood easily. I do work hard at memory strategies for shortcuts so that students remember when and how to apply them, but I like the idea of going back to first principles instead when students aren't sure which procedure to use.
Yes, 'Trick' is a shocking term to be used in mathematics. Well done for shifting away from that.
I am currently teaching Trigonometry to my 5.1 students and a lot of them have a strong dislike for mathematics. When teaching them about what we do when the pronumeral is on the bottom of the fraction, I did one example then told them the trick and just left it there for them to repeat every time. I loved the idea of 'Teach the long way first. Ask students to find a shortcut, then start using the shortcut.' At the same time it also brings that understand to the concept.
Exactly! Avoid showing tricks at all costs! It does way more harm than good. So well done Angus.
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Understanding & Agency in Mathematics