Teaching ‘tricks’ without numerical understanding

I came across this entertaining video clip today.

It really highlights how much we (teachers) can focus on training children to do ‘tricks’ that result in apparent success without enhancing their knowledge and understanding of number.

Developing an active approach to learning numeracy requires us to make good use of concrete materials that help children to understand number and then manipulate (screen) these to engender sophisticated strategies based on understanding. By doing this children should be able to understand a wider range of strategies, see relationships between them and use/adapt these to solve unfamiliar problems. In doing so we are preparing children for life-long learning – not just getting them through the curriculum.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/a81YvrV7Vv8" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]