Misconceptions are part of the mathematical package, but some misconceptions are due to well-meaning adults who teach their children shortcuts without first building a solid conceptual understanding. I'm certainly not pointing my teachery finger. I suppose it's safe to say that parents are teaching their children the same way they were taught. What goes around comes around. I feel like things are changing though for us math teachers. At least they are for me. With that change, comes a need for educating parents too. They deserve to know that the way they learned math might look different than the way their children are learning it. That's why I started a math wikispace a handful of years ago. I wanted parents to see what kid strategies looked like, and that none of them involved algorithms or slick tricks. This year I changed over to a class website, but I made sure to add a page exclusively for math problem solving. If you're interested in checking out how I'm trying to let my parents in on how we do things, click on the graphic above. You'll notice that I've already shared some math problems and kid strategies. If you continue scrolling to the first post, you'll be able to read a short note I left for parents to prepare them for what they would be seeing. They need to know.
P.S. So far our strategies are pretty basic. Even at this time of year I typically have mathematicians who are using sophisticated strategies, but not this time around. Regardless, parents will still be able to see how the kids' thinking develops throughout the year as kids figure out math in ways that make sense to them. Not a single trick or algorithm will they find. What a journey it should be for both kids and parents alike.