The learning path activities delved into the world of “Common Misconceptions in Mathematics,” specifically in the area of decimals. I could relate to this as the decimals concept always did my head in when it came to mathematics in the classroom in primary school. It became even worse when we had to turn these decimal numbers into fractions… “It just doesn’t make sense, why can’t we leave the number the way it is?!” Is what I would always think!
The article; “Towards Intelligent Tutoring with Erroneous Examples: A Taxonomy of Decimal Misconceptions,” discusses the benefits of having a taxonomy of decimal misconceptions. Today’s educators want to know student’s common problems when working with decimals and they want to gain an insight into selecting the most effective and the most appropriate instructional strategy to help ameliorate these misconceptions. As I’m becoming a future educator this makes so much sense based on my past experiences with decimals in mathematics.
I used to think that I was the only one in class that didn’t understand this whole concept of decimals and changing them into fractions, so I didn’t ask for help, instead I went home and cried to my mother (who was luckily a teacher and could help me), that I was the only one who did get it… As a future educator I don’t want my students to feel like this, so working out my students common misconceptions in mathematics is vitally important, in my opinion. It allows us to scaffold students learning and provide guidance, assistance and support where needed.
If we don’t know what our students are struggling with, how do we expect to them to demonstrate the best of their intelligences in their educational setting?