In this time of remote learning I have noticed one of my children has been set a lot of drill and practice activities for mathematics.
Drill and practice has a place, even for our bright and gifted students – but not an overload.
Once a person has understood the concept, drill and practice is no longer necessary – as they understand!
Teachers need to move these students onto using these skills in real world situations, problem solve with them, see how they work in our every day lives.
Children can be accelerated through the grades in one subject such as mathematics, and this may involve some more drill and practice so they understand the topic further, but it still needs to be minimal.
For bright and gifted students, all drill and practise does is demotivate them. Anything we understand well becomes repetitive and boring, even as adults.
We switch off, we no longer enjoy the topic and that’s when mistakes happen.
Mistakes in drill and practice activities should not be penalised unless it is obvious the student has misunderstood something.
Too often teachers seek perfection and this is something we cannot ask of our students who clearly understand what is being asked of them. Mistakes are a normal part of learning.
So what should schools and teachers be doing whilst remote learning?
- Give students real world activities. This way they can apply the basic skills that have been mastered on the worksheet or in the computer game.
Here are some great links for you to give to your children so they are engaged and are learning.
- National Geographic at home
- Taronga Zoo
- Nrich Mathematics
- Scholastic Maths magazine