What is the first thing that pops in your mind if you think about math? If you are anything like most people I know, you probably think about long equations and numbers. After all, that’s what math is, isn’t it?
Well, you are right and wrong at the same time (don’t you hate it when that happens?). Certainly, math does involve a lot of equations and numbers. But that’s not all there is to math. You certainly need to be comfortable with equations and numbers, but unfortunately, you need to be comfortable with much, much more. From years of working with many students, I have noticed a common trend. A lot of students will be very nimble with arithmetic. However, when they read a word problem that gives them no equations they feel confused and frustrated: Why do textbooks have to do that? If you just give the same problem to students in an equation form, they would know how to solve it easily. Why go through this song and dance first?