I have a classroom full of addicts...they are addicted to formulas. It seems that they can't do math without them. These students, extremely an advanced math class looked at me like a deer in the headlights. Today I was giving a quiz and it began...

S1: "I don't remember the formula."
Me: "You don't need the formula...look at the the math."
S2: "But it wants us to find the Surface Area...I can't remember the formula."
Me (exasperated): "You don't need the formula to find Surface Area...think about it...WHAT IS SURFACE AREA??"
S: (Blank stares)
Me: "Look at this prism...when you need to find Surface Area, what are you trying to find? I mean, really you guys, do the math. I want you to think. This is not about the formula...this is about learning WHY the formula makes sense...doing the math without even knowing the formula..."
S3 (in jest): "Gasp!"
Me: "You guys are junkies. You just want the formulas rather than having to think..."
S4: "This is hard...."
Me: "Thinking is hard. I guys are in hard core...I am cutting you off from formulas."
S: (noooooooooooooo)
Me: "This year is going to be like will have to learn why all of the formulas really make sense, not just plugging numbers in. That does nothing for your learning. I am going to force you to think this year. We are all going into rehab together. That's it!"

Sigh...they really are great kids but trying to pull advanced kids away from formulas is painful...I'm not sure who is it going to be harder or them...but I am sure of one thing...

It will totally be worth it in the end!


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