We are excited to have Jeff Haddad as today’s guest blogger. Jeff became certified in Concept-Based Curriculum and Instruction by Dr. H. Lynn Erickson. His words follow.

I recently had the opportunity and privilege to attend Dr. H. Lynn Erickson’s Concept Based Curriculum Institute in Whitefish, Montana with close to 40 professional educators from all over the world.  During my time I was able to reflect on why concept-based instruction and math instruction work so well together.  As a former Elementary Math Coach and now as a Middle School Interventionist I have seen so many students struggle to remember math procedures because they have been taught in a rote and procedural manner.

Concept-based instruction has made me realize that mathematics is, by nature, a conceptual language.  We need to think about relationships between key mathematical concepts and focus on them in our instruction so students develop an understanding of how and why mathematics works.  As educators we need to recognize that this process is challenging and time consuming, but necessary if we truly want students to develop deeper understandings of mathematics.  Discussions and sharing ideas with so many different educators have made me enthusiastic about shifting the focus of instruction in mathematics from doing rote procedures to understanding relationships between mathematical concepts.  When we do this I am confident we will see students who are more confident and capable problem solvers because they will understand how to strategically think through problems.

I look forward to supporting this mission with educators and their students!

 Jeff Haddad

Region 15 Interventionist

Memorial Middle School

Middlebury, CT

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