*"we didn't have a formula"*

"I needed the distance formula"

"I didn't know where to start"

"rusty geometry"

"I needed the distance formula"

"I didn't know where to start"

"rusty geometry"

A little piece of my soul died. We have spent all year de-emphasizing formulas and talking about habits that give you a place to start. Then, this happened:

*student: "It was like a POW, but not."*

me: "What do you mean?"

student: "Well, it seemed like a POW-type problem but it wasn't one."

me: "So, just because it didn't say 'POW' at the top of the page you didn't approach it in the same way?"

student: "Yeah…kinda."

me: "What do you mean?"

student: "Well, it seemed like a POW-type problem but it wasn't one."

me: "So, just because it didn't say 'POW' at the top of the page you didn't approach it in the same way?"

student: "Yeah…kinda."

It was clear that students see math compartmentalized into separate worlds. I haven't helped them see that these habits ARE mathematics. They aren't just useful for puzzle-like problems, these habits are at the foundation of the creation and authoring of ALL mathematics. With my last two units I have started to include 1 or 2 of our habits as the central focus. Today's prompt looked like this: