# UniqueMath.com Presented by JOY Center of Learning

Math to fit your personal style
and unique students.  ## Professor B Mathematics Activating the Contextual Learner

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### The Frustration and "Failure" of the Truth Seeker in Traditional Math Education

Teacher, why do you "bring down" (in long division)? Why do you move the decimal points (when dividing one decimal by another)? Why do you count the decimal places (when you multiply one decimal by another)? Why do you skip a space (when you multiply by the second digit in a two-place multiplier)? Why do you divide the larger denominator by the smaller denominator and multiply the numerator by that answer (to find the missing numerator)? Why do you 'multiply across' (when you multiply fractions)? Why do you cancel 'up and down' (when multiplying fractions)? Why do you multiply the whole number by the denominator and add on the numerator (when you change a mixed number to an improper fraction)? Why do you divide the numerator by the denominator (when changing an improper fraction to a mixed number)? Why do you invert and multiply (when dividing one fraction by another)? Why teacher? Why? Why? Why?

Do you remember hearing these types of questions over and over again in your math classes from first through seventh grades? It is very likely that you asked many of them on many occasions yourself. Do you recall the teachers' responses? "Just do it. That's how you get the answer." Does this type of response to children's math questions sound familiar to you? Did you hear it a lot or just a few times? The vast majority of us have heard it over and over again from elementary through high school.

In this article, I will consider some of the dire consequences of these "answers" to children's math questions.