This is a professional development blog primarily for teachers in Spring Branch ISD.
Yes, I agree with this statement. Frustration comes from something new not coming as easily as expected. We can either give up to avoid the frustration and then not learn anything new, OR we can keep trying, truly understand the new idea and not only learn something new, but feel the confidence that goes along with it and then seeing where the new knowledge can take us.
Absolutely! Kids need to experience intellectual frustration. As teachers of gifted kids, we owe it to them to experience difficulty when doing academic work. This not only helps them feel a sense of accomplishment, but also gives them coping skills that will come in handy in high school and beyond. As Zaccaro said, "They must learn that challenge and effort are a part of learning and a part of life."
Agree!! It is very important that a child experiences “intellectual frustration” because it helps them realize they don’t know it all. When a GT child discovers that they don’t know everything they begin to questions and dig future into the content to have a better understanding. This also allows the teacher to differentiate her instruction and workstations to allow rigor for the child.
In response to Sasha Luther posted on 6/8/10 at 1:55 PM by Nlopez: Yes, intellectual frustration is necessary and part of life and we do want ALL children to understand this as it will help them throughout their life. Differentiation is necessary for GT kids too. Math workshop helps take more of the frustration away, b/c there are more opportunities to solve the problem (alone, partner, group, with teacher)so that it can be less threatening and they feel more comfortable in taking risks.
Yes I agree that we spend so much time teaching student the steps to math that we miss the reason and the use When children are learning to read we spend so much time on the letters to words that the child misses the meaning to the reading. The child spends so much time learning to read that it is not till they start the reading to learn that reading become fun. We do the same with math When student start doing math they are encounter problems that need a solution. Then they get to a point where math can be used to for the solution of a problem and not the problem needing a solution.
In response to Marlo Wilson. I loved how you connected reading with math. There is a book titled If My ABC's were 123's. It is a fabolous book that really allows us to relate the importance of number sense. We need to not make the concept the struggle for the children. We need to encourage children to dig and dig deeper to find if there is more than one solution and that we also need to encourage our students to use their tool box of stratiges to solve the problem It isn't always black and white and gifted children often have their own way to finding the solution.
Session 1 – Question 1 On page 1, the author speaks of “intellectual frustration” and states how students must have this experience. Do you agree or disagree with his complete statement? Why? or Why not? “Mathematically gifted children usually pick up concepts so quickly that they are left with very little to do intellectually in a typical classroom…The lack of opportunity to think deeply and to experience and learn from frustration, can have disastrous consequences later in life. How will these children view the inevitable challenges of high school and college if they drifted through elementary school?...Young students must experience intellectual frustration in a positive way. They must learn that challenge and effort are a part of learning and a part of life.”I agree that challenge and effort are an important part of learning and of life, and that mathematically gifted children benefit from circumstances which require effort, patience, and the willingness to forge fearlessly ahead.
In response to S.Luther: I'm intrigued by and interested in reading the book you referenced ('If my ABC's Were 123's')and will try to obtain a copy of it.
I agree that students need to experience intellectual frustration in a positive way. When an individual has to grapple and struggle with complex math problems, s/he will begin to develop conjectures or theories that s/he has to defend or explain. The exploration, synthesis, and justification of math ideas engage students in a deeper level of math understanding that they do not gain from solving routine problems with a simple algorithm. Gifted math students who already have an innate appreciation of how numbers fit together are truly deprived of rich mathematics if all they experience is procedural instruction that become simple rote tasks. Challenging problems which present some level of frustration offer students an opportunity to think and to experience a “real life” process that all learners experience when they are truly learning.
I agree with the author about "intellectual frustration." Children become frustrated when they can't solve a problem in one or two steps. Becoming frustrated makes them stretch themselves and their thinking. I have to admit I get a little satisfaction watching some of my GT kids get aggravated by challenging math problems b/c now they are forced to actually sit and really think out a problem to solve it, unlike other times when the answer comes to them so easily. As school gets harder, GT students will be challenged and by challenging them in elementary school it will help them when they get to higher level classes in middle and high school.
In response to Marlo Wilson... I love what you said about math being used "for the solution of a problem and not the problem needing a solution." That is such a different way of looking at math. I need to remember that so I can say it to my GT students this coming year. I think it will help them look at math in a new way.
I agree that experiencing positive intellectual frustration is essential for learning. Learning is more effective when learners deal with a situation that initially confuses them. In an effort to make sense, learners expand their thinking boundaries. Learners who face intellectual frustration earlier in their education life, learn to sustain their motivation in case of setbacks later in life. I think “positive” is the key word in providing intellectual frustrations in classroom. It is teacher’s responsibility to provide appropriate level of challenges and establish an environment where students feel comfortable taking on a challenge and making mistakes.
I totally agree that gifted students need to experience positive intellectual frustration because it's a key to their success in life. In my experience with GT kids, they need more support in coping skills to deal with situations that don't come as easy for them. They are excited by a challenge but when the solution doesn't come as quickly as they think it should- that is where they are truly stretching their thinking.- Sharon G.
I agree with what Marlo Wilson said about " When students start doing math they encounter problems that need solutions". I think that if students are given more real life type problems, then they see how math is used in everyday life and are more able to problem-solve. So many of my students can do the computation for anything we ask of them- but have a hard time applying those computations to real-life experiences. The more real you make math- the more it becomes a win-win situation.
I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that students must experience intellectual frustration in a positive way! It is not uncommon for my fifth grade math students, both the gifted and the simply high achieving students, to come to me thinking that an "A" in math is a right that they have simply because they have always earned them with little effort due to their academic ability. However, because I require them to do a variety of activities which requires them to share their thinking, including lots of non-routine problem solving, many of them will experience some frustration not only because I am presenting them with problems unlike anything they've ever seen before but also because I focus on their process as well as their solution. They don't understand why I care how they got the answer, if they got the right one! One of my favorite times in my classroom is when I've presented a really challenging problem that they can't solve right away. Most of the time, the gifted students want it left as an ongoing challenge for the week, or however long it takes them to get it, rather than wanting me to tell them how to do it. I love that! Ask any one of my former students and they will tell you that one of my favorite things to tell them is, "If it's too easy, you're probably not learning much!"
In response to S. Luther, I use a ton of math literature in my classroom, but I have not seen that book, If My ABC's Were 123's. I will have to find it to add to my collection, sounds great. I also like what you said about the tool box of strategies. I frequently use the analogy of the tool box in my classroom. I explain to the students that every time we discuss a strategy, they need to understand how to use it as well as for what tasks it is appropriate. I tell them they should add it to their "tool box" which has been growing since they started school with more and more added each year. When faced with a new problem it will be up to them to decide which tool to pull out and use depending on the task, just like a carpenter must know which tool to use for which task. He wouldn't pull out a screwdriver to hammer a nail into a wall.
Yes, I agree that students need to experience intellectual frustration otherwise the lack of opportunity to think deeply and to experience and learn from frustration, can have disastrous consequences later in life. Students who are not challenged can become apathetic about the subject being studied. To make the subject exciting their needs to be a challenge follow up with a sense of accomplishment and as teachers of GT students we need to create this type of environment for our students using different difficult levels of math problems to stimulate their brains. The brain is like the muscles of our body-when not challenged it can become weak (sluggish), but if challenged it expands its capabilities. Einstein did this and maximized the used of his brain! So it is imperative that teachers of GT students use higher level problems to challenge the thinking of these students.
I agree that students need to experience “ intellectual frustration” in a positive way. Teaching math to my gifted students has been the most challenging for me. I always have to come up with ways to challenge them and make it fun at the same time. This year was especially challenging because I had several students who only wanted to do the minimum amount of work. I had to come up with different ways for those students to experience that “intellectual frustration” which motivated them to try new problems and challenges. The GT students and other students in my class responded well to the AIMS math activities that I used this year.
I agree with the author. This is the time when students are at the edge of their comfort zone and that level of frustration pushes them to work to learn the concept. When the student achieves this learning by pushing through the frustration, it is truly an AHA moment.
Absolutely!!! Students need to be challenged in a positive and constructive manner. "Intellectual Frustration", as used by the author, is referring to high level of challenge. Gifted children are often so far ahead of their peers academically that they become bored with normal classroom work, resulting in low grades, low achievement and behavior issues. They are in desperate need of intellectual frustration (stimulation, challenge,etc) on an appropriate level.
In response to R Campana: "Students who are not challenged can become apathetic about the subject being studied." I agree completely with this statement! It is imperative that we make our subject matter interesting and challenging so our students will remain engaged in the process.
In response to P Kassir, I agree that this frustration level will give the gifted students (really all students) the coping skills they will need later.If things always come too readily, then when they hit a "wall" later it is very difficult for the gifted student especially emotionally.
In response to S. Luther's statement: "It isn't always black and white and gifted children often have their own way to finding the solution." I often find myself letting the children explain different ways to problem solve. On page 4 of our reading selection the author talks about a student who solved a problem with a very clever and insightful solution. Students love to learn from one another and GT students can't wait to tell you how to do something.
I completely agree with bringing students to the level of "intellectual frustration"; to challenge them to better themselves and their understanding and to become better problem solvers they need this. It is real -life and the best way to make learning experiences relevant. I know I experience it during data meetings trying to think of better solutions or even outside the box!
In response to Sharon G.-I agree that GT kids need to learn coping skills when things don't always come so easily so they don't get frustrated and give up too soon.
I agree with the importance of “intellectual frustration.” Gifted students need to be increasingly challenged and sometimes celebrate their successes more when they have to work hard for it. They must be constantly stimulated and challenged to keep them interested. Gifted students need to learn how to get past that frustrated point, or else they have a lot of problems when they reach that experience, sometimes not until later in high school or even in college.
Because I completely agree with Zacarro’s statements that “mathematically gifted children usually pick up concepts so quickly that they are left with little to do intellectually in a classroom” and that “…there are serious consequences if bright children are not challenged in their elementary years… lack of opportunity to think deeply and to experience and learn from frustration can have disastrous consequences later in life,” I do believe that young students must experience intellectual frustration in a positive way. To me, Zacarro’s introduction message translates to the importance of not under-challenging gifted students. He says that gifted children aren’t given the opportunity to see the wondrous side of mathematics because it is usually taught as all scales and no music. I agree. Gifted children learn rapidly and are bored with repetition. Most of the highest-achieving students in the nation have mastered from 35 to 50 percent of the curriculum before they even begin the school year. Moreover, most gifted children do not perform at high enough levels; they are restrained by the lack of depth in their regular school program (National Association for Gifted Children, 2008). With lack of engagement, gifted children can become bored, inward-focused, and tuned out. I feel that their high level of curiosity and their desire for learning should be met with opportunities to solve problems, to analyze materials and situations, and to learn from real-life experiences; they should experience an inquiry-based, in-depth approach to teaching and learning which challenges their intellectual intensity and encourages their creativity. This will allow them to stay engaged. I feel that they must experience intellectual frustration in order to learn more complex material and to work harder; they must actively participate in their education. Their active participation in the learning process will allow them to accept responsibility for and ownership of their own educational experiences so they may realize their full potential and they may remain academically energized and inspired.
In response to Tatum T, I agree with you that GT students need the opportunity to be in situations that require effort on their part and offer the chance to develop their patience.
In response to SusanM... I love your lingo about the toolbox. Do you use anything tangiable, or is it just ideas and notes you add to the math journal? Is it differentiated?
In response to SadloK on June 10th, I agree that with lack of engagement gifted children can become bored, inward-focused, and tuned out and that causes gaps. Math is a discipline that is built on the previous skills and knowledge. Foundational gaps, as a result of boredom and lack of engagement, can be very hard to fill for higher mathematics. I think that is why gifted children need healthy dose of intellectual frustration that would keep them engaged.
In response to CKohl on June 10th, I agree that GT students sometimes don’t experience this frustration level not until later in high school or even in college. As a result they do not develop the study skills they definitely need. Since teaching study skills before they really need them can be counterproductive, experiencing intellectual frustration and developing study skills earlier in life is essential for gifted students.
In response to ADunlap... Extremely well stated, I agree with you 100%. Your response to question #1 is exactly what I was trying to articulate in my response!
Absolutely. I think GT students should be taught how to handle academic frustration--particularly that it's a sign of learning something new, not a personal failure, or an invitation to give up. So many times when GT students have been allowed to coast for years and finally hit the brick wall, they are not equipped with any coping strategies. It's our responsibility to help them with that.
Yes students should have some intellectual frustration. It teaches them the ability to stick with a problem. Research shows that the length of time a students will stick with a difficult problem is an indication of how successful they will beI also learned this summer that when you put a problem that every one is stumped on and all the class has to take time to work it the more likely you are to have the entire class working. When present a problem that some of the students already know how to do the rest of the class waits for those who know to answer then copy down the answer and not do the work them selves.