Nix the Tricks – A Book Review
A little while ago I wrote a piece around BIDMAS and the problems it can cause just teaching mnemonics without bothering to fully explain the underlying concepts. It was borne of the frustration of many conversations along the lines of
“Sir, you’ve got that wrong 9 – 3 + 2 is 4 because you do addition first.”
“No, addition and subtraction are inverse operations, they are of the same order you we perform them left to right.”
“No, Mr so and so taught me that you always follow BIDMAS”
Someone responded to my post with a tweet which linked to “Nix The Tricks“, which is freely available as an ebook, and I downloaded and read it.
The book itself is great, it is a collaborative effort by many maths teachers who share my frustration with the problems that teaching this sort of “trick”, rather than deeper understanding, can cause. The book has been put together by Tina Cardone (@crstn85). Tina and her collaborators go one step further that venting about the tricks and offer some brilliant alternative methods to help teachers who haven’t thought in detail about how to teach certain topics.
Its a fantastic book and I would advise any maths teacher to download a copy, especially those new to the profession.