Well, it's not new-age mumbo-jumbo...

I think it is problem solving. And you hit Dr. F's nail on the head here, I think:

Memorization of certain things in math is crucial. You have to understand "why", but once you understand, cetain things should just stick with you and you should be able to recall them right away, otherwise you will be lost in more complex problem solving.

It's learning the facts through use, not memorizing them to pass a test. I think you and Dr. F are on the same page, Ania.

Please keep in mind that you're getting his take through me, and remember that I'm still trying to understand it myself. As I mentioned, a big part of this post is my own groping to figure out what it means and how to use it. "Problem solving" is accurate, I think, but is too simple to mean much to me personally.

So why do you think doing calc--accessed through physics or history and at a level DS6 can understand--will lose him, Ania? You may be right, but I don't know why. Can you explain what's wrong with that take? Remember, it won't be calculus like it's traditionally taught. We're going out of the box here, big time!

As for teaching multiplication through a pendulum swinging, he was talking about square roots there, I think. Apparently (???) the slowing swing of a pendulum corresponds roughly to square roots, and graphing the swing can be used for working with sqares and square roots.

If I may...This was one slide of over 100, and it wasn't a presentation designed to teach me how to teach, and I am NOT a math expert, so I KNOW I don't understand completely yet. I FREELY admit that these nuts and bolts things need to be WAAAAAAAY clearer if I'm going to implement this teaching strategy. At this VERY early stage, though, I'd prefer to focus on the big picture, since I know I have LOTS of legwork and planning to do before I get to the practicalities of "How do you teach about a swinging pendulum?"

I AM very glad that I have a good 4 months to figure it out! I think I'm going to need it!