# Best Math Practices : Developing Lifelong Thinkers Not Calculators

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Best Math Practices: Developing Lifelong Thinkers Not Calculators
As the focus of math changes students are asked to develop their mathematical thinking rather than their calculating. “While math traditionalist are correct that it is beneficial to memorize formulas, facts, and algorithms, the math reformists emphasize the need for students to have avenues such as journals, portfolios, or projects to demonstrate their understanding” (Kostos & Shin 2010). In math it is difficult to encourage students to think critically when many students, teachers, and administrators are drawn to the idea of right verse wrong. In mathmatics many hold tight to the idea that there is one correct answer and one way to get to the correct answer and that’s it; parents and teachers were taught mathematics just like this. Now with the focus changing we have students who are challenged to look at math differently. The focus of looking at mathematics as critical thinking, number manipulation, reflection and strategy has been hard for many to grasp. It is important that students are challenged to critically think and problem solve so they are capable of transferring their learning to new and different situations. Students must have the ability to problem solve and apply their thinking because as our world changes and technology gets more advanced we can no longer predict the situations our students will be in. Teachers must encourage critical thinking, so students are ready to enter an ever-changing