What is area model math? A local 4th grade teacher attempts to explain

Does it make it sense to you?

VILLA RICA, Ga. -- It was meant to explain, but it's left many scratching their heads.

Villa Rica Elementary posted the video of fourth-grade teacher Mrs. Jiles explaining "Area Model" math on its Facebook page to assist parents who want to help their children with their math homework.

As part of the Common Core curriculum taught in Georgia schools, students use the area model method to solve multiplication problems.

As Mrs. Jiles explains, area model is "very different from the way we were taught in school."

In a three-step, four minute video, Mrs. Jiles uses the area model method to figure out 35x12.

Since it was posted on Oct. 2, the video has gone viral. It's garnered more than 18,000 reactions, 105,000 shares and some 37,000 comments. 

Many of those comments were from people thoroughly confused.

Some said it took too long:

Still others were just plain flabbergasted:

To be clear, the confusion isn't with Mrs. Jiles explanation (everyone seemed to agree that she did a fine job), it's with the method itself.

So IS this newfangled way of learning math really an effective method? Are those of us who don't get simply stuck in our old ways? Do we need to open our minds? Should we have to?

11Alive sent digital journalist Joe Floccari to Villa Rica Elementary to chat (and learn!) from Mrs. Jiles. 

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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