Yet, in math today we banned the use of paper and pencil.
I asked students to find the area of a volume of a cylinder that is twenty inches wide and twenty inches tall. I watched students fidget for awhile before realizing that they would have to solve this using a cerebrum rather than a slate or a paper.
No manipulatives. No paper. No slates. No chalk. Just a mind. It took awhile at first, but eventually every child answered it and then shared their process with partners.
Having tools is a part of being human. I never want to deny that. Yet, I also want to recognize that we have the power to abandon our tools and use our highly evolved minds. I ask students to do mental math because I want them to see that their brains are powerful in and of themselves.