Wednesday, January 12, 2011

11 Math resources to try in 2011, Richard Byrne

I have just read the post "11 Math resources to try in 2011" on Richard Byrne's blog "Free Technology for Teachers".

I looked at all of the links provided and there are a few that stood out. The best one was math live from Learn Alberta. It has excellent teaching videos that would make a teacher at the front of the room quite redundant. This site is well worth visiting and using although falls far short of the kinds of changes Dan Meyer and Conrad Wolfram are promoting. Both talk about not paving the way for students to solve unrealistic, un-complex problems. Wolfram talks about letting kids struggle and then giving them some technique to solve the problems. This Learn Alberta site would be great to use after you have let them struggle a little bit.

Conceptuamath is a manipulative math tool (mainly fractions) that is not unlike Illuminations and the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives. These kinds of programs are fun but also fall far short of real change in higher order thinking and creativity in the classroom.
My delicious account contains more links of similar programs.

Plus magazine is an incredible resource for finding ways to apply math to the real world. there are many articles ranging from the importance of measurement error in building construction to the science of a tennis racket. I would definitely check this out for ideas to make math come alive in your room. The one problem it may have is that it is quite complicated math and written at a high reading level. Perhaps this magazine is better for the higher grades and for professional reading.

I am left feeling even more resolved to change the way math is learned in my classroom. Computation and teaching of technique need to take a back seat to creativity and divergent thinking. I'll let you know how it's going.

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