Saturday, February 26, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
- students are given low-level tasks which are mechanistic and can be completed by imitating a routine or procedure without any depth of thought
- students are mainly receivers of information, and have little opportunity for more direct participation in the lesson and the exploration of different approaches
- insufficient time is allowed for students to develop their understanding of the mathematical concepts being taught
- students have too little time to explain their reasoning and consider the merits of alternative approaches
- “I listen while the teacher explains.”
- “I copy down the method from the board or textbook.”
- “I only do questions I am told to do.”
- “I work on my own.”
- “I try to follow all the steps of a lesson.”
- “I do easy problems first to increase my confidence.”
- “I copy out questions before doing them.”
- “I practise the same method repeatedly on many questions.”
Saturday, February 19, 2011
- How many water balloons will it take to fill the school gymnasium?
- How many flat toothpicks would fit on the surface of a sheet of poster board?
- How many hot dogs will be eaten at major league baseball games during a one year season?
- How many revolutions will a wheel on the bus make during our seventh grade trip from Baton Rouge, LA to Washington, D.C.?
- How many minutes will be spent on the phone by middle school students in the United States?
- How many pizzas will be ordered in your state this year?
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Assessment for Learning Saskatchewan Learning Math Test for Grade Eights
I am going to give my grade eight class the math assessment for learning this spring. I thought it would be interesting to look at it in terms of what Conrad Wolfram has to say about traditional math teaching. He claims math is 90% about the teaching of computation. He, like Dan Meyer, Alfie Kohn and Joseph Ganem, call for more open ended math instruction where the conceptual and creative components are more emphasized. Meyer is particularly interested in posing questions based on real world, everyday math challenges.
One of my ideas is that we are going to have to assess our students differently if we are going to teach them differently. I wondered if our provincial math assessment was heavily weighted towards computation. So I decided to take a look. I went through all of the practice questions for the 2011 test and tried to sort them according to Wolfram’s categories. You may disagree with my choices. Have a look at the results and the questions themselves.
My Analysis of the Math AFL using Conrad Wolfram’s four components
Posing the question
Taking real world problem and making it into math formulation
Taking math formulation and applying in real world verification
AFL Question #
M (17, 22), SA (5a,b,c, 7, 8a,b,c, 9a,b, 10a,b,c)
C (1-16), M (2-6, 9-13, 18-20, 23, 25), E (1-2), SA (2-3, 4a, 4b, 6a,b)
M (1, 7, 14-16, 21), SA (1, 2, 6c)
My analysis of our provincial math assessment for learning initially looked to me like a well thought out test. After a more careful analysis, it looks like it is heavily oriented towards computation (62%). More importantly, there are no questions reflecting a student’s ability to pose questions given real world situations. I am not surprise by this as Dan Meyer and Conrad Wolfram’s ideas on this are relatively new.
I continue to look for ways to incorporate all of Wolfram’s components into the teaching/learning of math. I have a long way to go as far as devising ways to assess the learning of these divergent and creative skills.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Saturday, February 12, 2011
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
I do not want to spoil the knife edge effect of her message but I will say one thing. I love being a teacher and I love working with less affluent children. My work is important, challenging and I am honored to have the opportunity to unveil the potential within each student.
Enjoy the video, share it!
Saturday, February 5, 2011
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
Here is a math activity I have used for a while. It is something you can use to teach area and is more engaging than a textbook. It is higher order (a little) in that the students must create a floor plan for a house for less than $200 000.
If you were to look at it here, you would just view it and use it, it is an example of sharing.
Now take a look at this link. Add to the activity, improve it, make it more higher order. We all benefit. Go nuts, google docs and collaboration rule!
Enjoy, be challenged!