How can you improve motivation in Math? Here are some great ideas to share with the math teachers who just say kids "aren't interested" and "don't want to learn." Change something, do something.
Yet another reason to use YouTube. PBS Math Club has a Youtube channel with topics such as "Adding Negative Numbers: Mean Girls and Darth Vader" and What is an integer?" It is important to give teachers access to YouTube even if you block it from student use. Think of it as free cable where you determine the time for everything to be shown.
Darren Burris is an Algebra teacher. His resources for common core are the best I've seen including some online courses aligned with standards (free courses.) If you've got to meet Common Core and don't have new textbooks, these Algebra resources are for you.
A nice round up of some incredible math teachers. If you're a math teacher, you'll want to go to these sites and click on the RSS button and add it to your Google Reader.
If you don't have a google reader go to reader.google.com and just paste in the links to each of these blogs and it will put them into the reader for you. Then, when new articles are posted on the blogs, your reader will put them together in a magazine like format using the RSS (really simple subscription) technology.
Go for it.
Larry Ferlazzo writes what may be one of the most important POSTS I've read all year. I like Larry's balanced approach to education, and this post is one more reason why. Memorizing may give you a temporary bump in test scores but it is a long term recipe for disaster - aren't we seeing that now? If you want to understand more, read Larry's post and if you're really interested, pay for the research study behind it which studied 3500 German students over 5 years about their work in math. Larry says
"A quick summary is that, though extrinsic motivation and “surface learning” (such as memorization) might result in short-term gains in assessments, they actually hurt long-term (five-year) academic growth. The development of student intrinsic motivation, “deep learning strategies” (requiring “elaboration” and connections to other knowledge — I think that might correspond to the idea of “transfer”), and students feeling that they had more of a sense of control (though this last quality had a less consistent effect — it seemed to depend on grade level) of their learning were the main ingredients necessary for increased academic growth..."
I was asked by a teacher if I could share some cool math games to be playing near the end of the period. This one is Christmas Tree Light up -- a game about connecting circuits - it does require flash.
I was part of a panel recently talking about a topic near to my heart, conservation education. I grew up on a farm and taking good care of the earth has been ingrained in me since I was a child pulling weeds and playing with ladybugs. I was impressed with all of the panelists. Of particular interest to many of you is the math teacher using Common Core and integrating conservation.
"The panelists were: Dr. Brian Davis, Vice President of Education and Training of the Georgia Aquarium; Daniel Strauss, Nature Conservancy LEAF program; Colleen Ryan, Keystone Center Participant and 8th grade math teacher; Vicki Davis, technology teacher for grades 8-12 , editor of Cool Cat Teacher Blog, and co-founder of the Flat Classroom Project; and Teresa Walsh , Public Affairs Manager for Georgia-Pacific’s Crossett, Arkansas, facility."
An incredible set of indexed Common Core lesson plans by standard for grades Kindergarten - 6 in math. Share and get ideas. Every math teacher using Common Core should peruse this list.
An excellent set of resources about common core standards and assessment from Edutopia.
"In this activity, students will examine possible combinations (outcomes) by creating different outfits with shirts and pants. The students will then create a chart to record their data. This concrete to abstract activity will help students understand how to organize data in a useful manner to ease the process of interpretation."
This is a neat grade 3-4 math lesson that teaches students how to analyze data. Could be adapted with other common things.
COTW: Here are 10 of the best quadratic resources in the world! http://t.co/Zg1FMgj6 #mathchat
An excel workbook to use with students for use on an interactive whiteboard to help you review fractions, decimals, ratios, and percentages. from Kev.
Calling all math teachers - take a few minutes to evaluate your math textbook and get a $10 gift card for Amazon and start your summer reading early.
(Full disclosure: I really like what this company Classroom Window is doing and how they want to aggregate teacher opinions into something that can make a difference and am in negotiations to have a (very small) stake in this company. As always I follow the blogger's code of ethics and my own and let you know if there is any other influence that you should be aware of. Also, however, note that I never work with anyone that I wouldn't recommend whether I was officially "working" with them or not.)
For those who don't have a lot of technology, this type of lesson (tested in Nepal) that uses colored paper clips to introduce Algebra warms my heart. Algebra is an important subject and using simple manipulatives is a great technique for many classrooms around the world.
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