Happy Math Monday to you all!
Focus Area #1: Engagement
Math Movies Video Clip Collection: Someone has taken the time to search movies for clips that include mathematics – both good and not-so-good, to engage students in conversations about math attitudes. Use this site to help dispel the “I’m not good at math” default some students have! Everything from “Pay It Forward” (powers of three!) to “Jane Eyre” (basic math addition…but done wrong!) to “Harold and Kumar” (calculus and integrals).
Focus Area #2: Critical Thinking
The NFL and Super Bowl Sunday: Wishing you could incorporate the Super bowl into your math class? Wondering how you could do it and if there’s something out there already? Want to go deeper than the superficial team stats on websites and Sports Network? Check out Yummy Math’s website for a collection of activities that link crucial critical thinking skills in football to the mathematics behind it.
Focus Area #3: Connections
The Futures Channel: If you haven’t yet discovered “The Futures Channel” online, it’s a wonderful thing! Its mission includes distributing high quality media content, connecting math/science/technology/engineering, and providing connections to careers that apply these curricular areas. An example of a great video from The Futures Channel is a five-minute video clip on toy makers who use mathematics to design toys. Check it out and use it as a potential focus for a unit in math class! (This video highlights connections for grades 6-10 geometry and trigonometry, and includes a hands-on activity to follow up! Awesome!)
Focus Area #4: Professional Learning
Visible Learning (John Hattie): If you are familiar with John Hattie and his books “Visible Learning”, and “Visible Learning for Teachers”, you’ll know that he has compiled over three decades of research to come up with the most effective things teachers, schools, parents, and students can do to improve student learning. What’s the most effective thing teachers can do?
Here is a great article on Edutopia to read regarding why formative assessments matter, which also includes some suggestions for how to assess formatively.
Focus Area #5: Current Research
“The foundational blocks for conceptual understanding in mathematics are simple yet deep definitions. Such definitions are an integral part of language-focused conceptual instruction, which focuses first on the what and the why of concepts, saving the how-to procedures for an appropriate later time.” (The Problem With Math is ENGLISH, Concepcion Molina, Jossey-Bass 2012, p.190 – emphasis mine.)
Molina’s book provides great practical examples of getting beyond memorization and “getting by” in mathematics to that deeper conceptual understanding for students. I know I recommended it last week for a book study for your professional growth plan or math team meetings. Anticipate two more weeks’ worth of quotes coming from this book to give you more of a flavour of what you can anticipate from this resource!