Focus Area #1: Engagement
World Maths Day: UNICEF sponsors three major online events: World Literacy Day (March 5th), World Maths day (March 6th), and World Science Day (March 7th). Individual students can register, classes can register, to participate in online competitions and add to overall individual/school/country scores (ages 4-18). Prizes too! Start practicing during February!
Focus Area #2: Critical Thinking
Six Thinking Hats: Edward de Bono’s “thinking hats” approach can be used to get students to ask questions from a variety of perspectives. Using this approach also allows teachers to assess students’ levels of thinking in group settings. Here is a great summary of the approach with specific questions students may use while wearing each hat. This is an effective way to assign group members roles while exploring a broad problem/project.
Focus Area #3: Connections
I Love to Read (Math) Month: I know, I know…not everything is about math. But have you thought about connecting your literacy activities during February’s I Love to Read Month to numeracy? (Also, keep in mind that April is “Math Awareness Month”, more on that in March!) If you’re looking for some good books with mathematics in them (fiction, nonfiction, autobiography, sci fi, whatever!) a great site to use is Goodreads as they have a wonderful search capacity. Tough to pick any books to highlight, but for what it’s worth here are a few to consider: “A Wrinkle in Time” (fantasy by Madeleine L’Engle); “365 Penguins” (EY/MY multiplication picture/word book); “Letters to a Young Mathematician” (by Ian Stewart); “The Eleventh Hour” (MY and up, problem solving focus, by Graeme Base).
Focus Area #4: Professional Learning
Divisional PD Calendar: There are various workshops now being offered through the division, from PLCs to Guided Math to 21st Century Learning in Mathematics. Check out the divisional PD calendar for more information and to register for a workshop.
Focus Area #5: Current Research
“Fractions …can strike fear into students and teachers alike. Fractions are the area in fundamental mathematics most plagued with obstacles in the language and symbolism….Just as with any other topic in mathematics, a conceptual understanding begins with a simple yet deep definition of the term fraction.” (The Problem With Math is ENGLISH, Concepcion Molina, Jossey-Bass 2012, p.105.)
Molina’s book provides great practical examples of getting beyond memorization and “getting by” in mathematics to that deeper conceptual understanding for students. This is your last quote from this resource…next week I highlight a different book for a possible PLC focus!
Focus Area #6: Ressources en Francais
Blog Maths-Cours: Check out Maths-Cours for some interesting and short (5min) SY level videos to use en Mathematiques. In particular, I like the video carefully going through four examples of graphing straight lines (“Lecture de l’equation d’une droite). Useful for intro or review perhaps?