Happy Math Monday to you all!
This week Unicef’s online World Education Games begin with a great opportunity for all students to test their skills in literacy (March 5th), maths (March 6th), and science (March 7th). It’s free, and you can register individually or by class!
Focus Area #1: Engagement
Stand-up Maths Routine: Who knew comedians need math too? Well, Matt Parker is well known for his math-related comedy routines. He has a Youtube channel “standupmaths”. One example of maths comedy is his Bar Code routine that has audience participation. Warning though, this one’s 8.5 minutes long!
Homer’s Math Mistake: Need a shorter video to engage students? I know the popular clip from the Simpsons where Homer spells the word “smart” incorrectly is popular amongst ELA teachers. Do you know the clip where Homer makes a math mistake with the Pythagorean theorem? It’s only 9 seconds long.
Isn’t Algebra Thrilling: Need a slightly longer video, and one tied to algebra…and radicals? This video clip is one-minute long, and can be used to activate students’ thinking and start a discussion in either mathematics or physics classes about radicals.
Focus Area #2: Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking Pearltree: This weekend, I discovered PearlTrees. What a neat way to collect resources as visual pearls (or bubbles) that are clickable. It’s a searchable, public site (similar to sites like Diigo that bookmark favourite websites etc) but allows for more visual approach to your collections. Here is a great example of a Critical Thinking pearltree. Approaches to teaching, research links, self-reflection, all sorts of goodies have been placed here by one individual. The one drawback I can see to PearlTrees is that I think it’s not searchable as a site until you create your own account. That said, accounts are free so…easy access?!
Focus Area #3: Connections
Cruise Ship Mathematics: YummyMath.com comes up with some great collections of maths problems connected to real life situations. The most recent addition to this website is a collection of problems revolving around the latest statistics for cruise ship disasters (yes, sewage calculations come into it!). A good way to delve into ratio, proportion, and connect to real life (good for grades 7-10), there are problem pages as well as answer keys. Better yet, take a look at the math and tweak the worksheet to have the students find the statistics to answer the problems!
Focus Area #4: Professional Learning
21st Century Maths Learners: This divisional workshop is on Tuesday (March 5th) from 9am-3:45pm. Participants, please remember to bring your device(s) (handheld, laptop) and charger(s). David Wall and I will be co-facilitating, and there will be a guest arriving for part of the afternoon session!
Guided Math Grades 5-8: This divisional workshop is on Wednesday (March 6th) from 9am-3:45pm. Devices are welcome at any of my workshops. Come prepared to learn about the components of Guided Math and, in the afternoon, immerse yourself in some activities!
MY Maths Learners: This divisional workshop is on Friday (March 8th) from 9am-3:45pm. We will take a look at what topics tend to be sticking-points for struggling learners, and then delve into research-based effective strategies to support these learners. Participants in this workshop will be first in the division to receive a laminated placemat set of Middle Years strategies for +, -, x, and / (courtesy of Sandi Ferguson, I just did the proofreading – thank you Sandi!)
Focus Area #5: Current Research
“Educators may say they are ‘doing multiple intelligences’ when, in fact, they are largely continuing with their earlier practices while beginning to think about them in new ways. There also may be lamentable confusions in the early stages [of implementation]….The flexing of one’s body is not the enactment of [the bodily-kinesthetic] intelligence….We use an intelligence when we actively solve a problem or fashion a product valued in society.”
(Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, Howard Gardner, Basic Books 1999, pp.141-142)
Howard Gardner wrote many papers, and quite a few books, on multiple intelligences. Though “Intelligence Reframed” was written in 1999, many educators (and researchers) have forgotten its contents. Gardner addresses concerns he has over incorrect implementation of multiple intelligences theory, as well as pathways forward. In the current climate of popular researchers claiming multiple intelligences theory is invalid, this is a book worth (re)reading.
Focus Area #6: Ressources en Francais
PearlTrees: This website is great! JoceGermain has a collection of pearls that focus on creation. If you want a great website page for students to go to en francais that has a collection of video creation resources, this is where to go! . Here is another pearltree that is maths-specific en francais.