Focus Area #1: Engagement
Facebook Maths Profiles: What a great opportunity to use a platform that students already use and enjoy, with purpose and depth in maths class! Layering in creativity, research, knowledge of math concepts, are all brought together into a project requiring students to create a Facebook page for a chosen mathematician. Great idea, PLUS you don’t have to invent the templates! They’re already available on the internet here. Sherri Burroughs has also posted an excellent example of a Blaise Pascal Facebook profile one of her students created right here in Winnipeg!
Focus Area #2: Critical Thinking
Tutoring Parents: I was reading this article online about parents and their stress with helping children with math homework, and how this stress increases exponentially as they get older. Near the end of the article, the writer includes a wonderful set of suggestions for how teachers and students can help parents. The writer’s best suggestion (I thought) which helped both the parent and the student came at the end of the article, where she suggests parents hire their own children to teach them the mathematics! What a great way for students to dig deep into their own understanding of a concept! The writer encourages parents to be truthful with their children if they don’t understand the concept, requiring them to reteach or teach differently. Wow!
Focus Area #3: Connections
Pictures & Maths: A gorgeous collection of pictures are available online. What a marvelous opportunity for students at any grade level to answer the following question: “Here is the picture of the solution to a math problem – create the question!” Works for any picture! (Also check out the link in the “ressources en francais” section below. Even though I highlight the website which is in French, the clickable link focuses on another collection of pictures that can be used in French Immersion OR English maths classes!)
Focus Area #4: Professional Learning
Edcamp Winnipeg: Save the date! June 1st in Winnipeg, the first ever Winnipeg EdCamp! What an awesome opportunity to experience unique, (un)conference-style professional development! EdCamp is a very specific style of PD, with all sorts of tech involvement. Want to know more? Check out the link for details! Registration for EdCamp Winnipeg will open on April 1st.
Focus Area #5: Current Research
“An increase in the breadth, or elasticity, of our concept of intelligence, then, should open the possibility for innovative forms of assessment that are far more authentic than the classical short-answer examinations.” (Intelligence Reframed: Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century, Howard Gardner, Basic Books 1999, p.209)
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 indicated by an entire chapter devoted to myths), 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
m@ths et tiques: This is a wonderful blog by a mathematics teacher in France, almost entirely en francais. There are activities, math history, videos, and so much more…and en francais! My favourite part of this site is the “Fonds d’ecran”, a beautiful collection of pictures. Any of these pictures could be displayed for any grade level with the question “Here is the picture of the solution to a math problem – create the question!”. Love it!!