Engagement: Have you heard of “low threshold, high ceiling” tasks? NRich Math has a great explanation of it, as well as a collection of grade-specific examples. Here are three options of very engaging, flexible tasks: “Arithmagons” starts with guess and check, but can move students towards algebraic thinking (gr.5+); “Square It” game challenges spatial thinking to create a square before the other player does (gr.5+); high school students may enjoy the “Whose Line Graph is it Anyway” challenge to link graphs to physical phenomena (gr.10+).
Critical Thinking: Have you tried using infographics as an assessment tool option for your students? Have students use Piktograph (or a myriad of other infographics choices online) to analyze data for a statistics unit, to present information for a graphing unit, or work in tandem with another content-area teacher for a cross-curricular project that uses technology, mathematics, and…? The possibilities are endless. Here are some examples of interesting infographics that beg the question “where did they get their data?!” Check out this Internet Statistics infographic, this “Every Country is Best at Something” infographic, and this “Colours in Countries” infographic. David McCandless is a great person to follow to explore unique ways of visualizing data.
Connections: “Children who read for pleasure are likely to do better in math and English than those who rarely read in their free time.” (Click here for source.) One of the best questions you can ask your students while exploring their literacy and numeracy needs is “do you read for fun” (and if so, how often). As well, threading literacy and numeracy together in your class can provide powerful learning opportunities. Saskatchewan has a great collection of lists of books by math topics. For almost any grade level, try pairing higher grade students with lower grades to read a book together and discuss the math within it.
Professional Learning: The Winnipeg “MathJam” group is once again active, meeting the third Tuesday of every month. September 17th, join people who love to share math games and talk about math (any age and level) at the Round Table at 7pm!
Ressources en Francais: I have started a Google Spreadsheet for Mathématiques – Ressources en Français (Manitoba). This site will grow each week, with resources that are either created in Manitoba or meshed with Manitoba curriculum, and in French. If you have recommended resources en Français for use in math, please let me know and I will add them to the list!