Engagement: Have you seen the four-minute video done by a math major explaining “how math works for all the artsy people secretly wondering”? It’s a great, short commentary on typical reactions towards mathematics plus a brief summary of how to begin to overcome those reactions. “Math is hard – but you can do it. It’s not magic – it’s a skill.” Use the video as an opener to class discussion about attitudes regarding effort versus ability. You may also want to follow this math major through her newly-formed Mathematigal blog.
Critical Thinking: Assessment in mathematics should encourage students’ deep, critical thinking. James Tanton has a collection of lovely deeply thought-provoking questions collected in his “Assessment Thoughts” document. As Tanton himself states, “my ultimate goal as a teacher is to transform procedural understanding into conceptual understanding. Conceptual understanding is so much more powerful and much more fun!” His collection of questions include ideas for all strands and cover topics from both middle and senior years.
Connections: The Vocational Information Center in Pennsylvania has collected quite a few links to resources titled “Math on the Job – How you use Math at Work”. It’s a great collection, including videos (how do you use algebra?), content connections (arts, humanities, sciences), and career-specific connections (construction, drafting, architecture, computer programming, agriculture, animal science, automotive, nursing and so much more). Resources are US-based, however they are excellent for Essential, Applied, and PreCalculus Mathematics connections as well as some grade 7-9 topics (golden ratio, metric/imperial conversions, ratios, surface area and volume).
Professional Learning: Author Cathy Marks Krpan will be holding a full-day workshop on Problem Solving at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg on November 21st, thanks to support from Pearson Canada. Her recently published book, “Math Expressions: Developing Student Thinking and Problem Solving Through Communication”, is an excellent resource with grade-specific examples to promote communication as well as teaching strategies and assessment methods.
Ressources en Français: « Qu’est-ce qu’un Nombre? » est un site basé sur le livre de S. Houzel, qui retrace l’histoire du nombre depuis l’Antiquité. On explore des contributions de Chine, Egypte, Babylone, Grece, Inde, Islam, et des autres.