So far so good..

The last few lessons have been #AoD doing its thing or more to the point my students doing their thing at their own pace.

As I walked around two classes, of grade 8, in a row every student was engaged and working well. The last two lessons of the day. They did their own brain break and two kids made a new one to kick off the lesson and then they all got down to it. All of them were ready to try new problems having watched some tutorials for homework

It’s early days and keeping this momentum going will be one of the challenges ahead. Watching students helping each other has also been delightful as well as a huge relief. One of my fears was that they’d be too independent. So far so good.

Day Off, Part 2
Day Off, Part 2 by NCM3 on Flickr

Part of my strategy to keep them motivated is to help them to see the mathematics all around them.

I have just  finished polishing off their first summative assessment task. The task was inspired by  Darren Kuropatwa. These two share all they do.

Gone are the autonomous days in our classrooms, which is a grand thing.

Meeting Darren Kuropatwa at the Learning 2.0 in Shanghai during a mathematics and tech unconference was fantastic. Presenting an Unconference  on Using Technology in the Mathematics Classroom was the highlight. I saw my little baby tech ideas, I had brought to Shanghai, on steroids and was so inspired to go back and design #AoD. It’s a work in progress, and it always will be.

One of the things Darren did with his students was to get them to take photos of parabolic objects. “De-constructing” the world around them, as a friend put it when I was gibbering about using tech to teach mathematics. Seeing the mathematics all around them is key I believe.  I have trialled this with my teeny grade 11 (juniors) class with parabolas and gradients. Now after my middle school students learn about gradients, I want them doing the same kind of thing.

I’ll get them to take photos of all sorts of gradients/slopes/steepness and annotate them. We can then build a class slideshow. Every student will do the task when they are ready, but will have to check all of the previous images, so that they don’t repeat any. This has the extra benefit of scaffolding students trying to move ahead. They can see the work and what is expected.

 

 

But how to store these images so they continually update? Flickr, and I manage  the folder, or can anyone add to a group we make? Slideshare maybe? Not familiar with it really, but not afraid to try? Wiki for #AoD? It won’t have enough storage… I think I need to be a web guru, or just tweet for help. I think it’s time I taught myself Slideshare. It’ s been on my to-do list and I hear it’s nice and easy.

The second assessment will be done together, so that we work as a class at some points and can discuss what we have learnt face to face. Preview http://veloroutes.org/ and maybe http://www.mapmyrun.com/. Students can map out a walk, run, bike ride, scavenger hunt anywhere in the world, and analyse the easy and difficult parts. It can be a place they know well or have been to once or somewhere they’d love to visit.  I did try this with my grade 11s and one of them said “But I only ever went to the hotel or the mall”. We were using their summer holidays. Funny as that was, I think I’ll open up the scope – oooh maybe MARS.

Advertisements

3 thoughts on “So far so good..

  1. I know I work just down the hall from you, but this is fantastic stuff!

    I think the idea of getting students to find the mathematical concepts around them and “deconstruct” them is so powerful. It will also be a great way to identify misconceptions that students may have and allow them to peer-correct those misconceptions, which may be more powerful than if done by the teacher.

    With Flickr, you have a couple of options, I think:
    1. You could collect all the images from students and then upload them yourself. That can end up being a lot of work for you and would take away an opportunity about teaching students how to use services like Flickr.

    2. You could create a group and allow the students to submit images that they have uploaded themselves to that group. The downside is, of course, that they would need a Flickr account. It seems as long as your students are 13 or older, they can do so: “parents of children under the age of 13 who wish to allow their children access to the Yahoo! Services must create a Yahoo! Family Account.”

    Let me know how I can help!

  2. Great work Melissa. I can’t believe you made a post about math interesting. I think the use of photos is a great touch. For Flickr to really be useful you need a Pro-account so you can create sets etc…

    Have you tried Picassa web albums form Google? Not only can you store them, but you can embed slideshows etc….Take a look.

    Keep up the great work blogging.

  3. Pingback: Don’t Eat the Beans! « #AoD happily wearing my inner geek on the outside

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s