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.
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.