Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Math Practices

The Common Core State Standards for Mathematics has content standards and mathematical practices. As a department at our school we are looking more and more ways of incorporating the mathematical practices into what we do and how we asses.

The mathematic practices underpin mathematical thinking and what kind of learners we aim to have in our class. It can be the driver for some of the activities I plan.


Some resources to help other teachers bring the CCSS Math Practices more into your classroom could be:

  • Visual Aids - have then up and present in your room or notice board. I have have two kinds I use Poster 1 & Poster 2 (Thank you Got To Teach on TPT for the free download!)
  • End of an Activity - after doing posters or an investigation ask the students which ones did they feel they engaged with. Or give them sticky notes to places their vote (everyone gets a voice then!)
  • Rubrics - we have two rows that focus on Mathematical Practices and gives them feedback on their demonstrated practices on that particular assessment. 


We handed the Scholastic "A Guide to the 8 Mathematical Practice Standards" article out to parents on Back to School night to introduce (or reinforce) the language and vocabulary of what we will be using with our students.

The teacher channel video "Owning the Common Core Math Practices" has some good suggestions and modeling by Mrs Audra McPhillips for all grades.

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

TedTalk: Super Chickens

This TEDTalk was mentioned in passing at work by Margaret Heffernan "Forget the pecking order at work". 

She presents the idea of "super chickens" making up a "super flock". We run companies and communities often via super chickens model. We have often been told the way to get ahead was to complete against each other. This often breeds friction, hostility and surpresses others. Heffernan urges us to see that there is a better was to work and live. Its through the joy of working with others, not against.

She says successful teams often have three factors - high degree of sensitivity to others, roughly equal time to hear each other and more women. The social connectedness build trust and trust builds social capital. This social capital gives momentum to ideas and building on good ideas to make them great. As she says "what happens between people counts - ideas flow and grow". This united culture of helpfulness outperforms independent intelligence and able to tackle hurdles efficiently.

I find this is a great talk. I love being part of team and never had anyone point out the benefits of production and wellbeing as well as Heffernan does. The value of the individual is so important.





Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Icebreaker: cup pyramid

Start of year Icebreaker I have found effective and useful in discovering more about how my advisory works as a team. 

The aim is to get 10 cups arrange in the photo below only using elastic bands, string and paperclips (optional). 

You can change the degree of difficulty by how you wan the cups staring off (up or down), and equipment (string and rubber bands attached or not). 


Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Design Thinking: The Hippo Roller

I saw this on Facebook and harked back to my PD on design thinking. The cation to it was "Your idea doesn't have to be complicated to be used". A new invention that fits the needs of a situation and makes beneficial impact. A great clip to show as an example of how thinking a little different and not necessarily more complicated can successful.


More information on the Hippo Water Project can be found here

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Pattern of Transformations in one lesson....Achieving the impossible!

This year we are using a new resources. It approaches and orders concepts differently than previous years. So far we have looked at linear, inverse, exponential and started looking at quadratic. The first year using a new resource always throws up its own set of little hurdles. Todays hurdle was teaching transformations in a cramped timeline.

The class started by revising homework and reviewing the types of functions we have seen and introduce the idea of a parent function.

Resource Credit: This page was copied from here - author unknown

Here we reviewed the characteristics of linear, quadratic, reciprocal, absolute and square root functions.

Each student got a blank table and series of graphs, by which they were to come up with some generalizations about how changes in the equation generated transformation of the graph. I asked them to color each function differently to make the sheet less overwhelming and draw their eyes to the transformation.

Credit: Resource adaptation from Mr Sell

This lesson worked best when all parts of the lesson were done. It was a two part lesson where the introduction and graphing was done in one (sent away to come up/finalize generalizations). Then start the next with compare and share and move into transformation of quadratic a in turning point form. 

Overall worked well :) 


Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Pythagoars Pile Up

I have seem the Trigonometry Pile Up activity sheet many times and stumbled upon this adaptation for Pythagoras. Its called Pythagoras Pile Up by Jan Litchenberger. Great way to practice the skills and develop visual interpretation.


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Flip Video

Last week I made this video on using the calculator to find key features of a Quadratic Graph. It reminded me that I had yet to blog on such aspect of my teaching! So here we are...!

At my school we have an online platform that students can logon and get homework, class resources and extra help. We are fortunate to have document cameras at our school and with a quick free download off the suppliers site can also use them to create easy videos! NB: No Academy Award will be awarded (but I am ok with that)!

The program is as easy as click - record - save - upload. I have found the easiest way to create these movies is by using a mini whiteboard. I use this if many students need to catch up (Language trip etc), summary of a new skill so they can review and practice at home, or flip lesson for understanding features on the calculator. Collecting materials, recording, youtube upload and embedding it in our site, all up took just over 15mins.