Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Angry Birds Quadratics

It was the end of term and the lesson after the end of year exam.....what to do?!?!

A colleague of mine was showing a DVD, but since I was new to the school and also been in a school where end of year videos were frowned upon I went to an alternative activity. All credit must got to Face the Math blog and a copy of the project can be found here (link no longer available, 2015)

Our last topic was Quadratics. I stumbled upon an Quadratic activity with the theme of Angry Birds.
It was math related, real life related and it reinforced all the concepts we had done (x intercepts. vertex, axes of symmetry, graphical form, table form and equation from). There was already an example of the end product that I showed as part of my presentation to get the ball rolling.
Here is some of the classes work.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

What teachers make...

We had a guest speaker come talk to the Middle School today - Taylor Mali.

As per usual, I was excited to hear what will be presented. Then I heard his voice. It seemed familiar, He was a slam poet. Then it clicked. What teachers make.

I was impressed with his short performance in the morning assembly, I went to the evening performance. Thank you Taylor!

My favouites: On girls lending pens (poor sound quality), Miracle Worker (love the part which talks about "writing the assignment sheet and printing them" at 1.50 time mark ), Why love is like a dog


Create: Perimeter and Area

I have been trying to make a conscious effort to more creating and application type activities. I was inspired by a question I saw while flicking thought a textbook.
I took it one step further where I wanted them to write their name, nickname or motto on grid paper and calculate the area and perimeter. Students often have trouble distinguishing the difference between the units. Here its clear the perimeter is the outside of the shape, while the area is the squares inside the boundary (hence why we use squared units when describing area).
Before we started I modeled an example:
Many question came up in the design process - What is a good design? Is it easy to do use whole square, what do we do if we have bits of squares?
Furthermore, more questions like:  can we draw a shape that was the same perimeter and area? what are the units we use, why are they different? Can we draw a shape that has a larger perimeter than area? Draw as many shape with the area of 24cm2, or perimeter of 20cm etc


Creating a culture of (internet) consumers

90-9-1 Rule

I found it fascinating to hear bout the 90-9-1 rule in regards to internet culture. Approximately, only 1% are actively creating, 9% are curating and 90% are consumers. Something to keep in mind!
I hope this blog gives back a little of what the wonderful world wide web has given to me!

Jeff Utecht - Looking For Learning

The Middle School was lucky enough to a small PD session with Jeff Utecht regards Looking For Learning.

How does being connected with technology changed us?
Today we don't remember telephone numbers as we save them in our mobile, Facebook reminds us of birthdays, GPS tells us directions, we can look up an recipe online... etc

How has learning changed when we don't have to remember? How has the "just in time" learning or the opportunity to learn instantly anything you want to with YouTube etc changed us?

As educators, we need to reflect on how can we ensure that students are getting the benefit of being connected and actively learning. On the other hand, how are we encouraging and stating up to date with the available resources and information.

SAMR is an acronym to help analysing how technology is used in the classroom. Is it used just as a substitution, to modify and activity, to add value or do another task in a completely different way.It was interesting to hear about the 90-9-1 rule, showing that even though most people are connected we are using technology in a similar way.
 The diagram below explains the SAMR acronym:

Other interesting points:
  • With new technology, its important to give "play time", say 15minutes. That way, especially in a class environment, you will end up with a class full of information!
  • Teach students the skill to "search" - not just Google. Google in particular has many features that can be used to get great quality information - edit reading level, date published, aces to old news papers, search within domains etc This is something I would love to spend some more time on!

Transition Complete -

Hopefully you will find the same ideas and inspiration for your classroom from the original site here at the new blog!
I have tried to move across all post to here, and have tried to keep a very similar layout:
  • General links and information for Math, Science, Pastoral/Advisory and Global across the top tabs.
  • Tags to post now can be found on the side bar rather than at the top.
Hope you find something useful on the new site here at Blogger (no matter what you teach)!

Miss M  :D

Friday, 21 June 2013

Some will think, it's sad but true...

I had a realization last Wednesday. It was the last day of term and I was sitting at my desk looking around my room and reflecting all that has happening in the last term and beyond to get to this point. My conclusion, I really love my job.

 Teaching is very much like a rollercoaster - the year, the term, even the day can have its' own ups and downs. I have worked with some tremendous colleagues, been stretched and had some very memorable moments. It has been hard - no doubt about it - but I feel (and hopefully others can see ) I am a better teacher for it.

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Math VS Maths

I never really thought about the "math VS maths" debate......until this year
Its almost a rite of passage with us Aussie's to do our time over in the UK. 2013 is the year I moved to London to teach. I initially got a long term supply position in a British comprehensive school through an agency teaching MATHS. It wasn't until I was going for a new job in an American style education system that I was corrected. In fact it was during my initial interview! No longer maths - its now just MATH. Well to be specific, I am now a Middle School Math teacher (I love the title - it reminds me of US movies and TV shows)

Here's an entertaining little video that was posted recently on The Periodic Table of Videos Fan Page Facebook page:

Bump Reading

Can home cooked Meatloaf and a glass of wine be classified PD??

Well I guess it can when you learn something new! :)

My Canadian Middle School colleague kindly invited me over for dinner (well, actually it was on the demand from her husband as he discovered I had never had Meatloaf before - something that just had to be fixed then and there!) one Friday evening. As in most cases when two teachers get together, the conversation topic of work sometimes pops up. She was retelling a hilarious story of when her husband came to visit the classroom and was involved in "Bump Reading". The story was told with great vigor but the whole idea of this "bump reading" was something I had never come across before.

It can be used when reading a long piece of text where you might usually ask students to volunteer to read or go around the room. Instead of this fairly structured way, the idea is the students can bump or "tag" in another student once they have read their part. The rules can be quiet flexible and can be changed if just introducing it to the class or to make it a bit more high stakes.
Initially rules like:
  • Everyone must have a go in the class by the time we read this section
  • You have to read at least 3 sentences before bumping
  • Can only bump at the end of a sentence
The aim is to:
  • Keep students following on the page
  • Everyone has to be prepared
  • Get everyone one actively involved
  • keep students attentive as they don't know when they will be bumped
  • can be fun :)
Classes who become comfortable, conditions can be added, for example: can read as much or as little as they want meaning they can stop part way through the sentence.
This may not have great repercussions in math classes; but for science this could be a quite useful!


Visible Thinking

Visible Thinking is something that has been generating a lot of discussion and interest in educational circles.

The main objective is to provide a scaffold through visible thinking routines, to allow students thinking to become visible, cultivate students thinking skills and to deepen content learning. Schools all around the world are implementing a range of visible thinking routines from Harvard's Project Zero (developed by Harvard's Graduate School of Education)

  • Claim - Support - Question
  • See - Think - Wonder or Think - Puzzle - Explore
  • Colour - Symbol - Image
  • I use to think/ I now think
  • The 4 C's
  • Tug of War
  • PMI (Plus Minus Interesting)
  • Brainstorm
  • Venn Diagram
  • What makes you say that
  • Headlines
  • Hands on Activities
Example or artifacts:

Teachers talking about their experience and implementing of visible thinking in their classroom