Monday, 16 October 2017

Headbanz...Celebrity Heads

We have been having a great time playing Heads Down Thumbs Up with our Grade 4 buddies. Games have been a huge hit for this group and decided to try Headbanz (Celebrity Heads).

My first concern was to generate lists of names that could bridge the age difference. Came across this very useful resources - which could be used in itself - or to generate further celebrities. Super handy to have on call for a game! The Gamegal has some great lists and printables.

There are other resources under the "Advisory tab" also on this blog.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Problme Solving Posters


The learning environment is really important! I love having a welcoming and simulating poster sad decorations - but one thing I shy away from is unnecessary posters..or ones that aren't useful.

Over the last few years I have used (and shared) these great posters from the blog MathEqualsLove. Part of the appeal is the simplicity yet eye catching fronts!

In the first few lessons of the year we used activities from Jo Boalers week of inspirational math - at the end of one where we looked at multiple ways of solving I also gave them a mini black and white version. This was after a past parent pointed out that the posters were useful when they were in class - however when the students were at home they couldn't refer to them. Such an obvious point - and one that I am excited to fix!


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Crow and Pitcher (V.2)

The familiar (and much loved) Crow and Pitcher Activity returns. The task is based on the Illuminations activity. This year my college simplified the instructions down. I had visions of using this as a summative assessment (however a partnership is all about compromise!)

I really love using the Aesop's fable youtube video by Smartzoons to hook the students, before connecting the equipment to how we will proceed with the simulation. 

If you want to see what I did another time  - click here 

                                           

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Reviewing Common Core Mathematical Practices

This year my new colleague and I started the year a little different. We began using some activities from Jo Boalers Week of Inspirational Math. We used activities as to emphasize them mixing, group work expectations and justifying answers. Another thing ew wanted to talk about is the mathematical practices - as they will be assessed and reported on this year.

At the end of the final lesson, I got students to write on post it notes where they had used the practices over the last three lessons and stick it on the relevant poster. I found it very effective in pulling together of ideas and clarifying any practices they couldn't identify.

I put them up on classroom window - such a thrill to hear and see other students and teachers talking about them.


Tuesday, 12 September 2017

CMP TWMM Inv 1.2

In 8th Grade we started the CMP course with the Thinking With Mathematical Models (TWMM) unit. Today we used Desmos to look at the classes data to generate discussion.

It was the first time I used it in this investigation. As the began to come into the classroom I got a few to enter in there data. It was also useful to be able to tune on and turn off the tables - hence showing their classes data, plus how it sat within the the wider set of data. It also worked out well the the choice of thickness in the simulator provided the same trend.


CMP TWMM Inv 1.1

In the 8th Grade we use the Connected Math Project (CMP) resources to teach our mainstream grade 8 course and Algebra 1 course.

The first unit is Thinking With Mathematical Models (TWMM). The first problem gets students creating bridges and investigating the factors that effect its length. The main objective and to distinguish linear and non linear trends. I use a simulator for the 1.2 problem.


I enjoy getting students to explore both strategies in collecting their data. Its also a nice link with how engineers might investigate how much weight a structure can hold. One student bought up how elephants were use to solve the panic of the safety regards the Brooklyn Bridge! Love real life links! 


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.