# ABQ Math Blog

## Saturday, August 12, 2017

### Class Summary

I have to be completely honest and say that what I learned in this course is more that I learned during Teacher's College. We looked at resources, practices, pedagogy, teaching strategies, assessment methods and more which were all geared towards the math curriculum, but most certainly does not limit us to the math curriculum. There is nothing we won't be able to use in our careers as teachers that we didn't learn in this course. I have never bookmarked so many pages in my Chrome browser as I have over the last 2 months. Everything we covered is transferable throughout the subjects and I am so grateful for that. I am excited to use the information I learned in this course in my science teachables and I am looking forward to the next course I take!

## Friday, August 11, 2017

### Millennials

I saw this awhile back and thought it was quite relevant to this course and teaching. Millennials do get a bad rep and whether that is fair or not is up for debate. Simon brings up a lot of interesting points about this generation and why they act like they do. I have to admit that even though I am not technically considered a millennial I can be guilty of some of the things he talks about on occasion. As teachers it is important to understand our students, and since we will be teaching this generation we may as well educate ourselves more! Let me know what you guys think.

## Tuesday, August 8, 2017

### Mental Math

I work part time in retail during the year and I'm always finding new ways to calculate math in my head. It's a shame that students have resorted to using calculators all the time rather than challenging themselves to do simple math in their heads. I don't know about the rest of the world, but I certainly do believe that simple mental math needs to be a requirement in our schools. It's not very often that people in everyday jobs need to bust out their scientific calculator to do a calculation. The basic mathematical operations are really all we need to know for most jobs. If mental math becomes part of the curriculum again I know students will be far better off in their first jobs.

## Tuesday, July 4, 2017

### Collaboration in High School

I write this Blog as a question to my fellow educators asking for your knowledge on how much collaborating occurs in the average high school math class. But first, a bit of background information.

In the school I have spent my brief teaching career in thus far the teachers and principal love the idea of collaborating. This occurs as an entire school community, through team teaching, and in the individual class itself. I have grown to love this concept and have fully embraced it. For example, I love throwing in random problems of the week and have my students work in pairs to solve them. I love incorporating real world tasks for my students to solve, as I believe this will be beneficial in the workforce.

For those who enjoy throwing problems at their students in order to see teamwork and cooperation, here is the link to the university of waterloo's POW.

However, I recently heard one of my colleagues saying that we should put our intermediate students back into rows as this is how classrooms are set-up in high school. He also mentioned how high school is much more independent than elementary school (this was one of our resource teachers by the way). Because I don't teach high school and can't really recall accurately how we learned on a day to day basis I was hoping to hear some feedback from any of the high school teachers associated with this AQ

In the school I have spent my brief teaching career in thus far the teachers and principal love the idea of collaborating. This occurs as an entire school community, through team teaching, and in the individual class itself. I have grown to love this concept and have fully embraced it. For example, I love throwing in random problems of the week and have my students work in pairs to solve them. I love incorporating real world tasks for my students to solve, as I believe this will be beneficial in the workforce.

For those who enjoy throwing problems at their students in order to see teamwork and cooperation, here is the link to the university of waterloo's POW.

However, I recently heard one of my colleagues saying that we should put our intermediate students back into rows as this is how classrooms are set-up in high school. He also mentioned how high school is much more independent than elementary school (this was one of our resource teachers by the way). Because I don't teach high school and can't really recall accurately how we learned on a day to day basis I was hoping to hear some feedback from any of the high school teachers associated with this AQ

## Saturday, July 1, 2017

### Asking Effective Questions and Problem Solving

Blog Post Two:

Asking Effective
Questions and Problem Solving

In my experience
teaching Grade 7/8 homeroom math this year, it was a constant challenge to have
my students become effective problem solvers. I found the reasoning for this to
be two fold. Many of my students lacked the decoding strategies that were necessary
to deconstruct multi-step and comprehensive mathematical problems. In spite of
obvious connections made to a specific skill or unit, and an considerable
knowledge and understanding of mathematical processes, many students did not
know how to determine what they were looking for and accordingly had to be
walked through the process of determining what information was important to
parse out from the task.

I was deeply
committed to helping my students build these skills because I could empathaize
with the frustration and confusion they were feeling when they were trying to
solve a nuanced mathematical problem. Growth mindset is something that is
extremely important to me and my relationship with math was far from ideal
throughout high school. Only later in my involvement in education did I realize
how FUN math can be.

Rich tasks allow
students to ask rich questions and use an inquiry based model to develop
mathematical strategies. One of the best tools that I have found to help
students learn to approach problems with confidence is one that is question
focused rather than problem focused. When students have the opportunity to
develop their line of mathematical inquiry and through guided teaching,
determine the type of questions that
should be asked, they are not only more engaged with the material, but are more
aware of the process that they need to determine the most accurate answer. Three Act Math actively encourages students
to become conversant with mathematical questioning. It uses positive reinforcement to help the
students learn the types of questions that should be asked, how to communicate
their mathematical thinking and how to achieve the desirable end result. This
type of instruction brings real world problems to the forefront of math
learning and encourages students to approach new tasks with a positive attitude
and a questioning mind.

### Blog Post One: Math Talks

Math Talks

Math talks help
students actively develop new ways of thinking about numbers. Math talks
encourage students to use their prior knowledge about math, make meaningful
connections to mathematical problems and communicate their mathematical
understanding in a clear and concise way.

Math talks are
extremely accessible, help develop growth mindset, and allow for the
participation of learners of all ability levels. One of my favourite Number
Talk websites was developed by educator and mathematician, Mary Bourassa. The
number talks she, and other collaborators have developed ask students to use
their knowledge of number sense to determine which of four numbers does not
belong. What is amazing about this
exercise is that ALL students, regardless and ability can engage in this type
of rich and open discussion. Answers can be incredibly simple or more
comprehensive and nuanced.

These talks are a
great way of determining a students level of comfort with different curriculum
strands, encourages class discussion and helps a teacher determine a students
depth of mathematical understanding.

http://wodb.ca/numbers.html

### My "go-to" websites for Gr 7/8 Math

## My "go-to" websites

This year, I have relied on a few amazing websites that help me to teach math in a more meaningful and interesting way. I thought I would share these sites with you!https://tapintoteenminds.com/ - If you haven't heard of this website already, you are missing out! This is a great place for teachers because they make math lessons that apply to real life! They supply you with lesson plans, iPad apps, book reviews and more!

http://nlvm.usu.edu/en/nav/vlibrary.html - This website provides you with virtual math manipulatives. Again, it is nicely organized by Grade and Topic, so it is easy for you to find what you are looking for. If you students are hesitant to use manipulatives, you can try using these virtual manipulatives! We know that students are always more engaged when technology is involved!

http://www.oame.on.ca/clips/ - This website is great because it is organized by Grade and Topic. Your students can visit this website and practice a specific skill you are working on in class.

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