Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Skills Students may need in the Future

I thought this was pretty interesting so I thought I'd share it: 

The graphic below lists the skills industry leaders valued in 2015, as well as the skills they will be looking for in 2020.

It's sourced from the Future of Jobs Report, World Economic Forum, and you can see the top three are, Complex Problem Solving, Critical Thinking and Creativity. You can see the direct link these three skills lend to mathematics and need to encourage problem solving and inquiry-based learning in the classroom. Other skills listed on the 2020 list and not on the 2015 are: Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Flexibility, I found this interesting too, could you incorporate these ideas in a Math lesson?   

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Ontario Math Ed Resources

As educators, it is important that we know where to look when we need resources or to have a "bank" of resources to refer to when teaching any subject. The following website is designed specifically for Mathematics; it provides educators with a wide array of resources such as teaching tools and guides, links to activities for students, and mathematical strategies and supports as well. The website provides many links to external websites that are related to mathematics that would benefit students, teachers, and parents.

I have used this website during my placements when I had to teach math. I was able use various resources to aid me during my lessons and to also enhance them. I also had students use some of the links provided for additional support in school and at home.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Quizizz makes it super-easy to create great quizzes in no time!! A teacher friend showed me this and I was so impressed at how user friendly it was. I had added it to my TO DO list, and now I will finally spend the time to get into it!!

At a quick glance, I see it recently added a bunch of new features including "Google Integration". I'm going to create an account and keep adding to this post to give you more details and let you know what I think. Check out this link to get an idea of what it can do, or stay tuned...

Bell Ringers and Tickets out the Door

Throughout my year in teachers college my advisor and biology teachable professor always told me the importance of bell ringers and tickets out the door to start the lesson off right and end it on a good note as well.

Ticket out the doors and other formative assessments at the end of the period were always my strong point.  Even though the ones I did were always related to science I can still see this being a helpful tool for math students.

With ticket out the doors, students can answer a certain question or two that relates to the lesson they did that day.  When they hand that in as they leave it allows the teacher to see how they understood the lesson, where they went wrong, and provide formative feedback.  When students receive this formative feedback on where they went right and wrong they will be able to fix their mistakes before a quiz or type of assessment that gave marks.  I also loved doing Kahoots at the end of a group of lessons that were all related.  Students love doing Kahoots as they are fun game like times and it also allows them to see right away if they know the answer or if they don't.  These are all super fun and easy ways to test knowledge of students in a formative manner before they leave your class for the day.

Bell ringers/minds on, on the other hand, were always my weak point.  I would always just put up a question from the night before and have students answer to ensure they learned the previous days material.  This is similar to a ticket out the door so it was always a bit repetitive.  This is something that I will need to work on because math is not always the fun subject but if I can make it fun then students will be more engaged.  I know a fun video or gizmo about the topic may be a good way to start off the lesson.

What are some ways you do a minds on or bell ringer?
What about some of your ended ways?

Lets all share so that everyone can increase their resources and pick up some awesome ideas!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

EdTech Camp 2017 & Kevin Brookhouser

My first EdTech Camp experience started with inspirational stories from Kevin Brookhouser, the keynote speaker of EdTech Camp 2017

His emphasis on motivating students to become ‘wicked’ problem solvers – because today’s most dire problems won’t be solved with algorithmic approaches - have made him start the 20% project. When he told his students that they could spend 20% of their time for whatever they would like to work on, surprisingly students were not happy because they were not used to autonomy. It was so hard to make them even begin brainstorming, so he started ‘Bad Idea Factory’ and students got really motivated and produced tons of ‘bad’ ideas while having lots of fun. In fact, many of those were not bad ideas at all e.g. someone trying a wheelchair for a whole day inspired them to become advocates and finally ramps were built.

Two things I learned: 
1. Students can become a lot more capable when opportunities are given
2. Project based learning can facilitate student autonomy and build innovative thinkers

The EdTech video of his talk today is not available but here is his talk at TEDxMonterey:

Exchange Rate

Student’s even teachers can’t wait until winter break, spring break, and most importantly summer break. During these times, people tend to go on vacations and visit places that they haven’t been to before. Speaking for myself, I try to go to a different country every 2 years. When going to a different country, the first thing we do when we get there is to exchange money for the trip. Not to forget that we are a boarder city, so our city does deal a lot with currency exchange. So I think it is really important for our students to learn how to deal with converting money. It is also part of the curriculum for the students to solve problems by using proportional reasoning in a variety of meaningful contexts. The specific expectation is to identify and describe real-life situations involving two quantities that are directly proportional. This is directly taken out of the grade 8 math curriculum. I am going to compare the Canadian to the American currency. For every $1.00 Canadian, the exchange rate is $0.80 American today. The reason why I brought up vacations at the beginning was to have students write all the countries they have been to and research what is the exchange rate between the Canadian currency and that countries currency today. If the students haven’t been to other countries, then they can pick places that they would want to visit in the future and to find the currency exchange rate. We can extend such lesson and ask the students to use their findings of the exchange rate to find the difference of prices in each country of five different groceries.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Morning Routine with Math

This is a bit different than some of the other posts in this blog, and it might not be for everyone! My usual routine in the morning is to drink my coffee (of course), read articles and do some KenKen on the NY Times website. For those of you who have never done a KenKen puzzle, it's a puzzle that calls on your skills with the basic operations, addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Numbers cannot repeat in rows or columns, and you must complete whatever arithmetic lies in the bolded boxes.

Anyway, I thought one day that it'd be a good idea to share part of the routine with my students. To some, it was boring and they didn't care much for it. One morning I would teach the class how to complete a KenKen puzzle, and as they walk in to class every day I would have printed copies of a daily KenKen puzzle printed from the NY Times website. It wasn't mandatory, but students knew that if they sat down they should have something to work on or read. It got more and more popular and students would end up racing each other (and me, foolishly..ha). I feel this is a good way to keep the mind sharp and wakes people up in the morning. I've done this routine with Science classes as well! It pushes students to practice their basic operations and can really challenge them if they choose to do a 6x6 medium or hard puzzle. I recommend it to anyone who's never done it! The link is in the first paragraph. Cheers!