## 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.

### Youtube channels

## Youtube channels for the 7/8 Math class

Today I would like to share a few Youtube channels that I have found to be useful in Grade 7 and 8 Math classes. I incorporate videos into my math lessons a lot and my students love them! Some of them are a bit cheesy but the kids really respond to them and the ideas in the videos stick with them!
Check out the following channels:

If there are some other channels that you love, please let me know!

## Wednesday, June 7, 2017

### Illuminations and Inquiry Maths

## As we've already discovered throughout the course, there are many different websites that are very beneficial in the math classroom. When browsing the Internet, I cam across a website called Illuminations that offers many different math resources to teachers. There is library of virtual manipulatives : https://illuminations.nctm.org/Search.aspx?view=search&type=ac and these are resources that can be used in the classroom or for individual student purposes depending on the student's needs. This resources spans from kindergarten to grade 12 and there are many fantastic lessons, brain teasers (which provide great warm ups and hooks for math lessons), and many different games offered to each different curriculum big idea.

Inquiry Maths is also another site that is perfect when teaching math in high school http://www.inquirymaths.org/. The site contains different question prompts that allow students to think critically and use their higher order thinking skills with mathematical concepts. The different prompts stem from Number prompts, algebra prompts, geometry prompts and statistic prompts. Teachers can also create their own prompts and use the assessment framework to guide their evaluation process. Ultimately, students are able to explore diverse paths related to mathematical concepts and the students takes responsibility of their learning.

### Math Drills!

Hi
Everyone,

Here’s
another great resource that can be integrated into the classroom:

This website
contains lessons, worksheets and other useful tools all presented with a clean
layout that is easy to navigate. What I like most about it is how organized the content is. Apart from each topic and unit of study being neatly
divided, it also has a variety of extras that are incredibly
useful in the classroom.

The
Interactive Math section provides utilities such as flash cards, games and
converters that can prove useful in the classroom. They also have a sections
for accommodations such as the large print worksheets to help students who are
visually impaired. What is also fun is they have a holiday section with
worksheets that have various holiday themes for those festive times of year.

I hope
everyone finds it helpful!

Dante

## Monday, June 5, 2017

### Mathematical Quotes

I'm a big believer in quotes helping to inspire students to always do their best. Sometimes students need that positive reinforcement or that extra "push", especially if they start to daydream in math class or get frustrated with their performance. Here are some quotes that I cam across that are some awesome math quotes that allow students to think about math in a different light or mathematical concepts in real life applications.

**Grade 12 - Advanced Functions Connection (with limits)****Mathematics and Relationships****The Relationship with Math and other subjects (ex. science)****Positive and Open Mindsets in Math**### Using humour in math

I am a huge fan of puns and jokes, I also believe humour is a great way to make connections with your students. I will see different math jokes pop up on Twitter, Instagram,

and Facebook and it got me thinking...

First it would be a fun Minds On activity to show them and ask them to explain the humour. Another activity that could be effective would be having students try to create their own jokes or puns based on learning in the classroom. Anyway here are a couple of my favourites and let me know if you think this idea would work!

## Monday, May 29, 2017

### Riddles to Start Your Day!

Hi
Everyone,

Here’s a
fun little website that can come in handy as a great starter to a class lesson:

The Math
Riddle Section of the Math Warehouse provides a good selection of riddles that
can be used in a class to kick start your students’ thinking. Riddle are always
fun and are really helpful in getting all of your students focused, thinking
and collaborating in class. Hope everyone enjoys the link and is able to
integrate it into their lessons!

Thanks!

Dante

## Sunday, May 28, 2017

### Explain Everything the app

I came across this app when I was teaching a grade 1/2 split. We were using Educreations but it just seemed limited in it could do. Here's a brief tutorial video of how to use Explain Everything:

Here is a video of it being used in a math classroom:

What I find amazing about his app is that often times they can be a struggle to explain mathematical thinking using a pencil and paper. This apps allows students to do this orally and use visuals as well. In terms of assessment this app is great because you can watch the videos later and even show the class someones thinking. But what really clinched it for me is student engagement. One of my grade 1s wasn't always engaged in learning activities blew my mind. We were studying 3D solids and their attributes, he took a picture of a square based pyramid and went on to describe the faces, vertices, and edges (including those hidden from view). When I showed the class his video his smile was so rewarding, he was so proud of what he did. Anyway if you haven't tried this app, give it a shot and let me know what you think of it.

Scott

Here is a video of it being used in a math classroom:

What I find amazing about his app is that often times they can be a struggle to explain mathematical thinking using a pencil and paper. This apps allows students to do this orally and use visuals as well. In terms of assessment this app is great because you can watch the videos later and even show the class someones thinking. But what really clinched it for me is student engagement. One of my grade 1s wasn't always engaged in learning activities blew my mind. We were studying 3D solids and their attributes, he took a picture of a square based pyramid and went on to describe the faces, vertices, and edges (including those hidden from view). When I showed the class his video his smile was so rewarding, he was so proud of what he did. Anyway if you haven't tried this app, give it a shot and let me know what you think of it.

Scott

## Thursday, May 25, 2017

### Another Great Math Game!

HI
Everyone,

Here is
another one of my favourite games that helps to encourage algebraic thinking:

This is a
simple game that is a Windows staple that I have always really enjoyed. When
you click on a square it will display a number underneath telling you how many
mines that square is touching. Using the process of elimination, you are able
to identify which spaces are mines and right-click on them to flag them.
Continue doing this until the board is clear and you’ll win. Having the
students go through this game is a great jump start to any class as it will
encourage a way of thinking that is conducive with mathematics.

Hope you
all enjoy it!

Dante

## Monday, May 22, 2017

### Showing the Importance of Math to our Students

As educators of math I think it’s very
important to show our students daily the usefulness and purpose of math. Many
of our students ask us, “Why do I need to know math? How will this ever help me
in my future?” These questions are super important and demand a full
explanation to our students rather than “because it’s important.” We need to
give our students the answers to these questions and these can be done through
multiple ways. For example, we can get
guest speakers to come in and talk to our students about the role math plays in
their lives and job, we can stress the importance of every new concept before
teaching it and the different cases the students will encounter this in their
future. Another way is to show students TED talks and math clips!

As we know, math is only mandatory until
grade 11. Afterwards, students have the choice if they are going to pursue it
again. This is a video that I would show students in grade 11 in order to
emphasize the importance math has in the world as they start to decide if this
is something they are going to pursue next year.

We Use Math : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QqkLrduFA0

Students need to know that the world is
changing and mathematics has an important role in the changing world. Math gives you the basis to do new things,
make new discoveries and allows you to open yourself up to many different jobs
such as a video game developer, research analyst, investment banker, physicist,
foreign exchange trader, electrical engineer… Lots of companies want math
majors because math provides a foundation for many sciences and other subjects.
Therefore, as students are watching the clip they are able to see real people
with real jobs and how they use math in their daily lives. Furthermore, the
people talk about the realities of math and that math is hard! However, we
shouldn’t shy away from the difficulties but rather approach them with an open
mindset.

This is also another video that I like that
highlights some of the fears and struggles of students in the math class. With
Math I Can: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLPFaOvhlKw&spfreload=10

Students learn that math is everywhere and
is a basic life skill and with hard work and the right mindset, they can grow
and change the world.

Therefore, it is important to know that as
educators, we will help form the impressions students have towards math. The
best way is to promote the daily real-life applications of math, the
opportunities it holds in our twenty-first century world and the success
stories of individuals who have used their math to help others and themselves.

Emily

## Sunday, May 21, 2017

### Fidget Spinners in Math?

Fidget spinners, while initially designed to help students focus, are becoming such a distraction in classrooms that schools are beginning them unless a doctor's note is provided! But what if we could use this recent fad to help students with probability?

I was browsing Pinterest, and came across this pin. It is from another blog (erin*tegration, check it out!), but I loved this idea so I had to share it!

Students each get a pie chart which they colour in. Then, they attach a little sticky arrow (from a post it note, paper and tape, etc) to one part of the spinner. They put the spinner in the center of the pie chart, and spin away, recording where the arrow is when it stops spinning! They can be asked to graph their final results, and compare with a partner.

This connects with the Grade 7 curriculum in Probability and Statistics:

I was browsing Pinterest, and came across this pin. It is from another blog (erin*tegration, check it out!), but I loved this idea so I had to share it!

Students each get a pie chart which they colour in. Then, they attach a little sticky arrow (from a post it note, paper and tape, etc) to one part of the spinner. They put the spinner in the center of the pie chart, and spin away, recording where the arrow is when it stops spinning! They can be asked to graph their final results, and compare with a partner.

This connects with the Grade 7 curriculum in Probability and Statistics:

- select an appropriate type of graph to represent a set of data, graph the data using technology, and justify the choice of graph (i.e., from types of graphs already studied);

It could also be used as an extension to the following curriculum expectation if the students are excelling in this unit. Or, you could change the pie chart to be in two halves, and it fits this expectation perfectly!

- perform a simple probability experiment involving two independent events, and compare the experimental probability with the theoretical probability of a specific outcome

In all, fidget spinners don't have to be a negative thing in the classroom! Use something students are interested in to assist their learning, and everyone will be happy!

## Friday, May 19, 2017

### Different Assessments in High School Math

When looking at Assessment of learning more in-depth in the math classroom, many of us can probably say that we use the traditional “test” to assess our students learning. However, we have many diverse learning needs amongst our students in the classroom and we should offer different learning options for them in order to assess their learning. Here are a few ideas I’ve brainstormed below:

Have students start with a basic math
problem where students can demonstrate what they’ve learned throughout the
unit. The student can have 60-75 minutes to complete this task in which they
will use their Higher Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) in order to demonstrate a
limited, some, considerable or exceptional knowledge on the material. This can
also be transferred to the different categories depending on the question.

Students can also have the option to create
their own poster, collage or scrapbook based of the important terms that were
discussed this unit. Great opportunity for visual and hands-on learners!

Students could even get creative be
creating a video or a song to depict a certain element in the unit. They could
be asked to explain what they learned in a creative way that someone who
doesn’t know about the concept, will have a more in-depth concept after
listening or watching it.

Open questions!! Provide students with an
open question that can extend into the different areas studied throughout the
unit. Students will then be able to answer the open question by touching on
these different areas. They can show this through multiple ways including a
written answer, a mathematical solution, a diagram, chart, graph or drawing.

Students could also create a presentation
including the big themes that they learned from the different lessons in the
unit and one slide for each concept. They can explain the concepts giving their
own real-life applications and examples that are different from their notes.

Students could also create their own
concept map based on a unit and have the elements of the unit all connected in
some way in order to provide a visual of the importance of all of these
elements and how they connect.

As you can see, the options are limitless! Take
a chance and assess differently, I’m sure your students will enjoy it!

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