Brainstorming is an excellent teaching strategy that many math teachers neglect to incorporate into their regular classroom practices. Some teachers don't think they have time, some teachers don't recognize the value of it, and some teachers have never even thought about having students brainstorm.
Brainstorming can be done at various times throughout a unit of study or lesson. It serves a slightly different purpose and has different benefits depending on when you use it in the course of a lesson or unit. In this post we'll examine some benefits of brainstorming before a lesson or unit of study.
Pupils from Robin Hood primary school, Birmingham, worked with a film crew from the National College for School Leadership to express their desire to use the...
This is an excellent video which brings forward student's desires to have technology integrated into their learning experiences. Student engagement involves much more than just using technology, but effective use of technology is definitely one way to get more kids interested in learning. Using blogs, wikis, etc. opens up your classsroom and allows students to learn from a larger network of people. With these tools, students have the ability to publish, get feedback, and then revise their work. Imagine how much students could/would learn by having the ability to revise a poster, blog post, podcast, etc. several weeks or months after creating it. Students could integrate all the feedback and new learning into their revisions. Isn't that why most math teachers require students to write with pencils...so they can revise their work when they make a mistake? Now, we can take this idea of revisions for learning way farther. Why wouldn't we want to take advantage of these new opportunities for learning?!
Steve Nobel makes the case for the need for Universal Design in Math as he states: "Math textbooks and other instructional materials will provide much greater accessibility for students with visual or learning disabilities when they are made available in a universally designed accessible digital format."
Math videos on Math Playground can be used to provide "multiple means of representation and engagement" for students who need another way to understand math concepts and processes. I know from teacher and student testimonials how effective they have been in improving math understanding. If you have a website or LMS, link to these math videos that support all students in and out of school. Oh yes, this site has math games that kid's love.
In this essay, UDL is proposed as the first tier in a prevention strategy by Fuchs and Fuchs, well known for their work in intervention strategies.
"Universal Design for Learning from the Center for Applied Special Technology calls for students to have multiple means of expression, representation, and engagement in their learning. Instructional media should provide those elements and have scaffolds built in (Deubel, 2003). Within a universal design framework, Fuchs and Fuchs (2001, pp. 86-87) presented four principles of primary prevention that can be used with all students."
Educational tools that help mid-school learners better understand math concepts.
Why UDL?: Math Snacks provides Multiple Means of Representation and Engagement of math concepts using animation and interactive math games. They can be used online or as app on an iPod Touch, iPhone or iPad. (Funded by USDOE and NSF)
Factor POP!! - More than a video game, Factor POP! challenges users to utilize math skills and quick fingers.
“This program reaches out to those students who do not do well with traditional programs. It supports the struggling learners by using fun, kinesthetic response to traditional problems. Through the different speeds, students will increase the rate at which they make calculations, transitioning from calculating to just memorizing what numbers divide into other numbers."
Goalbook is a collaboration platform for teachers, parents, and students centered around the achievement of individual student learning goals.
Goalbook is intended for tracking and sharing information regarding Special Education indiviualized goals. However, it could be a good tool for tracking student progress on Common Core or State Standards. When students are given immediate feedback and can see their progress on individual topics/concepts, they're more likely to strive for improvement.
Finally! A Hassle-Free Way for Teachers to Text Their Students
ClassParrot is the 100% safe, and simple tool that lets teachers reach students the way their friends do. Remind your students of upcoming examsSend homework updates & event remindersLet parents opt-in to receive texts, too.
"Each module consists of a set of free, downloadable, printer-friendly publications. The publications include a teacherʼs guide, teacher resources (such as transparencies, wall charts, and unit organizers), and student materials (student booklets containing reference materials for students as well as problem sets/activity sheets for use during guided and independent practice). The modules assist teachers in enhancing how new content is presented and represented, how students learn and practice the content, and how students express what they know and can do."
Thinking Blocks supports the 1st principle (multiple representation) of UDL in providing blocks to model and solve word problems. It also supports the research from the IES (Institute of Education Sciences) where there is strong evidence that interventions should include instruction on solving word problems that is based on common underlying structures. Help all students learn how to solve word problems using the Thinking Blocks Model and Solve Tool!
Students in Eeva Reeder's geometry class design schools for 2050.
Geometry students at Mountlake Terrace High School design a state of the art high school for 2050 in teams as a culminating project. Students receive guidance and feedback from a local architect who eventually judges the students' projects.
Why UDL? Connecting learning to students' own lives is an important UDL strategy. Relevance, value, and authenticity are enhanced for these high school students by developing their math skills through a real world problem
Sue Glascoe has created a blog with a wealth of resources on how to use tools to make math both engaging and accessible to all learners. This link shows how to use Livescribe in math in combination with Glogster. Thank you Sue for empowering us with ideas and resources to level the playing field for all learners!
"Is there is a way to narrow the middle school science and math gap for children with disabilities? According to one researcher, Dr. Matthew Marino of Washington State University, perhaps it has already arrived, via a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) curriculum in a Universal Design for Learning (UDL) framework underpinned by nascent assistive and instructional technology. "
A "must read" on UDL and STEM published by The Family Center on Technology and Disability.
"Available for free, the app uses the camera on iPhone or iPod touch to overlay computer-generated graphics on top of the physical, real-world environment. Extending PBS’s leadership in using augmented reality as an educational tool, FETCH! Lunch Rush opens a new world of learning by teaching kids ages six to eight math skills, like addition and subtraction, while blending the virtual and real world into a truly engaging experience."