Solving the Math Problem: Exploring Mathematics Achievement in Japanese and American Middle Grades
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Daniel Thurmond's insight:
This is a great article that has shown me that my students achievement in my classroom has more to do with my actions as a teacher than the environment I teach in. By being more prepared and trying to teach to the entire class maybe I can make a difference.
"Curriculum Inspirations is a collection of resources for Middle and High School Math Teachers that demonstrate practical ways to engage students in the lively exploration of mathematics and mathematical thinking using problems from America’s longest-running and most successful mathematics competition. Developed by James Tanton, these resources include Ten Problem Solving Strategy Essays and Curriculum Bursts.
Ten Problem Solving Strategy Essays—These essays relate specific AMC test questions to Common Core State Standards Problem Solving Strategies, and provide a framework for how you might incorporate the rich mathematical concepts incorporated in these questions in your classroom. Curriculum Bursts—Short essays, paired with a Curriculum Inspirations Video, which provide a cohesive multimedia learning experience that explores the use of rich mathematical challenges from the AMC competitions in your classroom, in a way that ties to the Common Core State Standards and Problem Solving Strategies.
The MAA(mathematical association of America) is yet another great resource for providing math teachers with solid lesson planning that helps students to learn math without taking away from the content.
Math Education for Gifted Students. Math Education for Gifted Students offers information about how to differentiate for mathematically gifted students, as well as tried-and-true instructional strategies to employ, including tiered lessons,...
My mom actually gave me this book when I decided to become a teacher. I was a gifted student throughout school as well and I have always wanted to eventually teach a higher level math class in highschool or middle school. This book is a great resource that talks about different methods of differentiation which can be applicable to all students.
Johnsen, Susan K., and James Kendrick. Math Education for Gifted Students. Waco, TX: Prufrock, 2005. Print.
This is another tool that I would reserve for higher level mathematics instruction. It acts as a search engine that students can use to get information about concepts they are studying or even do research. This tool is applicable across all content areas and can be used to relate concepts to real world scenarios.
This tool would most likely be applied during a project where the students would have to research and present about real world scenarios.
Because of its application this tool would be used mainly at the infusion level and has active, collaborative, constructive and authentic uses.
A few months ago we covered TurningPoint, an electronic polling system that allows audience members to vote or answer questions during a presentation or meeting using remote keypads. Turning Technologies now offers a web-based ...
Electronic poling is a fun yet simple way to engage the students to review for a big test or just to solidify a concept. By assigning teams or groups a teacher can use this system to quiz students. Not only is this a fun game but also helps the teacher in assessing the students understanding of the concepts. Because this tool has a somewhat limited use where the instructor facilitates its use, it is a tool used at the adoption level. The students are actively using this technology to answer questions and although they might be in groups the use of the technology is individual.
While the idea for blogs is similar to what could be done with smart phones or tablets, I feel that it is useful for an educator to consider having students post blogs relating to what they are learning. In any content area having writing as part of the instruction is absolutely necessary. If the educator asks the students to blog about what they are learning as well as respond to each other it not only gives the students a chance to practice communicating about math concepts but also gives the instructor an easy form of assessment.
Blogs are another form of the adaptive level in the TIMs and has collaborative applications.
What smart board, mimeo and alike technologies have done is they have allowed teachers to better plan and organize lessons without taking away from showing students the process and problem solving skills needed to solve problems. Smart boards and mimeos have the ability to work like power point but are far more interactive. They make it easy for teachers to add content to lessons over time.
These technologies have use primarily at the entry and adoption level.
With a library of over 3,000 videos covering everything from arithmetic to physics, finance, and history and hundreds of skills to practice, we're on a mission to help you learn what you want, when you want, at your own pace.
This tool is great for both reinforcement of topics or even for primary student learning. It is a resource where a huge number of concepts are taught by an instructor voicing over the video. The instruction is sound and easy to understand. It could be used to solidify a concept or be the students first encounter with the topic. It can be used at the infusion level but mostly will be used at the adoption or adaption level.
Is a site that I would include in my instructional resources section. It is a site that allows teachers to easily track student progress in different areas as well as provide an absolutely outstanding way for teachers to help set goals for students and tell whether or not they are achieving them. This technology because it is mainly facilitated by the instructor falls under the adoption level and has active and goal directed applications.
"The goal of Math Bits is to offer "fun, yet challenging, lessons and activities." The site was created by two mathematics educators intent on increasing the love of math. The resources provided here are divided into more than two dozen categories, including algebra and geometry. Visitors should also note the Math and the Movies area, as it contains some great ideas on ways to teach math using movie clips. Another great feature of the site are the basic lessons on programming in C++ along with helpful instructional materials for utilizing PowerPoint in the classroom. The site is rounded out by MathBit's newsletter and a place where visitors can download 31 different types of graph paper."
New York TimesBefore Dropping Algebra, Fix Math EducationNew York TimesA recent opinion essay in The New York Times by Andrew Hacker, asking the question “Is Algebra Necessary?”, drew hundreds of comments.
"Ugh, math is so boring," I heard one of the students complain. Well, at least they are honest, I thought.
As a student teacher, I was determined to use some new strategies to change their perceptions.... but how?
I was determined to put a stop to this complaining. I started my lesson, "Tell me times you might use fractions outside of the classroom?" We brainstormed:
"At the store you might need fractions to find out how much something costs on sale."
"You might have lots of cookies and want to share them equally with your friends!"
"If you go on a road trip you might need to know how many miles to drive each day to get to your destination."
Good, I thought to myself. I've got them just where I want them.
"What if I told you that you could use fractions to make a masterpiece?" I asked. I left a few seconds of silence to let them mull it over. They looked perplexed... even better!
I showed them pictures of Piet Mondrian's work and told them that he had a deep understanding of fractions. He used this knowledge to help him create beautiful works of art. Suddenly, one of the students shot his hand up and asked, "Do we get to make those?!" I let out a sigh of relief. They fell for my trap!
After teaching them how to find the parts of a whole, by a division trick I gave them 10 by 10 arrays and a set of directions to create their own Mondrian Masterpiece. What do you know? They showed an understanding of the division skill I taught in this lesson. And, just as importantly, they were excited about math.
I used the ideas of unexpected stories and gap theory to create this lesson. In all actuallity, I had the students doing what they would do anyway (create arrays with varying fractions). However, with a little creativity I made the math skill sticky.
As teachers we are always striving to make the curriculum stick with students. This book details strategies to make ideas "sticky" which are easily transferable to lesson planning.
Read this book and let it change your approach to teaching!
This is another book my mom gave me recently. As a future educator I have always been inspired by people who make an attempt to go above and beyond when in comes to connecting student interest to math. Because I always struggled with math as a student I find that this book is an inspiration for me as a teacher.
Heath, C. D. (2007). Made to stick: Why some ideas survive and others die. Random House Publishing Group.
This article serves as a reminder to what I as an educator am trying to accomplish. The only way to be effective as an educator is to not only be prepared myself but to try to make the content as applicable to the real world as I can.
"Who Says Math Has to Be Boring?" The New York Times. The New York Times, 07 Dec. 2013. Web. 13 Apr. 2014.
Maple 18 offers new and enhanced tools to enrich technical education.
Maple 18 is part of a broader release of Maplesoft’s product suite, including Maple add-ons and e-books and a new version of MapleSim, the advanced system-level modeling and simulation tool based on Maple’s mathematical engine. MapleSim 6.4 and all its toolboxes and connectivity add-ons have been updated to take advantage of the enhancements to Maple 18’s mathematical engine
Daniel Thurmond's insight:
Although this article talks about a new release by maplesoft, maple is a tool that can be used in several areas of mathmatics. It is an interactive tool that allows the user to preform simple to complex calculations as well as create graphs or 3-d models. As an instructor I would only use this tool in a higher level highschool setting. While this tool would require some teacher assistance at first, it can be used across the entire spectrum of the TIMS.
This software is open so would require no purchase from the students. It could be used in a project that would require students to use the software to solve problems that have real world application. The use of this software would even have application in allowing students to present findings to the class. This is a tool that students can take with them to college and perhaps even use when they enter into the workplace.
Jeopardy Labs is not PowerPoint, but people who is looking for free Jeopardy templates can browse the collection of Jeopardy games on this website and find a good alternative to PowerPoint Jeopardy games. Jeopardy! is a popular American television quiz show created by Merv Griffin in 1964. Like most programs of its genre, it features trivia in a wide variety of topics, including history, language, literature, the arts, the sciences, popular culture, geography, and wordplay; however, unlike them, it has a unique answer-and-question format in which contestants are presented with clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in question form.
Jeopardy Lab lets the user easily create fun and interesting Jeopardy style quiz games based on the content the user decides. Played exactly like the real Jeopardy this tool will help solidify the students knowledge of the content as well as make the learning more fun and exciting. Because the use of this technology is mostly teacher led, it is at the adoption level and because students will be working in teams will be most applicable to the collaborative aspect of learning.
The phone has been a source of controversy in schools. However with the growing number of students with access to not only home computers but mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets it is clear that these devices can be used. Use of these to have group discussions about homework or the ability of the teacher to openly answer student questions on a discussion board are clear applications of this technology. These tools can be used at all levels of the TIM but most notably the adaption level. Students could be encouraged to collaborate together in order to answer each others questions about how to solve math problems.
GeoGebra is a free resource that lets the user manipulate pre built and self constructed shapes so that algebraic and geometric properties can be observed and instructed. Depending on the level of use Geogebra can be used at any level in the TIMS, even transformation. Educators can use this to show geometric properties, allow the students to discover them, or use known properties to make connections to the real world.
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