Motivating Math
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11 Gifts to Encourage STEM Learning in Fun Ways for Kids of All Ages | Tech Savvy Parents

11 Gifts to Encourage STEM Learning in Fun Ways for Kids of All Ages | Tech Savvy Parents | Motivating Math | Scoop.it
Expert advice about pregnancy, your life, and family time from the editors of Parents magazine.
Jennifer Callaway's insight:

I absolutely love some of these games! My favorites are the robot turtles and snap circuits. Although the prices are a bit steep for some of these, the value for my students is priceless. We all know kids love games, but games that teach electrical engineering and computer programming aren't always high on the list. I can definitely plan to convince friends and family to get me these toys so that I can use them in my classroom. These are great ways for me to make indoor recess fun AND educational. My kids would absolutely love the turtle game as many of them are big UMD fans. Teaching them about programming would benefit them so much in the long run. Programming is a growing field and getting their interest early is key. I love all of the ideas on this website as they're kid focused. I plan to make my classroom student focused and these games can help me motivate them to take charge of their learning. 

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Suntex First in Math® - Home Page

Jennifer Callaway's insight:

What motivates students more than games? This website lets me track student performance, scores, what games they've played, etc. PGCPS uses this for their schools and students have an opportunity to use it in and outside of school. The kids love that they can keep track of their improvement, and I love that the website makes math fun and help students practice necessary skills! I can also use the information from student progress to keep an eye on students in the classroom and offer necessary small group support for specific skills. 

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Review: GAMSology board game makes math fun

Review: GAMSology board game makes math fun | Motivating Math | Scoop.it
GAMSology recently sent me their math board game and our family found it both educational and fun.
I had three of my children test out the game while I read the
Jennifer Callaway's insight:

A math board game? Not only do I want this, I want to make one! I could do group practice and review with this! Maybe even a whole class game where the teams work together to solve problems that are a bit harder or require them to explore more on their own. Motivating students is all about relieving anxiety and making things engaging and fun! A board game is a great way for students to be motivated in a competitive setting where the playing field is fair. 

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Putting " pizza party" math to rest by David Stocker

Putting " pizza party" math to rest by David Stocker | Motivating Math | Scoop.it

Via Nathanael Madden
Jennifer Callaway's insight:

I won't deny that I've been stuck on this band wagon too. And I'm greatful to Nathanael for sharing this article. I feel like there isn't much direct instruction or distinction between "real-life" math and actual math application to real life. I found this article really helpful and plan to try and put more of an effort into thinking about how my students could use the concepts I'm teaching to evaluate the world around them and not just to calculate the answer on their paper.

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Nathanael Madden's curator insight, November 18, 2013 11:35 PM

Nobody cares whether a snail can make it to the top of a tree. Neither does it have any relevance to mathematics. Yet our math instruction is filled with this type of problem and it's labeled as "real-life math." I admit that I'd been sucked into this type of thinking and am only recently trying to make my assignments and activities authentic and relevant. This is a great article on giving mathematics authentic contexts, specifically with social justice issues. It will be a great resource for me in the future.

Kimberly Wynkoop's curator insight, January 26, 2014 9:29 PM

The idea in this article is using math to understand our world.  This idea works great when trying to make a globally competent society.  "A distinction must be made between using things in the world around us to do math upon, and using math to understand the world around us."  I think the quote above is the main misconception of meaningful and realworld math.

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The childhood toys that inspired female engineers and scientists - Washington Post (blog)

The childhood toys that inspired female engineers and scientists - Washington Post (blog) | Motivating Math | Scoop.it
Washington Post (blog) The childhood toys that inspired female engineers and scientists Washington Post (blog) Though individually boring, collectively these blocks produced an intricate masterpiece that brought art and math, big-picture and...

Via Dr. Susan Bainbridge
Jennifer Callaway's insight:

Some of these toys I could easily get at yardsales or online. The connection between toys that inspired engineers/scientists gives me hope that if I use similar items in my classroom, maybe I can motivate and inspire my students towards fields in math as well. 

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9 Strategies for Motivating Students in Mathematics

9 Strategies for Motivating Students in Mathematics | Motivating Math | Scoop.it
Motivating students to be (enthusiastically) receptive is one of the most important aspects of mathematics instruction and a critical aspect of the Common Core State Standards. Effective teachers sho

Via Rebecca Siegel, Heather Wehrle
Jennifer Callaway's insight:

These strategies are things that I've been witnessing my math methods teacher use all semester. In my classroom I'm trying to be more aware of the questions I'm asking and the language I'm using. Again, going back to creating a community of learners - presenting students with a challenge and having them find a pattern and using justifications with partners/groups promotes student engagement, interest, and discussion. This article has great suggestions for how I can go about doing these things in my classroom.

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Heather Wehrle's curator insight, December 12, 2013 9:06 AM

This article brings to light many ways in which we can help our students become more competent in math and gain ownership over their ideas.  Instead of teaching every detail, the author shows how the teacher can set up situations in which they can guide students to draw their own conclusions.  The role of the teacher as a facilitator and coach allows students to take charge of their own learning.  While it is difficult at first to strike this balance from a teaching standpoint, it is important that we learn to place learners in a spot where they are motivated by self-efficacy and their ability to generate ideas and conclusions.  Extrinsic awards are fine in most situations, but ultimately we want our students to have an intrinsic desire to do well in school.  This can come from giving them confidence and guiding them in their learning process.

 

Some of the strategies listed in the article are things that I have seen happen in my own classroom.  During math, we like to present our students with challenges that allow them to seek patterns.  I have seen the shift in motivation for my students when we place their learning in relevant and interesting contexts, which also illustrate the usefulness of the math to them.  We also do a great deal of "recreational mathematics", where students play games and solve puzzles to show how math can be fun.  If we can get our students motivated to learn and perform in math, they will be more willing to explore, take risks, and claim ownership over their own learning.

Michelle Jin's curator insight, December 15, 2013 3:42 PM
This article offers some great ideas in how to get students to fall in love with studying math. Not only did it list 9 innovative (but doable!) strategies to motivate my math students, it also harps on how teachers need to be able to choose wisely from this list to adjust to the specific motivations that are already present in my learners. I think it's easy to read this article and think that each of these strategies would be equally successful in any classroom; however, I'm reminded that knowing your students is the most effective strategy in motivating them. By doing that, you're able to know what engages them and what doesn't interest them as much. Although the author of this article did not write "knowing your students" as part of his 9 strategies, I was able to take away that important, and more implicit message that would help me to use the rest of his techniques more effectively. Another reason why I appreciated reading this article is that many of the strategies listed involve student discovery and initiative. For example, strategy #9 suggests teachers to "get students actively involved in justifying mathematical curiosities." Other strategies suggested were presenting students with a challenge that is within reach, discovering a pattern, or calling attention to a void in knowledge. All of these techniques are much less teacher-dependent, but put the learning responsibility on the students! As I have observed much from my own past experiences and my current student teaching internship, students seem to be able to learn and retain information much more when they themselves are the "doers" in the classroom, not just receivers of information.
Julia Lyles's curator insight, December 16, 2013 2:10 PM

Growing up I always struggled with math and never had any motivation to do it. Now that I am interning in a classroom I realize how important it is to motivate students to reach their full potential even in a subject they may not feel very confident in. I can motivate them in a number of ways including challenging them and building on their achievement. I never want my students to feel as though they can't do math. I want to give them a variety of strategies to motivate them and encourage their learning.

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Tackle Math Anxiety Both In and Out of the Classroom

Tackle Math Anxiety Both In and Out of the Classroom | Motivating Math | Scoop.it
Tips for Tackling Math Anxiety—Both In & Out of the Classroom
Jennifer Callaway's insight:

In order to motivate my students, I first have to understand what they may be struggling with. If I have students with math anxiety I want to use grouping, partnering, constructive feedback, and positive reinforcement to make my students feel more motivated and less anxious. This also ties into them being a part of the learner community I want to develop. 

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