Make Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful
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Rescooped by Kay Clarke from Motivating Math!

Putting " pizza party" math to rest by David Stocker

Putting " pizza party" math to rest by David Stocker | Make Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful |

Via Jennifer Callaway
Jennifer Callaway's curator insight, December 13, 2013 9:07 PM

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.

Kimberly Wynkoop's curator insight, January 27, 2014 2:29 AM

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.

Rescooped by Kay Clarke from Making Math Meaningful!

How To Make Math Meaningful's Director of Video Programming, Zachary Fink, interviews UC Berkeley professor Dor Abrahamson about how to increase students' understanding of ...

Via Kristina-Maria Paspalis
Kay Clarke's insight:

This was amazing!  I am so glad Kristinia-Maria caught this because I missed this.  Edutopia is definitely my most viewed website in my PLN, particular because of videos like this.  Professor Abrahamson just explained perfectly my reasoning behind the Train Your Brains we do in class.  Specifically, right around 3:40, he begins to model a math problem but with real world manipulatives.  A concept that would be confusing, suddenly is not and is a cool demonstration that kids will remember.  He brings up a great point that it is not the numbers that kids will remember, it is the concepts behind those numbers.  He goes on to say that developing these skills will help kids solve the problems of the world.  This is my ideology behind making math meaningful to kids.  I hope to use different strategies like Train Your Brains and Developing a Mathematical Eye, in hopes that, along with some of the skills I "teach"them in math, they can take those skills a step further and solve real problems.  Real world problems will not be wrapped in a nice bow for kids- they will be messy and they will require multiple different thoughts and ideas to solve them.  Profesor Abrahamson gave some great insight into making math meaninful.  

Kristina-Maria Paspalis's curator insight, September 17, 2013 10:22 PM

Being a creative teacher allows students to be able to understand math. Math is everywhere in life! The key is finding context for math to live in. Professor Dor Abrahamson discusses how students remember the real problems they solved, not the numbers or the formulas. I have noticed in my placement that when contexts and stories are added to math problems, the students retain more information. An example of this is the open-ended math questions that I have done with the class. When I couple a familiar context with a math concept, the students are focusing on solving the problem with the question in mind and not necessarily the numbers. When I have asked them to recap what activity we had done on the previous day, they always talk about the problem itself that they were solving for. This is exactly what Professor Abrahamson was discussing in his video: a context can make math meaningful.

Rescooped by Kay Clarke from Making Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful!

4 Ways Parents Can Encourage Math Skills At Home - Edudemic

4 Ways Parents Can Encourage Math Skills At Home - Edudemic | Make Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful |
It's one thing to get students excited about math in the classroom. But what about learning math skills at home? Here are some tips for parents!

Via, Rebecca Siegel
Kay Clarke's insight:

This post reminded me of one of our assignments in class this semester where Dr. Bote had us design homeowrk assigments that could get some parental involvement with how the assignments were designed.  I thought this post had some great ideas about how to do this.  With Curriculum 2.0 in MCPS, I've noticed that my 5th grade team has struggled with generating HW assignments that can realte to the real world.  By getting parents involved, students may be able to start seeing math in the real world.  I especially liked the "Talk Math" idea.  As a future teacher, I think this strategy in particular will be something that I will call upon next year at Back to School Night when I address my parents.  

Rebecca Siegel's curator insight, October 1, 2013 2:24 PM

With the new Common Core coming into play, all lessons should tie into problem solving and exploring outside of the classroom.  I hope to use this website to assist parents in helping their children (my students) discover math at home.  By observing math around them, students will no longer think that learning math is just in our textbook, but that they can find it all around them!

Madeline Morgan's curator insight, November 13, 2013 2:45 AM

Making math meaningful inside the classroom is very helpful but extending this to outside the classroom is important as well. For math homework in my future classroom I want it to be things that the students can do at home. This article gives great ways that parents can help at home to make math meaningful. The article gives examples of just being positive and practicing math skills with their child, but I really like the section that discussed how parents can use activites like baking, bills, and sports to work with their child on math. This sparked an idea for my future classroom by encouraging parents to look at everyday activities and having their child work on math y completing these simple everyday activities. An example of this could be when baking have the student get out and measure all the ingredients. The parent could ask the student why he or she got out that certain amount and how he or she knew that they got the correct amount. An activity like this is not only fun for the parent and child, but it is also a great way to show the student that math can be found outside of the classroom, it can even be found at home. By the student/child seeing that even their parent deals with math on a regular basis will open their eyes to math in a whole new way. By building meaningful math skills at home, this will then transfer into the classroom and allow the students to see that what they are learning is very important and meaningful.

Julie Price's curator insight, December 12, 2013 4:03 AM

I think that this is an awesome resource for parents about the new Common Core State Standards. It provides great ideas for ways that math can be accessible at home. I will use this in my classroom to give to parents as a resource. It also has some good ideas that we as teachers could consider using as meaningful homework assignments. I really like how this resource points out the shift in mathematical thinking and how it is important for parents to be aware of it.

Rescooped by Kay Clarke from Making Math Accesible & Meaningful!

Real World Math Problems

Real World Math Problems | Make Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful |
Mathalicious lessons teach standards-based math through real-world topics that students care about.

Via Madeline Morgan
Kay Clarke's insight:

This website is AMAZING!  I had never heard of this source before, but Maddy actually scooped this.  The intro video speaks for itself. This website is trying to work with teachers to give them alternatives to traditional math lessons.  It provides lessons that are Standards based, making it easy to pick and chose lessons that can fit into the curriculum.  This website makes it easy for teachers to create lessons that are actually interesting to students.  Students aren't just learning math, they are learning skills to solve problems about things they care about.  The topics on the site include things like Nike, the NBA, outer space, things that students wouldn't think normally go together with math.  Being able to hook kids onto a math lesson, really get them engaged is a difficult task for a teacher.  However, this website, from the looks of it, has some great potential to serve as an aid to teachers.  I know as a future teacher, I will be looking everywhere to find contexts that would be relevant to my kids.  Sample lessons that are already tied to CCSS would be even better.  

Corinne Tomaszewski's curator insight, December 15, 2013 4:38 PM

I saw this scooped on another intern's site and I think that it has great potential. Just by exmporing for a few minutes I could see that it provides teacher with alternatives to traditional math lessons and really strives to make math meaningful and applicable for students. Unfortunately it does come with a price, so in terms of isn't for teachers. Also, when I was looking at some of the lessons it seemed to be geared more towards the upper elementayr grades. If I were to use this as a resource and pay the monthly fee I would hope they have adaptations for different grade levels. I think the idea behind it is  great!! Making math concrete and in a real world context is crucial for helping students understand and later transfer that knowledge. 

Rachel Dwyer's curator insight, December 15, 2013 11:38 PM

This website makes math accessible and meaningful for students. On the website, they provide you with lessons and activities that have some sort of creative title and theme, such as Stairway to Heaven or Need for Speed. Then they provide the students with problem-solving activities that allow them to focus on and explore content that is within the curriculum in a fun and engaging way.

They use real world examples and themes in what they create, and encourage students in their learning and math experiences to make these connections and to find math in the world around them.

These problems remind me of the types of problems that we created in our Open-Ended Problem Solving (except they are not open-ended).

In terms of my own teaching, I intend to incorporate these types of problems into math instruction. I could use the problems that they provide, but also come up with my own, and then even have the students come up with their own. This allows students to do math relating to something that they know about and has purpose for them, and their familiarity and knowledge of it allows it to be accessible. They can reach it and understand it.

The students, through these problems, can think about math in terms of their world, and see the meaning behind the math and how our world can help us to understand it. The problems represent a wide variety of topics and ideas which are interesting and allow all students to find something that they are interested in. I have definitely got lots of ideas and examples which are starting to come to mind of what I could do to make these connections. I was wondering about how I might take what we have experienced in Dr. Bote's class and to then create some similar to these, so I am excited to have discovered this source. I found this on my own, but then saw that Madeline and Kayla had it on theirs as well. I think that the students' learning will now be more reinforced and relevant to their lives and experiences. They will no longer ask me: "Will we ever even use this in the real world and when we get older?" They can practice and learn to be explorers and discoverers who question, critique, and examine the world around them to make connections in math.

Kimberly Wynkoop's curator insight, January 27, 2014 2:25 AM

This website has many premade lessons that can be used as is or as a jump off point for your own students.  The lessons are all real world problems. Many of your students will be able to relate to the lessons content.

Rescooped by Kay Clarke from Making Math Accesible & Meaningful!

Reaching Students: 18 Simple Ways To Make A Lasting Impact On Your Students

Reaching Students: 18 Simple Ways To Make A Lasting Impact On Your Students | Make Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful |
Reaching Students: 18 Simple Ways To Make A Lasting Impact On Your Students, including ideas, tips, and strategies.

Via Madeline Morgan
Madeline Morgan's curator insight, December 2, 2013 2:08 PM

When I found this website I knew that it was not geared towards math, but the ideas shown on this website can be used in all subjects in the classroom. While teaching math to the students I believe the way the students feel and the classroom environment as a whole has a huge impact on how student's learn. If teachers make connections with their students and are able to make them comfortable the learning and teaching will be much easier. From this article I really liked the section that said, "Tell stories. Everybody loves a story. Tell them—in a way that is natural and comfortable for you—and students will begin to see you in three dimensions, as a full human being interacting with them for their own intellectual growth." I love this and plan to use this in my future classroom and math classroom. As a student I always loved when my teachers gave me a story to compare my learning to. It always helped my thinking. In my math classroom when teaching, I want to give my students stories and real world examples that will help them understand. This will not only show the students that math takes place outside of school, but it will help them making meaning of what they are learning. Building a strong relationship with your student's it critical in order to teach them any subject. In math this is very important because student's usually have a poor relationship with math. For example, they do not like it. As educators if we can get students to build a healthy relationship with their teachers, peers, and the subject at hand the learning will come much easier.

Julie Price's curator insight, December 12, 2013 4:16 AM

I love this website. I think that it provides so many important points and great tips for developing a positive and lasting relationship with students. One of the points that I really like from this article is knowing what to overlook. I think that not pointing out every mistake a child makes is important, especially in math. Instead we need to try to help students redirect their thinking so that they can learn through their mistakes and work through the process. I am going to keep as many of these tips in mind when I am developing a safe and inviting learning community in my classroom. Another important point that this article makes in the importance of "modeling the challenge of convention." This is important as we move to CCSS because they way that we are teaching students math and the way that they are learning it are much different than what was traditionally done in the past. I think all teachers should read this article.

Scooped by Kay Clarke!

How to Fall in Love With Math

How to Fall in Love With Math | Make Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful |
Contemplate the elegance of infinity. Don’t ask “When will I use this?”
Kay Clarke's insight:

This article seems to be extremely popular amongst my fellow future teachers.  I am so happy that I came across this article in our Scoop It community.  I've mentioned this a lot this semester, but this reminded me a lot of what I've started to do in my math class.  We do "Train Your Brains" at least three times a week (open ended problems), and my kids absolutely love it.  This article really hits on some of the ideas I try to get across to my kids.  For example, whenever we start one of our "workouts" we make sure to put our "math goggles" on becuase they help us see how the math problem will help us in the real world.  For instance, sometimes our Train Your Brains go more with the developing a mathematical eye principle, very much like when the article talks about deeply engaging with the "eye candy" of math.  Pictures can help kids find interest in things that they would never have seen math in.  I've seen my kids develop into fantastic critical thinkers over the last two months, and this article encourages me into thinking I am on the right track.

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Scooped by Kay Clarke!

Percents of Numbers ~ Dining Out

Percents of Numbers ~ Dining Out | Make Mathematics Accessible and Meaningful |
Real World Math! Students use the given menu and daily specials to calculate the total bill for four different bills. Students use percents of numbers to
Kay Clarke's insight:

Teacherspayteachers is a website that I had not heard of until this semester.  The fifth grade team at my school looks to this website a lot for different and fun ideas that are a little more "fun" than what MCPS gives us.  I found this with another fifth grade teach actually one day during planning.  (She has an account, and I just created one).  This fit in perfectly to what we were doing!  At the time, we were working on decimals and rounding.  Although this worksheet was a little advanced, we still took the idea from it-generating a bill and calculating totals to work into a Train Your Brain.  I made a whole TYB on a trip to the mall, letting them go shopping around the room and recording the prices on 5 items.  They then had to total them up, or figure out how much change they would recieve if they paid with a certain bill.  It was all great stuff because the kids could absolutley relate to the task.  The students were SO excited to buy the One Direction poster and the Mine Craft game.  By doing something that was meaningful to the students, and putting in a relevant context-like shopping, my kids were hooked.  We called it "Decimal Shopping" and we did it for the next two fridays.  The kids would come in on Mondays and talk about what kind of "Decimal Shopping" they did on the weekend.  I truly believe this task was especially meaningful to them, they were so proud to tell me that they can correctly estimate how much change their parents will receive at the grocery store.  

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