Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Saturday's Math Strand @ Educon-Takeaways

Though there wasn't an announced math strand for those interested in math education, it turned out that most of the sessions that had math as a key word in their titles or descriptions were on Friday. Here's the three that I attended:
Session 1 - SLA students and teachers presented examples of math projects students worked on. They are just in the beginning stages. Worth following their goals. Chris Lehman's blog about math inversion is worth noting here.
Then, [math] class, rather than being a time when all kids sat and received the instruction, could be the time when they reinforce skills by doing problem sets, worked on real-world application projects, collaborated with teachers to reinforce concepts, etc... in some ways, it's an inversion of what we traditionally think of as a math class. Right now, in traditional classrooms, class is where the teacher demonstrates concepts (often with some time for individual reinforcement and work), but the bulk of application / practice / etc... is done at home where there isn't much chance for help. If we use technology to invert that idea, so that kids could watch the teacher's demonstration of the skills and concepts at home (and with the ability to rewind when necessary,) we could allow kids the opportunity to apply and practice their knowledge in the space where they can get help, collaborate, etc... doesn't that make more sense? -blog entry
Projects could be something that students can plan, review, and revise with classmates and teachers in the classroom. The bulk of work could be done outside of school hours. This is doable if the project development is well coached.

To be continued...

Educon Math 2.0 Takeaways-Part 1

Chris Lehmann talks about the future of SLA at Educon.
Math 2.0 is alive and well at SLA where students, teachers and their linchpin leader are carving out a more powerful way to teach and learn math. Though they are only at the beginning of their journey in creating a project based learning curriculum for math, but the trip looks promising for significant student centered learning of math. Here are some of my takeaways.

"And friends, they may call it a movement." - Jon Becker
For me this movement will empower students and teachers to carve pathways so they can follow their passion for teaching and learning.

Teachers and students should be partners in the learning enterprise. That's a critical paradigm shift.

We need teachers & students who will take interesting ideas, questions, neat phenomenon to ask this Dan Meyer inspired question: What can You do with this (WCYDWT)? For example, today's massive storm over most of the country produced mostly ice, sleet and even rain in the northeast while the temperature was below 32ยบ. How is that possible? (Watch Eliot Abrams explain it.) The details of his graphs are difficult to interpret. Have your class recreate the graphs with your guidance so that everyone including the teacher understand it better. Then share it to the world on the Web! (Sounds like an assignment for me.)

Teachers should encourage students to create math videos where students share their findings and takeaways from answering interesting questions that have surprise answers. How about this one I shared with my students as part of a unit on probability? Newspaper headline: British Hunter is Shot By a Fox in Its Burrow. Really? See details. WCYDWT. How likely is this event? For starters.