Showing posts from November, 2015

Closing the Gap

This Tweet is the inspiration for this post. This quote by Phil Daro, and tweeted by my tweep Mark Chubb,  really speaks to my current feelings about how to help struggling math students.
My district is using MAP testing and learning how to use the data best. I think many teachers and administrators are happy to have some specific data on students. However, I don't think teachers found the data particularly surprising... students that struggle tended to have a lower score and students that excel tended to have a higher score.

The difference in the data from MAP testing compared to other testing we have done, is that the results come back with individual "plans" for students on what they "can do" and what they are "ready to learn next." This seems exciting to some and, for some reason, makes me pause. I, too, would love a prescription for what to do with students that struggle. Some teachers suggest that we have students watch Khan Academy videos or d…

Apps I Love

I'm new to iPads this year. For the past four years, my students have been using MacBooks and this year we switched to iPads. I was excited about the switch and so far have loved it!

Since I'm new to iPads, I'm also new to a lot of apps. Here is a collection of my most favorite that my students use often.

Desmos- online graphing calculator and so much more.

Class Kick- use to assign work to students and instantly see student work and give feedback to the class.

iMovie- use to put together what kids make using other apps such as ChatterPix and Koma Koma.

ChatterPix- make objects "talk"

Koma Koma- create stop action videos

Dragon Box- learn algebra without knowing it. Great intuitive game that has students solving equations using pictures and following "rules."

5 Dice- great problem solving using order of operations

Ninja Chicken- practice identifying prime and composite numbers in a game similar to "Fruit Ninja"

Folt- problem solving puzzle game

Cargo Bo…

Fraction Strip Creation

Yesterday I wrote about a lesson that wasn't so great. Today, I'm going to focus on a lesson that was great. Actually, it's not really a lesson, but more of a project. The project was for students to create a stop action video showing a strip of paper being folded to create twelfths.

Last week, I started the second unit in the 6th grade Connect Mathematics 3 program. This unit is called "Comparing Bits and Pieces" and starts with understanding fractions. The curriculum has students using fraction strips to make sense of fractions and use them to order fractions on a number line. So, I started by providing my students with lots of strips of paper and just presented challenges:
-fold in half
-fold in fourths
-now eighths
-what would come next if the pattern continues (2, 4, 8, ...)
-now try folding in thirds (this is a tough one and some students needed my help or help from others. We discovered an "s" folding method that worked for many students)
-next, …

My Lesson Was Meh.

If you are unfamiliar with the term, "meh," here is the definition according to Wikipedia: Meh is an interjection used as an expression of indifference or boredom. It may also mean "be it as it may".[1] It is often regarded as a verbal shrug of the shoulders. The use of the term "meh" shows that the speaker is apathetic, uninterested, or indifferent to the question or subject at hand. It is occasionally used as an adjective, meaning something is mediocre or unremarkable.[2]
I guess I'm using the 2nd definition as I feel my lesson today was meh (mediocre). Now, we've all had lessons like this. Here is why I'm writing about it: today I had observers. The new teachers in my district get release time (3-half days) throughout the year to go observe teachers. Today was one of those days and I had 3 different new math teachers in my classroom. I love having observers and I love sharing my practice. But today, I have to admit was a pretty meh lesson t…

Three Things

1. If you aren't following my class, consider following @6Amath. All tweets are collected on a google form and curated by me, but completely written by students.

2. Follow @Tolerance_org for great ideas about being inclusive, kind, and respectful from the people at Teaching Tolerance.

3. I've made some "virtual" friends through Twitter. So, consider following two of my Twitter friends, @KhatriMath and @MrP_tchr. I've never met either in person, but I feel like we could be friends in real life. ;)

Resources and Blogs: 1. I'm always going back to Math Equals Love for ideas or just a fun read. I really like Sarah's style of writing and she also shares great stuff. I stole her growth mindset bulletin board idea lately. I know she stole my pi banner idea, so I like thinking about how we have similar items in our classroom even though we are hundreds of miles away.
2. I'm reading and loving everything I see on David Wees' blog. Specifically, I&#…

Improving Number Sense

I'm looking forward to leading some professional development for amazing teachers in my district. We will be discussing how to improve our students' number sense. Click here to download the slides and resources!

I can't wait to share some of the great stuff from Estimation 180, Math Solutions, You Cubed, and David Wees.