Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Shifting Thinking, Teaching and Learning About Math

This has been a busy school year and one with a lot of changes as to how math is being taught. There have been a few notable moments:

Reflex Math.... I have been raving about this program since I started my class on it about three month ago.  Student engagement is infectious and there have been some great results. Students outside my class are asking for accounts. 

In particular, I blogged about one at-risk student, JS who was approaching 100% fluency.  His experience was typical and with a fact gain of 224 facts he, and many others, have achieved their goal.

Math and Technology Event.... On April 30th, our school held its' first Math and Technology Event.  Chess, patterning, photo hunts, problem solving, art connections, math games and estimation stations were popular with students, parents and grandparents. Close to 300 people returned in the evening to explore, play and learn.

Math Playground.... A permanent legacy of the math and technology event was the creation of the school's own math playground with 14 intermediate and 8 primary centres. Problem-solving and manipulative based games promote mathematical thinking and concept development. The carts continue to be popular. 

Classroom Based Manipulatives.... The math playground has sparked teacher interest in having manipulatives on hand in every classroom.  We have ordered the essentials and are looking to expand our resources next year.  This means opportunities for mathematical inquiry are now available to our students.

Looking at Teaching Practices.... Several teachers had opportunities to watch Chris Hunter give some demo lesson in math and then debrief and discuss strategies to shift our practice.  These professional development opportunities sparked a lot of energy and excitement among staff.

Student Reaction??

"We get to play games and get smarter!" - Navneet

Math and tech event at Creekside. "It's fun and educational" - Balshan

"It's Math made fun!" - Harleen

Why Math and tech? "It's not old-fashioned, it's 'new-fashioned'. Our generation should be all techy" - Tanveer