Posts Tagged ‘maths’

Brilliant Teacher Alert! (Video)

December 27, 2013

Take a bow Mr. Wright! You are an inspiration!

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A Father’s Priceless Reaction to his Son’s Report Card (Video)

October 22, 2013

 

 

Is there anything more powerful than a proud parent? Watch how much this positive math result means to this father.

 

Click on the link to read A New Way to Get Kids to Brush Their Teeth

Click on the link to read Tips to Help Parents Control Their Kids’ TV Habits

Click on the link to read 10 Steps Parents Can Take if their Child is Being Bullied

Click on the link to read School Holidays are Very Hard for Many Parents (Video)

Click on the link to read 20 Reassuring Things Every Parent Should Hear

Click on the link to read 10 Tips for Nurturing Independence Among Children

Click on the link to read Seven Valuable Tips for Raising Your Child’s Self-Esteem

 

Meet the Armless Math Teacher

September 21, 2012

I love stories about remarkable people overcoming adversity:

A woman born with no arms is proving to children they can achieve whatever they want to – by teaching them with her feet.

Mary Gannon, who works at a Lakewood, Ohio middle school, writes on the board, types on her computer and hands out worksheets with her toes.

Ms Gannon, who teaches maths and science, grew up in a Mexican orphanage and was adopted by an Ohio family when she was seven.

She joined the school last year as a substitute teacher and now tutors 6th, 7th and 8th graders full-time, driving to work in a car with the number plate: ‘Happy Feet.’

Speaking to Fox 8, she said hopes her determination teaches the children a valuable life lesson.

‘I’m doing what I wanted to do, what I love to do,’ she said. ‘And if you set your mind to whatever you want to do and you love to do then – go for it – no one can stop you.’She said she does not like being called handicapped or even different ‘because it has a negative bias’, she said.

Click on the link to read Maths is a Very Poorly Taught Subject

Click on the link to read The Obstacle Course that is Teaching Maths

Click on the link to read Top 10 Math Apps for Children

Click on the link to read School Fires Entire Staff!

Top 10 Math Apps for Children

August 21, 2012

Courtesy of teacherswithapps.com:

 

iDevBooks – Educational Math Apps, by Esa Helttula, are par excellence when it comes to educational tools! This suite of apps are a must-have for any school using mobile devices, as well as for parents who want to encourage mastery of math concepts for their children. This collection of 16 iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad educational math apps are easy to use and offer intuitive interfaces. The iDevBooks math apps are used by schools, parents, and students worldwide. They are also popular in special education.

Jungle Time, Jungle Coins & Jungle Fractions!, by Andrew Short, of Jungle Education – We still need to learn to tell time, utilize money, and understand fractions. These three essential concepts are not easy to teach and harder to learn. Lots of hands on practice is needed and Andrew Short has got the “lots of” covered. All three games offer five levels of challenge, they start with the rudimentary concept and gradually progress over several grade levels. A MUST HAVE!

Motion Math: Hungry Fish, by Motion Math, is another MUST HAVE math game! Mental math is such a key component for success in building a strong foundation in math, and building on this early on helps all other math concepts fall into place with relative ease. Our students were enthralled by this simple, yet brilliant game – and they were polishing up on their number skills with smiles on their faces! Brilliant job Motion Math!

Math Evolve, by InterAction Education and Zephyr Games, has really pushed the envelope. This app introduces a revolutionary “video-like” gaming app for practicing math facts. One of our students called it, “The Call of Duty,” of math games. Adam Coccari, teacher and creator of Math Evolve, sums it up best when he says, “Achieving success in all levels of math starts with having a solid foundation in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.” Mastering these facts takes time and lots of practice, Math Evolve has taken care of all of that in an enormously engaging format.

Operation Math, by Spinlight Studios, is sizzling with excitement! The mission is possible with this new app, which grabs kids attention immediately and keeps them engaged on their quest to do good. The goal here is to help destroy Dr. Odd and practice your basic math facts along the way. In order to open the series of locked doors, you must perform either addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or any combination of operations. You can first train in the infinite Base10 Training Room, where your performance will be tracked. When you are up for the challenge, you choose a mission.

Sums Stacker, by Carstens Studios Inc, is an amazing app. It incorporates critical thinking, problem solving, and strategic planning skills, all while you’re “playing” with math concepts, with great gaming style! Carstens’ says this about math, “It wasn’t until after my school years, that I became a lover of math. I managed to slip through all of those classes, text books, and homework assignments, without learning one of the most important math lessons of all – math is fun!” This app challenges your reasoning, your number sense, your addition and subtraction facts, and your knowledge of coin values, and oh yes, reading, if you so desire.

  iTooch MATH Grade 5, by eduPAD, is a terrific app that covers a lot of ground conept-wise and shouldn’t be limited to just fifth graders. This app combines a no-frills approach to content while still providing the user with an exciting learning experience. The mascot is adorable and keeps kids on task with lots of encouragement and there is a lesson summary available when needed. iTooch MATH now has grades three through five available.

Oh No! Fractions, by di Luna, came recently to our attention, but if a colleague hadn’t said, “It’s tough for kids to grasp fractions”, it may have slipped through the cracks. Luckily, it didn’t and we are here to sing its praises.Oh No! Fractions is as simple as it gets. This gorgeous app lets the user decide whether the given fraction is less or greater than another fraction. After the child has decided and chosen less or greater, it asks ”I’m Sure” and then “Prove It” where a visual representation of the two fractions is shown and manipulated by the child.

TallyTots, by Spinlight Studio, is a simple yet invaluable learning app to teach youngsters number concepts. The intent of the app is to teach your child number recognition, one-to-one correspondence, and how to count to 20 – all while having a delightful time. When the app starts, you are taken to a screen that has all 20 numbers. Your child chooses the number they want and the counting begins. Each number is outlined as it is counted up the number line.

KidgitZ, by TapDream Arts, is the second in a series of mental math challenges for kids of all ages. Addictive, it is! Students were so engaged that they never even heard the bell ring… and the next period was lunch and recess! Several students came looking for me and my iPad to continue playing during extra help. Their responses were all similar, with mentions of how hard it was to stop playing this AWESOME game!

Click on the link to read Maths is a Very Poorly Taught Subject

Click on the link to read The Obstacle Course that is Teaching Maths

Click on the link to read Girls and Maths

Click on the link to read Putting Your Children to Sleep With Math

Putting Your Children to Sleep With Math

August 1, 2012

 

A fun and interesting math activity to do nightly with the kids:

Bedtime Math (TM!) was created by Laura Overdeck, an astrophysics graduate and mother of three in New Jersey who turned a fun activity with her kids into a website of the same name. Overdeck told NPR’s Ashely Milne-Tyte that Bedtime Math — or maybe bedtime math — started when her oldest child was two years old. Every night, while tucking her in, Overdeck would ask her a math problem. Her daughter loved it so much, they began doing it every night. More kids came along and the challenge of creating one problem that would keep three different kids of three different ages engaged became ever greater.

Overdeck worked it out. Her friends got interested. The website was born. And now, Bedtime Math is a thing (or at least I think it is. I keep hearing about it this summer.)

In February, Overdeck launched her website, where she posts daily problems and puzzles for kids of different ages. More than 5,000 people subscribe to her daily emails. They’re pretty cute and work nicely as short bedtime stories, too.

Click on the link to read Making Maths Fun is Not Mission Impossible

Click on the link to read Maths is Taught So Poorly

Click on the link to read  The Obstacle Course that is Teaching Maths

Where Have These So-Called “Master Teachers” Been All this Time?

July 19, 2012

I am very frustrated by the lack of investment from many of our “best teachers” in helping mentor their less experienced and less confident colleagues.

In a post in May, I raised the question – Do experienced teachers give enough back to the profession? I argued that these experienced teachers could be a vital resource for improving teacher quality.

It seems President Obama agrees:

President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed a $1 billion program to recruit high-performing math and science teachers to mentor and evaluate their peers and help students excel.

The so-called Master Teacher Corps program calls for recruiting 2,500 such educators at the outset and increasing that to 10,000 over four years, paying them $20,000 stipends on top of their base salaries. Each teacher would be required to serve at least four years.

To help launch the program, the Obama administration has pledged to release $100 million already available to school districts that have made plans to develop and retain effective teachers of science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the plan would raise the prestige of the profession and increase teacher retention.

I just wish experienced teachers could offer more voluntarily without having to be bribed to help with costly incentives.

Click on the link to read my post, Do experienced teachers give enough back to the profession?

The Maths Professor who Understands the Importance of Engaging a Class

July 13, 2012

It’s fantastic to see a teacher who understands how important it is to keep the class involved and engaged:

Maths is not usually top of the list when it comes to favourite subjects at school.

But one teacher has found a novel way of getting his pupils attention.

Professor Matthew Weathers starts all his lessons with comical introduction piece – and now his endeavors are causing a stir on YouTube.

In the latest of his videos, the maths genius, who teaches at the Biola University in California, piques the curiosity of students learning about imaginary numbers with an impressive display of computer wizardry.

He creates a double of himself on a computer which appears on a white board behind his desk and then proceeds to chat to his imaginary self.

His class burst into fits of giggles as his double asks him to stop interfering in the lesson, asks him to leave the room and tells him off when he tinkers with the microphone.

The video has already amassed 17,000 YouTube hits.

Mr Weather said: ‘I like asking interesting questions or telling interesting stories but with a smaller class, it’s easier to do tricks on them.

‘I upload my videos on YouTube so my students can see them but then other people start looking at them.’

Children Exposed to Poor Maths Teachers: Ofsted

May 22, 2012

I am not particularly surprised by the finding that bright students, in particular, are being failed by poor maths instruction. It’s been my experience that most teachers come from a strictly humanities (i.e. English, Politics, History) background. These teachers often shirk maths and science as it isn’t their forte.

In a damning report, the watchdog warned that the scale of underachievement at school was a “cause of national concern” that risks robbing the country of well-qualified mathematicians, scientists and engineers.

It said that many of the most gifted children were “insufficiently challenged” at primary and secondary level after being set the same work as mid-ranking classmates.

Inspectors insisted that too much teaching focused on the use of “disconnected facts and methods” that pupils were expected to memorise and replicate without any attempt to solve complex problems in their heads.

Large numbers of pupils are also being pushed into sitting maths GCSEs a year early – forcing schools to completely ignore many of the most demanding algebra topics, it was revealed.

In a highly-critical conclusion, Ofsted said that teaching was not good enough in almost half of English state schools, with almost no improvements being made in the last four years.

I realise that what I am writing is a gross generalisation, but I believe that maths is generally taught in a very abstract and monotonous way. No wonder the students are not benefitting from maths instruction at the primary level. Traditional maths teaching involves worksheets, a mindless array of algorithms and plenty of other rote styled goodies.

The tragedy of it all is that maths can be taught in a completely different way. I find the basic skills of maths the most refreshing and creatively exciting subject to teach. The fact that maths is a composite of everyday skills means it translates wonderfully to problem solving activities.

Teaching Fractions: The Musical

March 22, 2012

As it is very difficult to convey the skills of fractions,  I am keen to see how a new programme that helps students learn fractions to music actually works. Fractions is often the skill that teachers dread to cover. I have heard of teachers that have demanded to teach lower grades just to avoid it.

That is why I am sure that this programme will generate plenty of interest:

For tapping out a beat may help children learn difficult fraction concepts, according to new findings due to be published in the journal Educational Studies in Mathematics.

An innovative curriculum uses rhythm to teach fractions at a California school where students in a music-based programme scored significantly higher on math tests than their peers who received regular instruction.

“Academic Music” is a hands-on curriculum that uses music notation, clapping, drumming and chanting to introduce third-grade students to fractions.

The programme, co-designed by San Francisco State University researchers, addresses one of the most difficult – and important – topics in the elementary mathematics curriculum.

“If students don’t understand fractions early on, they often struggle with algebra and mathematical reasoning later in their schooling,” said Susan Courey, assistant professor of special education at San Francisco State University.

“We have designed a method that uses gestures and symbols to help children understand parts of a whole and learn the academic language of math.”

It will be interesting to see if this programme becomes a success.

Parents Urged to do the Job of a Teacher

March 1, 2012

It is my belief that the job of a parent is to parent and the job of the teacher is to teach. Sure it’s wonderful when parents take it upon themselves to help reinforce skills taught in class. I am always appreciative of parents that spare some time to revise concepts covered during the school day. But essentially, I am paid to ensure that the parents can spend textbook-free quality time with their children. This is in my view essential to maximising the relationship of child and parent. Children often show a reluctance to work through school material with their parents and parents often get very anxious when trying to get their children to concentrate and listen to their explanations.

It is my job to see it that parents are free to spend time with their children without having to go through the ordeal of maths and science work. That’s what they pay me for.

But unfortunately, it seems that we are not doing a good enough job. It seems as if parents have often been given little choice but to try to fill in the gaps we have left behind. You hear too many stories of parents frantically trying to complete their own childs’ homework, sometimes struggling to work out the answers themselves:

A quarter of parents in Reading admit that helping their children with homework leads to family arguments, according to a survey.

Research by tuition provider Explore Learning also showed 9.2 per cent rarely helped their children with homework with more than two thirds struggling when they did.

Maths confuses parents the most with 41.2 per cent of parents finding the subject hard to grasp compared to the 11.1 per cent of parents who find English difficult.

Nationally, nearly a third of parents admitted homework had caused friction in the family with Reading not straying far from the average when it came to struggling in maths and English.

It’s time we let parents bond with their children instead of getting them to do our dirty work. Homework, if administered at all, should be revision of concepts covered in the class. If the children are not capable of doing it independently it shouldn’t have been given to them in the first place.


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