Digital teaching tips & tricks, ideas, examples, and general thoughts and reflections. Follow my Inquiry.

Friday, 15 September 2017

Open ended problem solving tasks

I have been having some success with my learners around open ended up problem solving tasks.

Rather than coming up with all the problems myself, I have been coming up with open ended problems that the learners make up themselves. I had feared that the learners wouldn't take this seriously and it would be a waste of time.

However, they instead rose to the challenge and were excited about difficult problems, rather than rigging it to get easy ones like I thought.

To make sure that they were solving the problems correctly I encouraged them to use the calculator on their chromebooks. There was no threat to their learning as they were still required to show their working, which was not made easier by having the answer.

You can see two of the tasks I created on my Class OnAir page. Other problems were designed from using materials.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Maths - Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir

#ClassOnAir
Throughout the year I will be updating my Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir site with links to my planning, resources, reflections, videos of my teaching, and links to the learners work on their blogs. There are 7 Manaiakalani teachers from various schools and levels for you to check out. It's 21st century window into our classrooms. 
Check out the whole ClassOnAir site here.

Here's  a preview of my latest lesson.

Measurement and Decimals - Maths

Direct Instruction
The learning intention for this lesson was to use Multiplicative knowledge to solve Measurement themed problems. We built on our learning from a previous lesson and it used it to work out new problems. In this case we used the same method of solving measurement problems using multiplication and the length of our foot. Learners measured and calculated the length of objects in the classroom, but then calculated the length of those objects in a "giant universe" (3x larger).
See the full episode here

Friday, 18 August 2017

Maths - Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir

#ClassOnAir
Throughout the year I will be updating my Manaiakalani Google Class OnAir site with links to my planning, resources, reflections, videos of my teaching, and links to the learners work on their blogs. There are 7 Manaiakalani teachers from various schools and levels for you to check out. It's 21st century window into our classrooms. 
Check out the whole ClassOnAir site here.

Here's  a preview of my latest lesson.

Measurement and Decimals - Maths


Direct Instruction
The learning intention for this lesson was to understand a solve fraction and ratio problems. You can see that I am only working one on one with learners, while they work on their follow up activities. These one on one sessions are designed to give the learners support directly at their level, rather than at the group level. It's a really great way for me as the teacher to get that formative assessment at the individual level.

See the full episode here

Thursday, 27 July 2017

Is there a "best way" to rote learn times tables?

Seen's it looks like I'm going to be stuck teaching times tables by rote learning, I want to make sure I'm teaching it the best way that I can. So I google searched:


Most of the results I found weren't very helpful, however one did catch my eye. It promoted teaching and learning times tables in a very structured way, and contained a lot of the ideas that NZ Maths promote as well (See my post on Basic facts).

The article promoted teaching the drill in a very specific way, that provided visual, auditory, and kinesthetic cues for the students. However what I really liked was the three step structure.

1. Skip counting pattern
i.e. 3, 6, 9, 12, 15, 18...
By skip counting with the students first, you are learning to memorise the pattern and answers of the times table set before you begin. This will help the answers spring to mind when you later try to memorise the fact.

2. The table
i.e. 3x1= ?, 3x2=?, 3x3=?, 3x4=?
Starting at 3x1 and progressing down the list matches the skip counting and will continue to cement the pattern and answers.

3. The table backwards
i.e ?x3=3, ?x3=6, ?x3=9, ?x3=12
Again starting at 1x3=3 and moving down the list. The question is only re-written and shouldn't require as much brain power to answer as step 2, however it does require the learner to think of the question back to front. Again further cementing that fact into the brain.

Once finished the three steps you would simply repeat the process, but back to front. i.e. 36, 33, 30 etc. Then continue to do all the steps back to front, and eventually out of order.

The article suggests that how long you spend on this drill at one time, and how long you spend on each times table set would totally depend on you and your class.

I haven't tried this yet, but I think I will give it a go with my target group in the near future. Digital version though of course (screw writing all that on the whiteboard!!!)