Math Learning and Assessment

At the beginning of this course I felt overwhelmed because I was learning how to apply several application on the internet. After learning how use those activities and I looking pass the number of task required for each week I learned more in 7 weeks that I did in a long time.

This course introduced me to blogging, jing and screencast, Diigo, Dan Myer, math forums, GeoGebra, live events on-line, google groups, wikis, and many more. I also got a chance to start developing my philosophy about what is important in math. The aforementioned became the foundation on which I designed lesson plans, commented on class members’ blogs, and created meaningful tasks that I could later use with students or as resources. From this course I am also moving forward with a new lens, as I prepare math tasks, I will be thinking about the level of math sophistication in the task and how to alleviate math anxiety in my students.

Unlike most online classes this course had the feel of a regular course because of the virtual classroom. Everyone was respected and their voices were heard during the online discussions.

The most difficult task for me was commenting of other class members blogs especially on their mini-units because I have a limited secondary math background and I was unfamiliar with some of the higher level math content.

A suggestion for future classes is students work as a group to continue developing a unit over the course weeks.

Excellent course and professor. Thanks for the opportunity to gain a new insights on teaching, learning and assessning math.

Live Event Reflection

#mathchat Thursday @ 7:30 – What maths should be in a curriculum that every adult should know or be able to do?

This live event gave the participants an opportunity to sound off about what maths should be in a math curriculum that every adult should know. This was a very interesting topic, most participants who weighed in stating that financial literacy should be in the curriculum. Most adults have the basic knowledge in mathematics but struggle with financial literacy as related to the real world. As I read comment being posted, I started to think about how our economy and how it has been affected by the poor decisions that people made with credit cards and borrowing money.

Some middle schools teach students about stocks but that’s not enough. Math curriculums should include simulations about using credit cards, how to invest, borrowing money, and how to build a stronger financial foundation.

Although several topics should be must haves in the curriculum, finanial literacy should be on the top of the list because several individuals are affected by the decisions they make because of the lack of knowledge about managing their finances.

As always another great discussion.

Math Anxiety

Math anxiety is defined as feelings of tension and anxiety that interfere with the manipulation of numbers and the solving of mathematical problems in a wide variety of ordinary life and academic situations Math anxiety can cause one to forget and lose one’s self-confidence (Tobias, S., 1993).

Math Anxiety Response to

Weeks 3 – 5 Lessons

Grace’s Week 3 Lesson – Linearity

Sam’s Week 4 Lesson – Symmetry

Kate’s Week 5 Lesson – Data Visualization

For more information about math anxiety take a look at the following links

Cause and Preventions of Math Anxiety

Coping with Math Anxiety

Overcoming Math Anxiety

Math Anxiety Quiz

Resources

Image: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://mbaker.columbiastate.edu/cartoons_gifs/anxiety1.jpg&imgrefurl=http://mbaker.columbiastate.edu/Cartoons/cartoons2.htm&h=421&w=576&sz=31&tbnid=AL-OExkYRsnQfM:&tbnh=98&tbnw=134&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmath%2Banxiety&zoom=1&hl=en&usg=__3n5Nz-6tMwzHHPTqZ4rcIPysBUc=&sa=X&ei=XQBzTJu_KsP48Aae18WbDg&ved=0CDwQ9QEwBg

Math Textbook Review

Until June of the past school year my school district used Math in Context, MiC. Most teachers did not like the program because they felt it did not address the basic skills that our students lacked. They were correct, however, MiC is content based. Instead of a large textbook, the program uses several small books (strands), each strand is designed to address a particular area of mathematics. The video below is a brief introduction a section in MiC – Insights Into Data.

Click to preview MiC

In relation to Bloom’s Taxonomy MiC uses questions that are application, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation levels. Students are presented with scenarios in which they required to study the information and make logical responses and also back up their responses with justification. The role of the teacher when using MiC is to ask the students questions that will eventually guide the students to an answer. The students arrive at their answers through discovery and group conversation. In my opinion the MiC textbooks were designed with the assumption that the students are on grade level. Since the book guides students, there are questions that seem redundant and this becomes frustrating to the students and the teacher. Overall, I believe that MiC addressed the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy because students are asked to justify their answers based on the observations and problem-solving skills.

Creating Task – Triangles

1. Use the properties of triangles to create a game of Math-O, the games will be created as a review and  will be used to reinforce the concepts of triangles.

Assessment: Rubric

2. Create a classification poem about triangles. Creating Poems

Assessment: Rubric

3. Use your knowledge of congruence or similarity to create a podcast or screencast about triangles.

Assessment: Checklist

Live Event Reflection

#mathchat Thursday @ 7:30 – What types of tech should we use in lessons and when?

Tonight’s math chat provided several examples of technologies that teachers use to enhance their lessons and make them more engaging for students. Podcasts, SmartGoards, GeoGebra, Google Docs, Cameras, 3D Virtual Aids, Virtual Manipulatives, and Online Games and Simulations are some of the technologies participants mentioned. Most of these technologies are newer technologies and often when we refer to technology most people today think of things that can be done with a computer. Some items that are considered technologies of not to long ago are calculators, rulers and protractors. Not many participants referred to those items but they are still excellent tools that students use.

When should technology not be used?,  was another discussion which participants weighed in. Most participants commented that technology should be used as needed and as a means of engaging students. Most were concerned that students become dependent on the calculators and would prefer use the calculator instead of a paper and pencil. This is a discussion that has been going on for ages. Do calculators slow down a student’s ability to complete math problems with paper and pencil? In my opinion, once students understand and grasp a concept and can master how complete problems with paper and pencil they should be able to use a calculator so that they could complete their math assignments faster and more efficiently. Students should also be taught that a calculator is not a crutch and anything they can do on a calculator can be done with paper and pencil. Also most standardized state assessments (PSSA) require students to complete a section of the assessment without the calculator.

The discussion above led to the question about how participants feel about no Interactive White Boards (IWB) or online activities in the classroom. Not many participants responded to this question but in my personal opinion the idea of not having an IWB or online activities in the classroom seems far-fetched in most classrooms of today but before IWB’s teachers found ways to engage students in math lessons. I also believe that good math teachers will reach and engage students whether they have IWB’s and other technologies in their classrooms or not. Math classrooms continue to change as more technologies become available to teachers. With these technologies educators can make math come  alive in the classroom.

The discussion ended with the question about what technologies will participants use in their classrooms in the up coming school year. Podcasting was a popular response because several participants were interested in how to do a podcast. I will definitely introduce the teachers I will be supporting to GeoGebra, screencast, and provide professional development on using calculators more efficiently.

As always it was another informative discussion.

Bloom’s -Task – Assessment

Isosceles Triangles

Knowledge

1. Draw an isosceles triangle.

2. Circle the isosceles triangles in the picture below.

Comprehension

1. Multiple Choice – Chose the correct answer

Which statement is true about an isosceles triangle?

a)    All side have the same measure

b)   Two sides have the same measure

c)    None of the sides have the same measure

2. True or False – Write T (True) or F (False)

Isosceles triangles have two angles with the same measure. ______

Application

1. Maria is planting flowers around an isosceles triangular garden. The perimeter of the garden is 62 feet and the shortest side is 12 feet, what are the measures of the other sides of the garden?

Show your work.

2. One of the angles in an isosceles triangle is 48°, write the steps to finding the measures of the other angles in the triangle.

Analysis

1. Construct an isosceles triangle. What are the characteristics of an isosceles triangle? What properties of geometric figures do you know that might be of help to you to construct an isosceles triangle and guarantee that it is isosceles without using any measurement tool?

2. Use GeoSketch Pad to manipulate an isosceles triangle

Synthesis

1. Create a word problem about isosceles triangles.

2. Using the properties of an isosceles triangle, design a review game about isosceles    triangles.

Evaluation

1. Given triangle ABC, with D on BC and AD bisecting angle A.  The center of the circle circumscribing ABC is the same point as the center of the circle inscribed in ADC.  Prove that ABC is an isosceles triangle.

2.Use the 2-column approach to justify the statement above.

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