Do you use technology as much as you’d like to help your K-6 students understand math? How do students respond to tech? Would they actually prefer old school resources?
Have you started using Snapchat yet? Would you like daily K-6 math videos to start conversations? Follow me: petes_classroom
Let me know what you think in the comments below!
The big message in the video is this: it’s not about the technology. A great teacher can use any resources, or none at all, to effectively teach students what they are ready to learn.
That said, we should test new technologies to see how they can help our students to learn. No technology is capable, in itself, of “revolutionizing learning” (how often do we hear that phrase?). But in the hands of a competent teacher, technologies open up new possibilities and new opportunities to present content to students in new ways.
In the busyness of classroom teaching, do you find math lessons becoming a bit stale? Are textbook lessons getting you and your students down a bit?
I believe that students crave interesting, relevant lessons, especially in math. How can we provide such lessons?
It’s a simple idea: find real math going on in the world around you and bring it to the children’s attention.
In the video I talk a bit about the new kitchen we’re having put in. There’s a heap of math that the builders have to get right, including measurement, simple arithmetic and three-dimensional geometry.
What can you talk about with your students? Here are some ideas:
Real-Life Contexts for K-6 Math: Some Suggestions
Take photos with your smartphone, add them to PowerPoint slides, ask students “What do you notice?” or “What questions are you thinking of?”
Talk about shopping experiences where you had to figure out a best buy, someone gave you the wrong change or something cool happened
Explain how you adapted a recipe for a different number of servings
Talk about your favourite sport and how rankings work, and how many points teams have to win to come out on top this season
Talk about designing something cool, such as a garden, a craft project, a greeting card or a decorated cake
What ideas have you used to bring classroom math to life? Leave a comment below.
Have you ever felt like banging your head on the wall when trying to get kids to learn something? Do you feel you’re not up to the task of “getting through to these kids” and making them learn something?
Here’s a simple suggestion from me: trust the kids’ natural abilities to make sense of their world.
Don’t sit on your hands and leave it all in the kids’ hands, of course: that isn’t what I mean.
But allow the capabilities built into every human being to “kick in” in response to your input. It’s your job to create the best atmosphere for learning to take place; you just don’t have to make it happen due to your force of character, cajoling, pleading or other desperate tactics.