What are pseudocontexts, and should K-6 math teachers be concerned about them? I came across the term in Dan Meyer's excellent blog, in which he explores better ways of engaging students in learning math, and calls out "fake math" and poor teaching.
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 […]
How important is it for our kids to grow up being good at math? Try this on for size: in 2016, terrorists are as likely to carry a laptop as a bomb. And they are probably in a basement somewhere, not risking being found out in the open. Want to try that line "We don't really need to be all that good at math, now we all have smartphones" again? I thought not.
Indigenous students in Australia typically lag two years behind other kids in math. How can teachers connect indigenous kids with classroom math? A new approach proposed by Dr Chris Matthews incorporates story telling and dance as ways to connect students' interests and culture with math.
Rote learning of math was abandoned in western nations as early as the 1960s. So why is the UK government spending £41m to train teachers in 8000 English primary schools in so-called "mastery maths", based on the approach in Shanghai, China? More importantly, is rote learning somehow the "missing ingredient" in English kids' learning of maths?
The recent national census really caught the attention of the Australian populace, mostly for all the wrong reasons. The official website couldn't cope with the traffic to the site on "census night", which was entirely predictable, and at the same time it was subjected to several "Denial of Service" (DOS) attacks. But apart from that, what can we teach children about censuses? Here are a few ideas:
Do your students believe that math is irrelevant to their lives? Sadly, all too many of them do, especially as they reach high school. The article I discuss this week lists 10 occasions in which major Australian supermarkets got the mathematics behind their special offers totally wrong. Sometimes the “offer” was worse than the standard […]
Another applied maths idea for older primary students: let them run a mock business and learn firsthand basic ideas about working together and how to create a viable business. I grew up without any “business sense” – this would have been very useful as part of my education. Watch the video here: Hellgate 6th graders […]
Standing in the Rain, Teaching: Video Rain gauges measure rainfall by collecting a small sample and measuring how deep the water is. The trouble is, we are interested in very small units – in the metric system, rainfall is measured in millimetres/millimeters. How can you accurately measure such small amounts? How can we use everyday […]