How do you find the parents of your students? Are they helping their children to learn, or are they more of a hindrance? Some parents can be incredibly difficult to cope with, of course. And sometimes an assertive manner and explaining the boundaries between their opinions and your professional work is called for.
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.
Are you getting a little tired of other people interfering in how you teach in your classroom? I see around the world teachers being put under greater and greater pressure to perform, as if they were mere employees or servants of the state. And I'm over it!
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
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?
Teachers recently told us, of all the K-6 math topics in the curriculum, which one they would most like help with. Care to guess which topic came to the top of the list? Most Challenging K-6 Math Topic The “winner”: Place value. Close behind? Operations, followed by Number facts. Since these three broad topics form […]
From today onward, I will not apologize for expecting students to memorize the times tables. And nor should you.
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.
Infants as young as six months recognize interesting shapes. And babies who show higher spatial reasoning skills do better in math at age four. This is good news for parents and carers who purposefully try to help their children understand the world around them in explicitly mathematical ways...
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:
Are there kids in your class that you just don't "get"? Do you teach students who you feel will never amount to much? The video that prompted this week's blog is an interview between Larry King and Gary Vaynerchuk. Chances are, you're not much like Gary Vee. And nor am I. If you're like most teachers, you were good at school, you were good at following the rules, and you worked hard to figure out the educational system and succeeded at it. The system is designed to reward such behaviour, with academic awards, good grades and ultimately a pathway to a good job.
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 […]
How can a teacher use Pokémon Go to inspire her students to study hard in math? Surprisingly enough, the viral hit Pokémon Go which broke records at Apple's iTunes store has multiple possible uses in the regular K-6 classroom. Watch the video for much more!
What do your students believe about their abilities in mathematics? Do they say "I can do this", or "I'll never get this"? We discuss a TES article which focuses on the message that "Everyone Can" succeed at math, urging teachers and students to believe in the students' success. What do you think? Is simply being positive about students' abilities and capabilities really going to make a difference to the results that they achieve? And are some people simply born "with a maths brain" and others not?
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 […]