Saturday, March 8, 2014

Comments for Teacher - My Choice

Post #1

I chose to follow Natalie Turbiville's blog Walking in Mathland because of my background in teaching mathematics.  She posted about "Review Day" and how it can be a failure and waste of time but she also included things she does to keep students engaged and make it productive.  She uses very structured lessons, trying to change activities every 15minutes to keep them interested and also to help them help themselves.  Students will rely too heavily on the teacher, if allowed. 
I conveyed that I enjoyed this post mostly because I enjoy structure and also agree students (even some of my adults) will lean on the teacher if you let them.  Her methods places the responsibility back on the students and teaches time management as well. I told her I looked forward to reading her blog throughout this semester.

Post #2

Natalie shared a modified version of a bar trivia game that she used for test review days.  Team Trivia® is played in 3 rounds with three questions in different categories. First round point values are 5, 3, and 1 and can be used in any order, but only once per round. 2nd and 3rd round point values are 6, 4, and 2, in any order and only once per round.
Her bonus question usually has unlimited correct answers, correct answers can get from 1 to 5 points. Her example was: "write up to 5 equations (no more) of linear lines that are parallel to the line: y = 4x-12."
On the final question, teams wager up to 15 points.  If answered correctly all wagered points are added to the total.  If answered incorrectly, all wagered points are subtracted from the total.  If zero is waged, their scores do not change, regardless of answer.
I responded that this was an excellent idea and that although I have used Jeopardy and Hollywood Squares in class for review, this method would be a nice change of pace.  My adult learners may pick up on the bar trivia model!

Post #3

Natalie shared a project based learning activity she uses when teaching line of best fit.  The "Barbie Bungee" activity had students measuring the distance that the Barbie, or action figure fell when using rubberbands for bungee cords.  Rubberbands in 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, and 12. The project packets consisted of three sections, data collection (white paper), line of best fit and pre-launch summary (blue paper), and post launch summary (yellow paper).  I would have never thought of this type of project based learning for math, prior to this course or reading this blog.  Natalie used NCTM (National Council of Teachers of Mathematics) as a resource, and I plan to use them as well.
I responded that the title of the project immediately grabs your attention, and I would try "Action Figure Free Fall" because the boys might like it.  I also said the sounds of laughter indicate engagement and the photos of the responses show they are understanding the "how and why", which can be difficult in math.

Post #4

Natalie posted a video of a clip of the episode of "Friends" where Monica and Chandler were in Las Vegas playing the craps table.  She did an excellent job of luring me into her blog on teaching probability.  She acknowledged it is a hard topic to teach to children because gambling is the easy, natural activity to use, but inappropriate for the classroom.  She offered the alternative game of Beano.  Natalie explained the game and how she conducts her exercise to engage the students when teaching about the frequency of sums and other probability questions.
I told her I had never heard of this game until reading this post and that it was an excellent alternative when teaching younger children.  The fact that she posts pictures of her sessions and uploads worksheets for us to use is very helpful for this visual learner!

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