Another edition of this month’s best links is coming your way. Find out why we love math, explore a few new websites, and learn how scaffolding is embedded into Big Ideas Math in this month’s Social Media Recap:
Scaffolding- “Scaffolding, sometimes referred to as guided practice, is a learning process that promotes a deeper level of understanding for students by providing learning support when a new skill or concept is introduced.”
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With the week coming to a close and today being Valentine’s Day, we are proud to feature another guest blog from one of our consultants, Barb Webber. This week, Barb talks about the love and passion for mathematics.
Almost daily our students challenge us to give them answers about “when are we ever going to use this stuff?” Even with our dedication to developing Mathematical Practice #4: Model with Mathematics, we sometimes have to work hard to provide examples of application to problems arising in everyday life, society and the workplace. However, I propose a simple solution – share your passion, share your love of mathematics! This goes far beyond sale prices, travel scenarios, bridge construction and wonders of technology. How does mathematics affect you? What impact does it make on you and who you are?
When did you first feel a connection with numbers? What patterns help you to make sense of problems or give you that edge to “do the math” in your head? Do your students see that spark in your eyes? Do you invite a challenge and encourage them to find their path to success even though it may be different than yours? How about during math department meetings? Do you share instructional strategies and student successes with other teachers? Do you discuss the activities you’ve incorporated to develop the Mathematical Practices? Share your passion. Model with LOVE of Mathematics.
Have you ever read math books to your students? The Math Curse is my favorite and provides creative, clever and challenging connections to communication arts – see what a little math can do to promote reading and writing opportunities.
Do others get your mathematical sense of humor? Did you realize April 1st will be a palindrome? Do you tell math jokes?…the little acorn that grew up and said, “Geometry!” A colleague of mine put a math quote on the board each week. Fresh material is an online search away!
Am I a “math geek”??? You bet I am! And proud to share my passion – share my love of mathematics. And I’m hoping that love will grow among others, impacting their attitudes and effort. A comfort level and positive attitude leads to confidence. Confidence leads to perseverance, willingness to investigate and develop new and different strategies and the understanding that we learn from our mistakes as well as our successes. Share your passion. Yes, I’m a “math person” …and I love it!
From all of us at Big Ideas, have a wonderful weekend and a happy Valentines Day!
“A set of training wheels on a bicycle is a classic example of scaffolding. It is adjustable and temporary, providing the young rider with the support he or she needs while learning to ride a two-wheeler. Without an aid of this sort, the complex tasks of learning to pedal, balance, and steer all at one time would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for many youngsters. This scaffold—training wheels—allows the learners to accomplish a goal, riding a bicycle successfully, and then to happily pedal his or her way into the wider world.”
~Michael F. Graves, Bonnie Graves, and Sheldon Braaten, “Scaffolded Reading Experiences for Inclusive Classes”
Scaffolding, sometimes referred to as guided practice, is a learning process that promotes a deeper level of understanding for students by providing learning support when a new skill or concept is introduced. As students gain a deeper understanding of the material, the support is gradually taken away so that the students gain confidence in their own abilities. Scaffolding provided can help a student or class to perform the skill independently more quickly.
Here are some day-to-day tips for your classroom when it comes to scaffolding:
Know your students and understand the learning styles (visual, audio, kinesthetic etc.)
Provide clear directions to reduce student confusion (hints, suggestions etc.)
Give advice and provide help on how to start a math problem (provide models)
Provide models of work for students to examine themselves and draw their own conclusions.
Show worked out problems with step by step guidance (in books for example)
Create an outline for the curriculum
Identify student needs and answer any questions
Monitor and evaluate (as students gain better understanding, provide less support)
Have students ask and answer questions
Did you know that scaffolding is embedded into the Big Ideas Math program? Stepped-Out Examples and Study Tips are just two examples of scaffolding techniques this program provides.
As this month raps up and we look to February, you may not have had a chance to catch up or see our great links, pictures, and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Big Ideas Learning recaps content posted throughout the month of January to Facebook, Twitter, and our blog in this month’s Social Media Recap.
Flipped Classroom - “In a flipped classroom technology is used to enhance student learning outside the classroom and class time is focused on understanding and delving into lesson topics in much more depth.”
The flipped classroom is becoming more common in schools across the country. This is no surprise given the recent advancements in computers, the expanded use of tablets and iPads, and the increased familiarity with technology in general. In a flipped classroom technology is used to enhance student learning outside the classroom and class time is focused on understanding and delving into lesson topics in much more depth.
What does a flipped classroom look like?
A flipped classroom allows students to watch lectures and study lesson materials to gain knowledge of a particular topic outside of the classroom. In class, the teacher may revisit concepts for students, but concept engagements and working through exercises are the main focus. Basically, typical “homework” takes place in the classroom where teachers can offer individualized support as students deepen their knowledge of the concept.
Flipped classrooms have both advantages and disadvantages to them:
Students can learn at their own speed. They can read lesson materials at their own pace and can stop, pause, and rewind/rewatch videos at home. This allows students to spend as much or as little time with each lesson as they need, and students can also receive additional one-on-one help inside the classroom.
Increases student engagements because students come into the classroom prepared to discuss the lesson topic and are more likely to participate in discussions when they are familiar with the material.
Promotes student-centered learning, collaboration, and team-based skills. Teachers have the opportunity to work with each student individually or allow students to work in groups to complete in-class exercises.
Classroom discussions are more focused because each student knows exactly what the topic of the day is through their lesson viewing / studying the previous evening.
Not all school districts or students have access to all types of technology. This could make it very difficult for viewing videos or other lesson material online.
Not all students may have access to the internet or high-speed internet depending on where they live. This could mean long loading times and streaming may not always be a possibility.
Some students might not learn well from a computer screen or be uncomfortable studying on their own. It requires additional focus and often parental guidance.
Students are being held accountable for learning on their own. For some less motivated students this may be a large challenge to overcome.
Flipped classroom video:
We have compiled some great tips for flipping your math class.
1) Start by assigning a video for students to watch on a topic you would like to teach.
2) Once the students watch the video, ask them to post a question on a discussion board or private online forum and respond to classmates questions before the beginning of the next class.
3) Once in class, you can use the online discussion as a basis for classroom conversation. You can also spend time individually with students that need additional assistance on the topic.
4) As you become more comfortable with the flipped method, continue to expand the video viewing assignments to eventually reach a full lesson.
Are you thinking about flipping your classroom? Or have you already flipped your classroom? Let us know your thoughts on flipped classrooms or how you’re doing with your flipped classroom in the comments below!