3 Minds On Activities for Teaching Mean, Median, and Mode

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Mean, median, and mode. The three amigos. Those concepts students mix up all the time. Given the right question, mean, median, and mode can go from a task in rote memory and computation to critical thinking and mathematical reasoning. Here are some minds on activities you can do to get students primed and ready for some Data Management:

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Halloween-themed grade 6/7 Ratio Activity

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Halloween (my favourite time of year!!) is just around the corner, and many of us are celebrating on the weekend because it falls on an unfortunate Monday this year, so I thought I would share a fun ratio activity. I made this with a grade 6 or 7 (or split) class in mind. I picked numbers that are rather tidy to solve the problems, but you can always make it more or less challenging for your students’ needs by switching some of the numbers.

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The Dos and Don’ts of the New Math Classroom

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Korsan, Maciej. “Clean Chalkboard.” (23 November 2015). Retrieved from stocksnap.io.

I’m finishing up the coursework for the first part of Year II Consecutive Teacher Education at Brock University and have been hard at work. I’m hoping to release a Halloween-themed math task soon but we’ll see how much time I have on my hands before I go out on teaching block. In this post I’ve tried to concisely summarize what I think are the most important things to keep in mind for a student centred mathematics classroom.  Continue reading

Is Blended Learning Right for your Classroom?

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“Calculator and Laptop.” Luis Llerena. September 4 2015. Accessed 3 October 2016. Retrieved from stocksnap.io

Currently, teacher education and professional development is trying to get away from the traditional methods of teaching that do not facilitate student learning as much as it could have and instead look to other ways of doing things such as project-based learning, gamification, and blended or flipped classrooms.

For those unfamiliar with the term, blended learning is a formal education method where students receive part of their content or instruction in a digital or online format. Put simply, it means adding some form of technology into the classroom to enhance learning.

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Enrich the Math Experience with Rich Tasks

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Just like how you can build anything with Lego, make your math questions full of creativity and possibility.

So continuing in the vein from last week of asking the right questions to students in math, in addition to providing students with parallel tasks so they can pick the level of difficulty best for them, it is important to ensure you are including rich tasks in your classroom as well.

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Ask the Right Questions in Math Class

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“Wise Man asks Questions.” Laura McClelland (editing and text) and Joshua Earle. (2016) Accessed 19 September 2016 from stocksnap.io

According to Leven and Long (1981), teachers spend 80% of their instructional time asking questions and ask on average between 300-400 questions PER DAY. Shouldn’t it stand to reason that the questions we ask actually be ones of quality, ones that drive student learning and encourages them to delve further into the material they’re learning? Or, just as importantly, how do we ask the right questions so that students sitting at their desk with nothing written on their page yet have their eyes light up as they begin to scribble furiously?

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Bring Balance to your Math Classroom to Improve Understanding

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Zen Stones Photo. Ltd B (2016) Publicdomainpictures.net Accessed Tuesday 13 September. Retrieved from www.publicdomainpictures.net

Raise your hand if this math/science problem strategy sounds familiar to you:

  1.  Memorize the formula. Knowing what the formula means is optional.
  2. Memorize the keywords associated with that formula in word problems e.g. sum for addition, difference for subtraction
  3. Look for those keywords in the question and do the formula.
  4. ????
  5. Profit! And by profit I mean you get the question marked right, not that you necessarily had any idea what was going on.

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Debunk the “Math Person” Myth for Your Students

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“Apple on Textbooks.” (2 September 2016) Michal Jarmoluk. Accessed 9 September 2016. Retrieved from https://stocksnap.io/photo/NVJ4Q1I7K0.

As the new school year begins, especially in light of recent EQAO math scores, teachers need to ensure their students have the tools they need to succeed. No, I’m not talking about manipulatives, cheerful colour-coded duotangs, or even tablets. What I’m talking about is their attitudes. Do they believe they can do well in math?

Many people believe that there is such a thing as a “math person”. This mathmagician was born with a protractor in one hand and a graphing calculator in the other, and is good at math just because. 

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