The inspiration for this Math Station came from this post http://mrsjumpsclass.blogspot.com/2011/03/zoo-part-2.html .
I thought the anchor chart/whole group activity could easily be changed into an individual or pair activity for a Problem Solving Math Station.
The station includes a instruction sheet and a series of pages for the students to show their work on. The student picks a student sheet. Across the top it says And the Answer is …………. Followed by a QR code. The student then uses an Ipad 2 or Ipod with a camera to read the secret answer. The student comes up with a word problem that fits the answer. The word problem is neatly written on the paper – and the paper can be illustrated. Finally the student will post the problem on a problem solving bulletin board. For the other students to solve. It might even be picked to be spotlighted on our blog. The posting is the main reason I put the answer a QR code. This way other students can try and solve the problem and give feed back about any difficulties solving the problem. One thing I need to emphasize is that we want people to be able to solve the problems. You don’t “win” if your problem is too difficult to understand. There is a link to the center from the picture below.
I’m “taking” Google101: Google in the Classroom from ItunesU
I just finished the assignment of reading http://electriceducator.blogspot.com/2009/11/google-proof-questioning-new-use-for.html and this is my response.
Regarding Google Proof questions – I’m of several different minds.
1. In high school my Mom approached the principal about the nature of our finals. She questioned the wisdom of having us memorize and use correctly 20or more formulas. She explained as a scientist, she didn’t rely on her memory, when running tests. People’s lives depended on the results (she was involved in some of the 1st kidney transplants). She always double checked formulas.
2. The same Mom made sure my sister and I had our math facts memorized. Before scanners my Mom could mentally add up the contents of her shopping basket faster than the clerk could ring her up.
3. Dr. Suh at university. After on of those Americans are stupid survey/tests was published, we asked him why he chose to teach Americans in a US university. He told us that Americans might have to look up facts his Japanese students would have had memorized, but the Americans could do more with the information. After I started teaching with the TAKS Testheld over our heads, I always wanted to know if this held up for him or did the ability of hisAmerican students fell off as THE TEST became the focus education.
My conclusion – There are somethings that students need to memorize. Math facts are a big one. We can show the all the different ways to think about putting numbers together and taking them apart, but at some point they need to stop counting on their fingers and know the facts. They also need to have a sense of history. They don’t need to know the date of every battle, but they need to know the American Revolution comes before the American Civil War.
There are other things, where it is way more important to be able to understand the facts and used them to think, ask, and answer more abstract questions.
I was also interested in the comment from the Mother back at the main article. Her daughter was in a remedial class. Instead of having face to face conversations, the class of 13 were blogging. First I have to question the assumption by the Mom that there was no face to face conversations. I agree with the people that pointed out having students blog is a way of improving their writing, and making sure everyone responded. Also I hope that the teacher was encouraging outsiders to comment on the students’ blog posts. I had a big problem with the tone of some of the responses. I felt they were arrogant and the type of response that earn teachers bad reputations.
The Cullen Building at Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was interesting watching my students take their Post Unit test. The test was over three units – Division, geometry, and number lines. It was interesting to watch the students as they selected different problem solving strategies. The manipulatives we had used were on the back table. Students could go pick up a set and take it back to their desk. Other students used their dry erase pens to draw on their desk. When we have rotations today – I’m going to ask them about their thinking. I figured out that on average my students score on improved 28 points from their pretest to their post test.
Today I want to get several things done
I think I’m the only one enjoying the Balanced Literacy class. Several to the techniques are helping do what I’ve always wanted to do in my ELA classes.
This group lesson plan thing isn’t going very well. I’ve given up on getting science in a timely fashion. But since I’m using TAKScopes, I can handle that. Not getting writing or lesson plans is more difficult.
I’m looking forward to using ideas from this lesson http://techhappy.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/the-child-driven-education-in-practice/ in my class next week.
I know drills, fire, tornado, and lock down are important. I’m glad the community is looking into the best way to protect the students during a disaster. The district, fire, EMTs, and police are doing drills with the school. It is just couldn’t we have done this last semester spread out over time? Couldn’t we do it after April? Do we have to have multiple drills and swimming in the weeks before the state TAKS?
Why does my school get stuck with having 4th grade swimming the 2 weeks before the writing TAKS every single year? It isn’t the same as having specials because with transport it takes 1 hour 15 to 1 hour 20 minutes instead of 45 minutes.
I think Wikipedia should not be a major source in a student’s work, because it’s not a primary source. Like any encyclopedia it is a good place to get background information. Some articles have extensive citation and those citations can help students find good primary material for reports.
Fifth grade science teacher and I plan on setting up a science wiki for the fifth graders this year. I see no problem with having a login system that tracks changes and do not understand why purists would have a problem with it. Wikipedia after all track its changes and who has made them. We have consequences in place already for students who choose to vandalize another person’s work on or off line. Because our expectations are firmly in place I predict will have very little problems of the sort. Each class a students will be adding information to articles about topics mastered in science. They’ll also write a lab reports including both pictures and video of actual experiments. Science teacher will add review questions for tests, and students will add their answers for others to use. I’m also hoping that that fourth grade and maybe even third grade science teachers will be willing to do a similar project. Then each year the wiki to move up with the students. I’m not share if we will use the wiki in Moodle or if we will use www.wikispaces.com. I need to talk to the people in tech training about which would be better for a multiyear subject wiki.
I would love set up a curriculum wiki for my school. Getting teachers to communicate about what our students have difficulty with is an ongoing problem. I think because the teachers see it as a criticism of them, rather than an offer to help.