Monday, April 12, 2010

Using Whiteboards and Math Templates to Encourage Active Participation

Encourage active participation in class by using whiteboards and templates.  Both tools should be regulars in classroom lessons and each student must be required to participate in these mini-assessment activities.

Teachers who effectively incorporate whiteboard and/or template activities gather useful data about which students understand or are proficient, which students need some additional guided practice or instruction and which students are missing some of the prerequisite skills for the particular lesson or need a different approach to the concept or skill.

Be sure to check out these Mathwire collections for ideas on incorporating white boards and templates in math lessons:
Try out these strategies and begin replacing some oral classroom questioning with questions and/or problems that require each student to write down answers on whiteboards or math templates.  These mini-assessments require students to stay on-task and and holds each student accountable for explaining math concepts in words, pictures, and numbers.  Plus, students get to see how their peers explain a term or picture a mathematical problem which adds to their own problem-solving repertoire. 

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Two of Everything

Use the book Two of Everything to introduce students to the doubling pattern.  Students will enjoy the story and predict what will happen each time something is put into the magic pot.

Make the math connection even more concrete by using a pot and linking cubes to illustrate the story.  Students may use a Magic Pot Workmat to record the input and output, then write a rule.

Extension:  Extend the activity by using the magic pot and simple rules to create data sets.  Students should guess the rule by giving an input number and telling the output that would result.  By not stating the rule, students provide more time for other class members to generalize the rule.  Each guess simply provides another data set for students to enter in their table.

Enrichment:  After reading Two of Everything, challenge students to solve NCTM's 5 Coins problemWould you rather have 1000 coins or 5 coins and a Magic Doubling Pot that works 10 times?  Students might work in pairs and use in/out charts to record their solutions.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Earth Day Math Activities

Be sure to check out the Mathwire Earth Day Math Activities collection as you plan for this important celebration.  Include math activities in your daily plans with activities from PBS Math ONline and other internet resources.

You're sure to find something for every age students as you peruse this collection.