Topic (follow-up to Thursday 22nd July): What tools or methods can we use to make maths 'real'?
As it happened on Monday, 26th July 19:30 - 21:00 GMT


7:28 pm
mathchat:
1st time for #mathchat? Check out some hints about joining in http://bit.ly/aYUgBD soon! #ukedchat#ntchat #scichat #elemchat #edchat
7:30 pm
ColinTGraham:
For the next 90 minutes I will be devoting (most of) my tweets to #mathchat
7:32 pm
ColinTGraham:
Tonight's topic: What tools or methods can we use to make maths 'real'? #mathchat
7:33 pm
ColinTGraham:
Welcome to first-time visitors! #mathchat
7:34 pm
tj007:
Making Maths real - to help with understanding / make it relevant / make it more accessible? #mathchat
7:34 pm
ColinTGraham:
The discussion can move very fast! Don't worry, just find a Tweet that interests you and respond... #mathchat
7:36 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 The idea of what 'real' means was discussed last week, does real=authentic or real=concrete? #mathchat
7:36 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Is it #mathchat time already?
7:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog Yes! Get in here! #mathchat
7:38 pm
tj007:
I am sometimes asked 'Where would I use this in real life'. Sometimes I can tell them, other times it is 'problem solving skills' #mathchat
7:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
One point that was not really resolved on Thurs was authentic situations vs. move from concrete to abstract #mathchat
7:39 pm
tj007:
Functional Maths is now part of the curriculum here. Questions offer less structure and more likely to use real (authentic) data. #mathchat
7:40 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 Does that question come from the presentation of the task, or is it "because it's in the National Curriculum"? #mathchat
7:41 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 Is authentic data introduced, or is it collected as part of a larger task? #mathchat
7:43 pm
tj007:
@ColinTGraham Not sure what you're asking, but I'll put forward a couple of examples in the next couple of tweets. #mathchat
7:44 pm
tj007:
An exam question may ask 'What is the best value for money holiday for this family' and a few pages from a holiday brochure given. #mathchat
7:45 pm
tj007:
A task (in/out of class) may consist of a question, whereby the pupils have to work out what is needed and show how they can do it #mathchat
7:45 pm
maxxakahotdog:
I'm here. #mathchat Remind me again what we're talking about. Is it tools we use to teach or something else?
7:45 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 Ah, travel example is what I would call introducing authentic data... or 'creating a real context' #mathchat
7:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog What tools or methods can we use to make maths more 'real'? and does real=concrete or =authentic? #mathchat
7:47 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Thanks#mathchat #mathchat
7:49 pm
maxxakahotdog:
I'm thinking 'real' means concrete & authentic. Kids must experience the concrete in order for it to become authentic #mathchat
7:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
There are some who think Maths should not be taught at elementary/primary level because it is too abstract, ie not concrete #mathchat
7:52 pm
maxxakahotdog:
I teach Gr.2. Some of the most impressive ways of solving pr. come from them #mathchat. It's the way it's taught... #mathchat
7:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
When Less is More: The Case for Teaching Less Math in Schools http://bit.ly/drfwwM #mathchat
7:52 pm
tj007:
ok, I wasn't sure what was meant by concrete (I used to test it!), this was useful http://bit.ly/dbLNaw#mathchat
7:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
When I use the term 'concrete' I veer towards Piaget's stages of cognitive development...! #mathchat
7:55 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Then I think it has more meaning #mathchat
7:55 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat Travel question is "realistic" rather than real. It's an exam question!
7:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
Although I think Vygotsky was right that language plays a great role than Piaget suggests #mathchat
7:56 pm
maxxakahotdog:
For some students numbers R concrete but for others manips R the concrete #mathchat
7:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann Yes, but it uses 'real' data and a 'real' situation... students see through this though! #mathchat
7:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
Piaget's stages are well-exemplified here: http://www.learningandteaching.info/learning/piaget.htm#mathchat
7:58 pm
ColinTGraham:
Examples? Situation? RT @maxxakahotdog: For some students numbers R concrete but for others manips R the concrete #mathchat
7:58 pm
soltauheller:
@maxxakahotdog #mathchat our gr1 curriculum has been totally revised to include only #'s to 20. Gives lots of time which is what is needed
8:00 pm
ColinTGraham:
I think we can introduce exploration of concepts in a physical/authentic way but it is too much to expect all <11 to grasp concept #mathchat
8:00 pm
bird42:
@ColinTGraham can I just hop in & agree with you on the importance of language? Kids with S&L difficulties struggle in maths too #mathchat
8:01 pm
ColinTGraham:
@soltauheller This suggests you have a great deal of flexibility in how you implement your curriculum... #mathchat
8:01 pm
ColinTGraham:
@bird42 Yes, feel free! #mathchat
8:02 pm
tj007:
I vaguely remember Piaget and Vygotsky discussed when I was training 3 yrs ago and haven't come across them since... dust th notes #mathchat
8:02 pm
TAtoTeacher:
RT @ColinTGraham: Tonight's topic: What tools or methods can we use to make maths 'real'? #mathchat
8:02 pm
soltauheller:
@ColinTGraham #mathchat some my gr1's easily connect groupings of things to #'s very quickly like symbols to sounds
8:03 pm
ColinTGraham:
I get the feeling from @maxxakahotdog @Caro_lann @tj007 that you feel maths is more about problem solving or tasks which need numb #mathchat
8:03 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Kids who don't undrstnd the lang. of math may struggle w using equations to efficiently solve prbl. While others who undrstnd #mathchat 1/2
8:04 pm
tj007:
When I was training, I really liked the way the Dutch had developed the curriculum. A lot of relevance and hooks for learning. #mathchat
8:05 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog The problem with math/lang is it is very symbolic and may be beyond comprehension, though students may know concept #mathchat
8:06 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham Yes. I do feel it's bout prob. solving. We solv. probl. evryday. We never sit & do pages of facts or fill in blanks. #mathchat
8:06 pm
tj007:
@ColinTGraham That is all I have come across so far. I was at the Suffolk Maths Innovation show and now have other ideas to use. #mathchat
8:06 pm
bird42:
math computations require good use of working memory, and this is tied in with ability to use language. S&L probs make maths hard #mathchat
8:07 pm
ColinTGraham:
I'll probably get "booed" but I think most national curriculums for maths are well thought out, but expectations may need change #mathchat
8:08 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 It looked like it was going to be a good day, I'd have liked to go! #mathchat
8:08 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham Eg. If kids R taught it's a number sentence rather than a balance equation #mathchat 1/2
8:09 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham then they will stuggle b/c senior teachers talk about it as equation not number sentence #mathchat
8:09 pm
ColinTGraham:
@bird42 This suggests you think more time should be spent on mental arithmetic skills... #mathchat
8:09 pm
maxxakahotdog:
140 chars are not always enought #mathchat grrr......
8:10 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham I'm agreeing with U on curriculum. It's well thought out but teachers lack undrstanding #mathchat
8:11 pm
tj007:
Maybe national curriculums are well thought out, but not convinced that their interpretations are (ie SOW). #mathchat
8:11 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog You can always continue discussion on the Wiki if you want! http://bit.ly/bfShK7#mathchat
8:11 pm
bird42:
@ColinTGraham I think a lot of reinforcement of basic skills is necessary when children have difficulties with language #mathchat
8:11 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat I think we have arithmetic, maths and numeracy as a continuum. Numeracy really encompasses maths and some literacies and empowers
8:12 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham I'll read in a bit #mathchat. Thanks looking for some indepth discussion around teacher understanding of the lang #mathchat
8:12 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Thanks. I just might have to do that #mathchat :-)
8:12 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat So numeracy is about the application for me and maths is about the skills and methods - the mathematical tools for being numerate
8:13 pm
bird42:
@ColinTGraham and perhaps less assumption about how much of the maths language children understand. I am talking SEN of course #mathchat
8:13 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@tj007 agreed #mathchat
8:14 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@bird42 What do U mean? Reinforment of skills #mathchat Can U give ex.'s
8:14 pm
ColinTGraham:
@bird42 The much-tweeted and reposted Dan Meyer TED video about makeover deals with the 'interfering' language of maths problems #mathchat
8:15 pm
maxxakahotdog:
When U talk about maths, could I get clairification? We don't use this term... #mathchat
8:15 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog UK=maths US=math! #mathchat
8:17 pm
tj007:
I was impressed by the Farlingaye school KS3 curriculum http://bit.ly/9qVjiJ where there was a mixture of abstract and concrete #mathchat
8:17 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@bird42 Thnks. I would agree with you on that as well. I see it all the time in primary #mathchat
8:17 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham That's what I was assuming but wasn't 100% sure #mathchat
8:17 pm
ColinTGraham:
Is part of the process of making Mathematics 'real' helping non-mathematicians to make distinctions: eg numeracy, algebra, arith. #mathchat
8:18 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@bird42 could u put link in for video. I'd like to watch it. Thnks #mathchat
8:18 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog I decided on using mathchat as the hashtag because it gives us 1 more character in Twitter! #mathchat
8:19 pm
bird42:
@ColinTGraham I've not seen it. But I'm guessing there is something in that. It's an extra layer of understanding. #mathchat
8:19 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham -) #mathchat
8:19 pm
iteachyear4:
I find that language is the real wall that a lot of my class struggle to get over in Maths #mathchat
8:19 pm
bird42:
@maxxakahotdog No probs. Have been dealing with some v specific S&L issues this year, & eureka moments in maths are shortlived #mathchat
8:20 pm
ColinTGraham:
The Dan Meyer video link is on http://mathchatarchive.wikispaces.com/001+Differentiation #mathchat
8:21 pm
ColinTGraham:
@iteachyear4 Do you think it is the language you are expected to 'teach' or is it more having to explain abstract concepts? #mathchat
8:22 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@iteachyear4 Do teachers in your school talk the same lang when it comes to maths? #mathchat
8:23 pm
ColinTGraham:
Another approach I tried to convince my colleagues to adopt, when I was a newbie, was teaching basic accounting, chequebooks etc #mathchat
8:24 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 What input do you have in creating a scheme of work or is it all decided for you? #mathchat
8:25 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham Did they bit? #mathchat It's a gr8 way to apply world use.
8:25 pm
tj007:
In the last few months I have found myself thinking more about the language used (from basic terms to origins). #mathchat
8:25 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog I trained in Secondary Mathematics (11-19) but also taught Numeracy and Basic IT to refugees... #mathchat
8:27 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 It can be interesting to ask 9/10 year olds what they think a particular type of number work should be called... #mathchat
8:27 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog That was 15 years ago, and no they didn't bite! It does make a lot of sense for functional numeracy with adults tho #mathchat
8:28 pm
tj007:
@ColinTGraham It is decided for me. For example, 5 lessons on algebra to include... But, I have decided to veer off course if time #mathchat
8:29 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 If you have control over how the algebra is introduced, there can be a few opportunities for problem-solving... #mathchat
8:30 pm
maxxakahotdog:
My student use the words inverse, associative & commutative property, lang. #mathchat
8:31 pm
ColinTGraham:
@iteachyear4 I use origami a lot for 'simple' fractions. You can show the difference between "fold in two" and "fold in half"... #mathchat
8:32 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog When you say use - does this mean they can provide their own examples or labels to things they haven't seen before? #mathchat
8:33 pm
tj007:
@maxxakahotdog I've started to use the language regularly (built up over time), as the pupils really like it(varied by ability tho #mathchat
8:35 pm
tj007:
@ColinTGraham Graphical calculators are not used in the school at all (not even KS5), but I have started to use Geogebra :-D #mathchat
8:35 pm
ColinTGraham:
Link for GeoGebra http://www.geogebra.org/cms/en @MariaDroujkova works with this, so she can give advice/hints ;-) #mathchat
8:35 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham They can provide labels to what they have seen & provide their own examples #mathchat
8:36 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@tj007 It does take time for them to understand. But mine love the "big" words #mathchat
8:36 pm
frogphilp:
New blog post: 'mathematical masters study fror grumpy teachers': http://bit.ly/bfQwlY includes reference to subitising #mathchat
8:37 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Does anyone use cuisenaire rods to teach math ideas or allow students to use them to work with? #mathchat
8:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog That's great! Sometimes I think because we have given a few examples/"tested" them that we think it's learned #mathchat
8:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog I have used cuisenaire rods for maths and English language teaching, to be honest I find Lego more effective! #mathchat
8:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @iteachyear4: @ColinTGraham That's really good idea - thanks!!! These # nights make me want to work in all your schools! #mathchat
8:39 pm
ColinTGraham:
@iteachyear4 Don't forget your hashtag Pernille! #mathchat
8:39 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham Is it b/c Lego is more familiar to them? #mathchat
8:40 pm
iteachyear4:
@ColinTGraham Doh! #mathchat :-)
8:40 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat I use cuisenaire rods for beginning algebra - expanding brackets etc
8:40 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@frogphilp Looking forward to reading this #mathchat
8:41 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog With adults, I think it was because they got to 'play' with a 'toy' cuisenaire looks like 'inventions' to teach mth #mathchat
8:42 pm
maxxakahotdog:
I'm using them in primary. Kids often use them over Unifx cubes. I like them b/c they R multi-pursful & kids can't count them #mathchat
8:43 pm
ColinTGraham:
This raises a more general point: how can you or should you 'hide' maths inside a problem/task? #mathchat
8:43 pm
tj007:
I came across cuisenaire rods during training (once), but not used since (not a resource that we have). Use equiv on IWB though... #mathchat
8:44 pm
iteachyear4:
@ColinTGraham Allowing the children to come up with the problem and develop their own strategies to solve them? #mathchat
8:44 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog One of my students spent most of her time emptying the box of rods onto the table & filling the box "the wrong way" #mathchat
8:44 pm
TAtoTeacher:
RT @tj007 It can be interesting to ask 9/10 year olds what they think a particular type of number work should be called... #mathchat
8:45 pm
iteachyear4:
@bird42 Ah creative...the thing we're all expected to do, but then is frowned upon by SLT #mathchat
8:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
@iteachyear4 What do you do if the problem doesn't 'fit the curriculum' or "Scheme of Work"? #mathchat
8:47 pm
Caro_lann:
@ColinTGraham:how can you or should you 'hide' maths inside a problem/task? #mathchat Present a situation and let students investigate it
8:47 pm
iteachyear4:
@ColinTGraham Make it fit! I've now been told my set don't have to write things in their books - makes it easier to be creative #mathchat
8:48 pm
ColinTGraham:
@frogphilp Do you want to explain what subitising is for those who may not know the term? #mathchat
8:48 pm
maxxakahotdog:
I'm using literature but haven't found a way as of yet for them to come up with their own problem #mathchat Perhaps in future.
8:48 pm
iteachyear4:
@maxxakahotdog Leading questions? Discussions you hear in class/playground? News events? #mathchat
8:48 pm
iteachyear4:
@bird42 haha - very true! #mathchat
8:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
Risk taking! easier w/ experience RT @Caro_lann:... Can't we occasionally step outside of the curriculum/syllabus/scheme of work? #mathchat
8:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
I've already recommended a couple of texts about lives of mathematicians which are cross-curricular... #mathchat
8:52 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Risk-Taking is what it's all about #mathchat
8:52 pm
maxxakahotdog:
both on the students & teachers part #mathchat
8:53 pm
iteachyear4:
@Caro_lann I agree!! It can always be made to fit in somewhere, may just mean you have to be fluid with the timetable of teaching. #mathchat
8:53 pm
iteachyear4:
@ColinTGraham The Blockhead one is really interesting! Currently looking to buy it :-) #mathchat
8:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
Maybe a 'stripdown' as Meyer suggests then get ss to invent... RT @maxxakahotdog: haven't found a way for them to come up.. #mathchat
8:54 pm
tj007:
I asked some pupils about their y7 Maths and it was the parts where I went off SOW that they remembered most http://bit.ly/aZfUrA #mathchat
8:55 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@ColinTGraham Are the titles on the wiki? #mathchat
8:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
So, in the final five minutes, any burning ideas/suggestions/"Aha!" moments? #mathchat
8:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog If not, I will include them in the summary of today's discussion on the archive #mathchat
8:57 pm
iteachyear4:
My class had an 'aha' moment when doing numberbonds to 10 - tried so much. Thing that worked - Wii Bowling!! They all got it! #mathchat
8:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
@tj007 Be interesting to see what they remember at the end of Year 8! #mathchat
8:58 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat Final thoughts: take a deep breath and take risks. Look at possible language issues. Search for real scenarios for ss to unpick.
8:58 pm
iteachyear4:
@maxxakahotdog No, but it's an interesting thing to ask them in September! #mathchat
8:58 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Oops I ment posed #mathchat
8:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog Interesting to ask colleagues and parents the same math/maths question to and compare results! #mathchat
8:59 pm
maxxakahotdog:
@iteachyear4 Also at each reporting period to see what they R thinking about #mathchat
8:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxxakahotdog Don't worry I'll edit it in the threaded discussion, when I get around to it! #mathchat
9:00 pm
iteachyear4:
Using books and art in maths does help make it 'real' but still need other life experiences to help #mathchat
9:00 pm
tj007:
Take risks, look for opportunities, enthuse the pupils! #mathchat
9:01 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Thanks everyone. It was a great discussion today also took me away from cleaning my house #mathchat.
9:01 pm
ColinTGraham:
A select few today! Thank you for joining in. The 'raw' archive will go online in about 30 minutes. #mathchat
9:01 pm
maxxakahotdog:
I agree @iteachyar4 Very nice way to see maths a diffferent way #mathchat
9:01 pm
ColinTGraham:
Don't forget to vote for the next topic: http://twtpoll.com/emmj6m Fractions or manipulatives or... #mathchat
9:02 pm
tj007:
Thanks everyone, quite a lot to ponder for the forthcoming year. I'll be heading to www.blastfollow.com shortly. #mathchat
9:04 pm
chrisrat:
RT @ColinTGraham: Don't forget to vote for the next topic: http://twtpoll.com/emmj6m Fractions or manipulatives or... #mathchat
9:06 pm
maxxakahotdog:
Thanks again. It was great. I'm off to read some of the links everyone sent #mathchat