Topic (follow-up to Thursday, 9th September 2010):
How can we engage non-Maths teachers and parents with maths?
As it happened on Monday, 13th September 2010, 19:30 - 21:00 GMT in Twitter and in Chatroom chat
7:30 pm
MSTA:
made it to my first #mathchat! #mathchat
7:30 pm
mathchat:
#mathchat - Hello everyone. Welcome to tonight's chat: How can we engage non-Maths teachers and parents with maths?
7:32 pm
MSTA:
by sharing resources and content across subject areas. #mathchat
7:32 pm
ColinTGraham:
Welcome to everyone. For first-timers, don't try to follow everyone, just interact with one or two people and don't forget the #mathchat
7:32 pm
MSTA:
example using money to make change in math class can include a social studies lesson on the state quarters. #mathchat
7:34 pm
ColinTGraham:
What do you see as the main "turn-offs" related to mathematics? #mathchat
7:36 pm
Caro_lann:
@MSTA #mathchat That sounds like the maths teacher engaging with social studies rather than the other way round! Or is that a start point?
7:39 pm
MSTA:
@Caro_lann it could just be a starting point. There are ways to work with other subject areas teachers to reiterate math concepts #mathchat
7:39 pm
MSTA:
@Caro_lann that was just one example. #mathchat
7:41 pm
ColinTGraham:
@MSTA so are you suggesting that maths teachers should consult or teach the maths content of other subject areas? #mathchat
7:43 pm
MSTA:
@ColinTGraham i'm suggesting finding out what your other teachers are teaching and finding a way to integrate those concepts. #mathchat
7:43 pm
MSTA:
@ColinTGraham if applicable of course. It can make it less jarring for the students transitioning from one subject to the next. #mathchat
7:45 pm
davidwees:
@ColinTGraham Most people fail to recognize that mathematics is a language, especially untrained elementary educators. #mathchat
7:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
@MSTA Playing devil's advocate, then, at what point do we stop? Do we get other teachers into maths lessons to teach some of ours? #mathchat
7:46 pm
davidwees:
@MSTA @ColinTGraham Integration into other subjects is exactly what we try to do with the MYP (IB) program. #mathchat
7:47 pm
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees The International Baccalaureate is certainly something that is being more seriously looked at in the UK too. #mathchat
7:47 pm
MSTA:
@ColinTGraham I see your point, i'm not saying non-math teachers should teach math concepts, just that they can reiterate concepts #mathchat
7:48 pm
davidwees:
@ColinTGraham I remember reading something about how the UK Government asked the IB for permission to roll out their program? #mathchat
7:48 pm
ColinTGraham:
@MSTA It's a fine idea in practice, but sometimes the Art teacher wants you teach scaling and transformations before you are ready #mathchat
7:48 pm
maxmathforum:
Does emphasizing the social aspects of math (http://tinyurl.com/25tskqw) make it more or less accessible to non-math folks? #mathchat
7:49 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Caro_lann Or there would need to be cross-curricular projects designed by teams of teachers #mathchat
7:49 pm
chris_1974:
arriving a little late, but we need to make sure other subjects are as precise as us, e.g. using mean not average. How? #mathchat
7:50 pm
chris_1974:
if we can find tasks that support other subject areas it makes us more relevant. #mathchat
7:50 pm
icecolbeveridge:
#mathchat My favourite teacher was the English teacher who would always digress and explain the cross-curricular BG of everything
7:50 pm
MSTA:
@ColinTGraham you can't forget you are the expert, you know the student's abilities and your teaching schedule best. #mathchat
7:50 pm
Caro_lann:
@ColinTGraham @MSTA #mathchat In FE (UK), all new teachers have to teach "minimum core" numeracy underpinning their own subject
7:50 pm
davidwees:
@ColinTGraham @MSTA You really need more opportunities to collaborate around lesson plans with other teachers. #mathchat
7:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Is the precision of language required for maths or for real-life? I usually talk about my weight and not my mass... #mathchat
7:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
How about @maxmathforum's point about emphasizing the social aspects of maths? #mathchat
7:53 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham a little of both - when reading paper we want students to question when they read "average income" type headlines #mathchat
7:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
I'd like to try out a chatroom as well as Twitter. http://bit.ly/cgwIsc Register a user name and login to #mathchat room to take part!
7:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Maybe it's a question of raising awareness that different subject areas may apply different meanings to words. #mathchat
7:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees The need is usually something 'forced' though because lack of time can always be used as an excuse #mathchat
7:57 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham yes; but if students are asked to find "average rainfall" and they ask 'which average' that shouldn't be shouted at! #mathchat
7:58 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 No, it shouldn't. So maybe we need a list of 'special' words for each subject that need care #mathchat
7:59 pm
maxmathforum:
@chris_1974 that gives us a way to get non-maths teachers thinking. we can be "guest lecturers" helping them think of math meaning #mathchat
8:01 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxmathforum Do maths teachers also need to consider 'jargon' from other subjects too? #mathchat
8:01 pm
chris_1974:
@maxmathforum or we can use our students - spread the word virally!? #mathchat
8:01 pm
Caro_lann:
#mathchat Here's an example of collaboration that i like to use in training http://bit.ly/amqeO5
8:03 pm
davidwees:
@ColinTGraham Our school has collaborative planning time built into our schedules for MYP teachers. #mathchat #myp
8:03 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham @maxmathforum yes - we do, but with care. Evaluate very diff in maths and english exams. #mathchat
8:04 pm
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees That is, in itself, part of the structure of MYP though #mathchat
8:04 pm
maxmathforum:
@chris_1974 i like that idea. students armed with mathematical language, reforming the world! #mathchat
8:05 pm
chris_1974:
@maxmathforum thats a fab way of putting it! I don;t mind being put right on spelling (nicely), by students. No different. #mathchat
8:08 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 So create a safe atmosphere for correction, etc. #mathchat
8:10 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham yes, adding also to the whole "We're all learning together" atmosphere. #mathchat
8:10 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge Was it the digression away from English you liked or 'making it relevant'? #mathchat
8:11 pm
chris_1974:
I saw some posters in a sci lab, which says "continous data should go in a scattergraph". I need to raise this with them.. #mathchat
8:13 pm
davidwees:
Comprehensive list of what Wolfram Alpha offers. http://bit.ly/v7GMc #mathchat #edchat
8:15 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Presentation of data is certainly something that needs special attention across the board! #mathchat
8:16 pm
chris_1974:
too right!RT @ColinTGraham: @chris_1974 Presentation of data is certainly something that needs special attention across the board! #mathchat
8:16 pm
ColinTGraham:
Is the introduction of technology or multi-media a solution to disengagement, or is more needed? #mathchat
8:17 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @icecolbeveridge: @ColinTGraham Relevance, and breadth #mathchat
8:18 pm
LesLinks:
Hi there folks... just looking in and lurking.... #Mathchat
8:19 pm
ColinTGraham:
@LesLinks Hi, we are also trying out a chatroom format too http://discussions.learnalot.co.uk/#mathchat
8:19 pm
LesLinks:
@maxmathforum i like that idea. students armed with mathematical language, reforming the world! = I like this..;-D rightupmyalley! #Mathchat
8:23 pm
Lthomas413:
Hey #mathchat -I'm a mom of a 9 yo w/ a big math brain- school can't/won't meet his needs.Where can I find some online stuff to help him?
8:24 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Lthomas413 We have some sites listed on our Parent's page in the Wiki http://mathschat.wikispaces.com/ #mathchat
8:24 pm
davidwees:
@Lthomas413 You could check out the Khan Academy for tutorials: http://www.khanacademy.org/#mathchat
8:25 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham as in chatroom forum only those that sign up can take part thing?? just askin... ?? I'll look at it.. registered.. #Mathchat
8:25 pm
davidwees:
@Lthomas413 You can also probably find a copy of your school district's Math curriculum on their website. #mathchat
8:27 pm
ColinTGraham:
How much of a role does lack of knowledge or 'fear of exposure' play, particularly with parents? #mathchat
8:27 pm
Lthomas413:
@davidwees the curriculum isn't an issue- it's that he's a 4th grader working at a 10th grade level. I'll check the wiki. #mathchat. thx!
8:27 pm
LesLinks:
@Lthomas413 Hi... I have a bloggy/site with a links binder page.. Mathbinder lots of stuff there..http://innreach.wordpress.com/ #Mathchat
8:29 pm
chris_1974:
in repsonce to tonights #mathchat, here is one of my fave maths lessons, difference of 4...http://bit.ly/chrismaths
8:29 pm
LesLinks:
@Lthomas413 Bloggy/site is geared towards 'giftedness'.. some advanced stuff in Math binder.. #Mathchat
8:31 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham Parents can fear.. they do not know enough/as much as teacher (or child) feel inadequate.. #Mathchat
8:32 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham Sometimes even parents need to be reminded how much of math is present in our everyday world.. all around us.. #Mathchat
8:33 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@LesLinks #mathchat Perhaps also fear of new methods?
8:33 pm
ColinTGraham:
@LesLinks There was a recent 'news' story about differences in approach to maths teaching too, where parents couldn't use methods #mathchat
8:33 pm
LesLinks:
@davidwees Khan Academy is a very good suggestion.... #Mathchat
8:34 pm
LesLinks:
@icecolbeveridge very much so... remember Dad trying to help with my math homework and getting all wrong.. not new issue.. #Mathchat
8:35 pm
ColinTGraham:
I think @karlfisch's approach of having Ss watch short lectures at home is something that parents could also do... #mathchat
8:35 pm
maxmathforum:
@chris_1974 your problem reminded me of a great article i'm using in a course i'm teaching online this week. i'll try to find it #mathchat
8:36 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham @icecolbeveridge same issue..parents not familiar with new approaches, fear, are swimming in unchartered waters=fear #Mathchat
8:38 pm
maxmathforum:
http://math.sfsu.edu/hsu/papers/HsuKyshResek-RichProblems.pdf using problem solving to reach gifted and struggling w/ the same task #mathchat
8:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
@LesLinks How do you address the 'fear' in your approaches to/with parents or other non-maths teachers? #mathchat
8:38 pm
LesLinks:
In my world, sometimes both parents and teachers may fear students understanding/methods of approaching a math subject= ;-D ;-D #Mathchat
8:40 pm
ColinTGraham:
@LesLinks So the teacher is no longer one step ahead of the student, but two steps behind! #mathchat
8:40 pm
chris_1974:
Looks fab. Like it RT @maxmathforum: http://bit.ly/clRPmE using problemsolving to reach gifted and struggling w/ the same task #mathchat
8:40 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham It does happen... ;-D #Mathchat
8:42 pm
ColinTGraham:
What do you see as the main "turn-offs" related to mathematics? #mathchat
8:43 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham How do you address the 'fear'= Hard to address in 140.but begin by normalising math in everyday things..big subject #Mathchat
8:45 pm
LesLinks:
@LesLinks In my world... sometimes students 'figure things out'.. get 'the answers' and may 'not know how they got there'.. #Mathchat
8:45 pm
maxmathforum:
@ColiTGraham that it's taught as though it was all about memorizing stuff, with no sense of creativity or exploration or fun! #mathchat
8:47 pm
LesLinks:
@LesLinks @ColinTGraham may be more important to learn how to reflect/look at 'how' they arrived where they did... #Mathchat
8:47 pm
ColinTGraham:
@maxmathforum Ah, we aren't allowed to have fun in lessons, especially at the secondary level! #mathchat
8:48 pm
LesLinks:
that it's taught as though it was all about memorizing stuff, with no sense of creativity or exploration or fun! = agree.engagment #Mathchat
8:48 pm
vk76:
math and allowance? (http://tinyurl.com/2c98f7p) #mathchat
8:48 pm
maxmathforum:
@ColinTGraham, @chris_1974 then we better forget we ever saw Chris' "difference of four" lesson! #mathchat
8:49 pm
LesLinks:
Ah, we aren't allowed to have fun in lessons, especially at the secondary level! Sneak it in.. ;-D Funfor youtoo!! happyteacher #Mathchat
8:49 pm
Cassyt:
Give students the answer-have them explain why it is so. @LesLinks @ColinTGraham may be more imp to reflect on 'how' they arrived #Mathchat
8:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
@LesLinks Until you get a parent coming in and asking why you were getting their child to draw monsters in a maths lesson... #mathchat
8:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
We are into the final 10 minutes, any thoughts or ideas about what we can change now, in the next term, in the next year? #mathchat
8:52 pm
LesLinks:
@Cassyt Ya I preach that all the time.. through out... '97' ask 'as many ways you can think of to arrive at that number..yay;-D #Mathchat
8:52 pm
chris_1974:
@maxmathforum @ColinTGraham yup. No fun allowed here. Move along, nothing more to be seen #mathchat
8:53 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham Ya... you get those too... bet their child is interested though... ;-D Monsters.. great.. love it.. ;-D #Mathchat
8:53 pm
chris_1974:
@maxmathforum @ColinTGraham on a more serious note, you can do this with 11yo, harder with 16yo as exams approach. #mathchat
8:54 pm
LesLinks:
@chris_1974 That is sad.. you must be creative... for you as much as your class... #Mathchat
8:54 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham yes, I was thinking about where I start from. #mathchat
8:55 pm
chris_1974:
@LesLinks it is sad, but the focus is on getting the marks in the exam. Rightly or wrongly it is the game we play. #Mathchat
8:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
So, back to my earlier question: what we can change now, in the next term, in the next year? #mathchat
8:57 pm
LesLinks:
@chris_1974 Ya I know, they have us over a barrel as it were.. as a parent, & last year of highschol here.. in the thickof it.;-( #Mathchat
8:58 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @drkeevil: @ColinTGraham disconnect between maths theory and maths' as life skill #mathchat
8:58 pm
ColinTGraham:
@drkeevil So do you mean there should be a disconnect or that the two need reconnecting? #mathchat
8:59 pm
chris_1974:
What's new - more use of children "armed with mathematical language, reforming the world!" (@maxmathforum's words) #mathchat
9:00 pm
chris_1974:
Whats going to be the same? Precise mathemtical language. #mathchat
9:00 pm
ColinTGraham:
OK, everyone, Twitter time is up! Thanks for your contributions! #mathchat
9:00 pm
chris_1974:
(do you see what i did there - same / different!) #mathchat
9:00 pm
LesLinks:
Try to link the purpose.. understanding connection to life and beauty of how it connects with same.. in art as well as 'real life' #Mathchat
9:01 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Sneaky maths teacher, you! #mathchat
9:02 pm
ColinTGraham:
I'd like to try the chatroom again, maybe at a different time from the scheduled chats so we can get a better go at using it. #mathchat
9:02 pm
LesLinks:
Thanks Colin/ chis for having me.. sorry to have just 'poped' in... my blog (gifted stuff) ishttp://innreach.wordpress.com/ ;-D #Mathchat
9:03 pm
ColinTGraham:
@LesLinks You're welcome, as are all, we don't mind lurkers either ;-) #mathchat
9:03 pm
chris_1974:
interesting experiment using chatroom alongside twitter for #mathchat tonight...
9:04 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham Ya.. chatroom may be good.... more space to write anyway... DM me time/day if you are... ;-D #Mathchat
9:04 pm
chris_1974:
on one side #mathchat 'ers in the chatroom weren't tied to 140 characters, although that is part of the challenge
9:05 pm
ColinTGraham:
Archive will be online in about 30 minutes or so. Don't forget to add ideas for the future:http://bit.ly/aOhxOU #mathchat
9:05 pm
chris_1974:
on the other side, I think people are more likely to 'stumble' across #mathchat on twitter, rather than hidden away.
9:05 pm
LesLinks:
@ColinTGraham Hey... great.. I am a good lurker.. lurking is good... learning is most important and lurking is a great way.. ;-D #Mathchat
9:06 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Twitter Thursday will stay as is. The idea is to allow opportunity for more extended discussions and/or follow up #mathchat
9:06 pm
chris_1974:
@LesLinks lurking is good, but we managed to draw you in too! #Mathchat
9:07 pm
LesLinks:
Please feel free everyone to 'lurk' on Fridays #gtchat... twice on Friday.. on #gifted topics... we don't mind lurkers either ;-D #Mathchat
9:07 pm
ColinTGraham:
For example a weekend time, a block at an AUS/NZ friendly time, maybe flexible scheduling... but one topic per week #mathchat
9:07 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham good plan - i just thought I'd add my two pence worth. #Mathchat
9:07 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 That's what engagement is, getting the lurkers involved! #mathchat
9:08 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @drkeevil: less 'important for exam' more 'important outside exams' #mathchat
9:08 pm
LesLinks:
@chris_1974 Hey.. I am an easy drawer in to most subjects..Math is dear to my heart.. have a PG (profoundly gifted) ds loves Math #Mathchat
Chatroom chat

3th September 21:56
Colin
Hi Cassy
13th September 21:56
Cassyt
Hi Colin. Not much happening here.
13th September 21:57
Cassyt
Are most of these teachers secondary? As an elementary teacher, integration of topics is important.
13th September 21:57
Colin
The idea is that there is more room for discussion and extended statements if necessary
13th September 21:58
Colin
I suspect secondary or adult education, from what I can judge so far
13th September 21:59
Colin
So what problems do you face with engagement?
13th September 21:59
Colin
Hi Chris
13th September 22:00
Cassyt
As a teacher-trainer, I try to show non-maths teachers that they really *can* do math. Once you show them some methods to work with, they get interested.
13th September 22:01
Colin
and make it a relevant part of their subject too
13th September 22:01
Colin
Hello Colin
13th September 22:02
icecolbeveridge
hello Colin
13th September 22:02
chris_1974
Hiya all - will I keep up with this AND twitter? NO chance.
13th September 22:02
Colin
Stay in one or the other and let us know if you move!
13th September 22:03
maxmathforum
One technique I use is asking parents or teachers in training "what do you notice?" and "what are you wondering" about a mathematical scenario from their field. That gets them thinking their ideas are relevant, and gets them engaged in the math in a non-threatening way. They all can contribute something to that conversation
13th September 22:03
Colin
Caro_lann http://discussions.learnalot. co.uk/shared this link http://tlp.excellencegateway. org.uk/tlp/xcurricula/lmic/the mes/challenges/ thinkingaboutma/index.html
13th September 22:05
Colin
A viral expansion of mathematical language into other subjects... how early do we start?
13th September 22:07
maxmathforum
as early as possible, i'd think...
13th September 22:07
Cassyt
maxmathforum Great questions. Also "Can you find another solution?"
13th September 22:07
Carolann
Well- I'm here but it looks like the party is going on somewhere else .......
13th September 22:07
maxmathforum
Yeah, although I'd save that for the very end. I like "notice" and "wonder" for getting started, especially.
13th September 22:08
Colin
We're trying this out as an alternative, Carol
13th September 22:08
maxmathforum
Also, I didn't make those ?'s up, we use them where I work (The Math Forum @ Drexel) http://mathforum.org/pow/ support/activityseries/ understandt heproblem.html
13th September 22:09
chris_1974
there is a lot of merit in simple "What happens if", and "What's the same, whats different". Powerful, and again, unthreatening.
13th September 22:09
Colin
I think a chatroom would be better for discussion, but maybe we need to do it at a separate time?
13th September 22:11
Carolann
I have to attend these chats on my phone as no pc access at the relevant times. This is harder to engage with than tweetdeck for screen-size reasons.
13th September 22:12
maxmathforum
What's the same/what's different is nice 'cause it helps you focus on patterns, variables and constants, and other big math ideas
13th September 22:12
Colin
@carolann OK, these are the kinds of issue we need to test out.
13th September 22:12
chris_1974
i think thats what i like about them. Who knows the "difference of four" problem? It's great for the same diff stuff.
13th September 22:13
maxmathforum
I don't know it
13th September 22:14
chris_1974
its hard to type! Easier here than on twitter. May just blog it, and add the link..
13th September 22:14
maxmathforum
sounds good
13th September 22:15
Colin
You can paste links in here too Chris, the chat is logged, so they wont be lost
13th September 22:16
Colin
So, is the introduction of technology or multi-media a solution to disengagement, or is more needed?
13th September 22:19
Cassyt
Intro of technology has been a distraction for me when working with non-math teachers.
13th September 22:20
Colin
What is distracting - the requirement to use tech or just introducing something else to learn/use?
13th September 22:21
Cassyt
Actually using technology with teachers. I use a tablet and some teachers haven't seen anything more exotic than an overhead.
13th September 22:22
Colin
So the tech is creating an addition barrier to the training
13th September 22:23
Cassyt
I wouldn't say a barrier, but it can be a distraction. They want to know what I'm using, how it works, how much, etc. I think we forget that there are MANY schools out there that function with one computer in a classroom.
13th September 22:24
Carolann
Sorry guys. The chatroom really isn't working for me. The thing I like most about mathchat is that it is/was? a Twitter chat!
13th September 22:24
Colin
Or none in other parts of the world!
13th September 22:25
Cassyt
When I taught 3rd grade, we had no overhead and one projector at the school. I installed wifi in my classroom, so we could have 2 computers functioning in the room.
13th September 22:26
maxmathforum
I wonder if technology is less distracting the more it is inherent to the math you're doing. For example, David Jonassen describes Mindtools which:
  • are critical thinking tools that engage and facilitate cognitive processing.
  • are constructive.
  • amplify and reorganize mental functioning.
  • require learners to think more deeply than they would have to without the tool.
  • make more effective use of the mental efforts of the learner. Offloading calculation tasks allows learner to apply more effort to understanding.
13th September 22:27
Cassyt
maxmathforum - Can you give me an elementary level example that meets those requirements?
13th September 22:27
maxmathforum
spreadsheets
13th September 22:28
chris_1974
short delay, but here is difference of 4 lesson. I love it! http://chrismaths.blogspot. com/2010/09/difference-of-4. html
13th September 22:28
maxmathforum
here's Jonassen's website: http://web.missouri.edu/ jonassend/courses/mindtool/ mindtool s.html
13th September 22:29
Colin
Using simple online manipulatives and then trying to make their own may be an approach too.
13th September 22:29
maxmathforum
Thanks Chris! I love problems like that
13th September 22:30
maxmathforum
with lots of data to generate and things for kids to try whether they are algebraically-thinking or not
13th September 22:32
Colin
and numbers generated could be fed into a graph or chart for visualization of algebra
13th September 22:32
maxmathforum

13th September 22:33
maxmathforum
There's a great article by Hsu, Kysh, and Resek called "Using Rich Problems for Differentiated Instruction" that has some problems like Chris' and a discussion of why/how to use them with mixed-ability groups of kids
13th September 22:35
Colin
Is it available online?
13th September 22:35
Cassyt
"How much of a role does lack of knowledge or 'fear of exposure' play, particularly with parents?" I work with schools using Singapore Math and the method does cause some anxiety when parents first see it.
13th September 22:36
maxmathforum
Found it: http://math.sfsu.edu/hsu/ papers/HsuKyshResek- RichProblems.p df
13th September 22:36
Colin
Is special training for teachers also include for Singapore Math and does that need to be made available to parents too?
13th September 22:38
Cassyt
Training/PD is the best way to be successful when taking on the Singapore Math curriculum. I do parent nights all the time and always get great feedback.
13th September 22:39
Colin
The key seems to be lots of communication of ideas, concepts, what people can do to help, where they can find help etc.
13th September 22:40
Cassyt
Even at school that used SM curriculum for 8 years, we had a parent night each fall for 3rd grade parents. 3rd grade is when the Model Drawing is introduced and parents would start to freak out over word problems.
13th September 22:41
Cassyt
I find parents don't always communicate their fear/lack of math. I provide links --AMPER_SAND-- materials suggestions in a newsletter, to make sure those that need the info will see it.
13th September 22:41
Colin
Does language ability also have an impact where you are, in terms of immigrant or refugee families?
13th September 22:41
Cassyt
No.
13th September 22:41
Cassyt
Oddly enough.
13th September 22:42
Colin
So it's just the 'advance' towards word-based problems and unpicking them that can cause a panic.
13th September 22:43
maxmathforum
probably because when the parents were in school, word problems were scary things they didn't have tools for approaching
13th September 22:44
Colin
And can also be extremely confusing even for some maths teachers too
13th September 22:44
maxmathforum
agreed
13th September 22:44
Colin
Have you tried any of Dan Meyer's approaches - focusing on unpicking the words?
13th September 22:45
Cassyt
Also, word problems are typically taught as a "unit" in elem. Do them then move on to the next topic.
13th September 22:45
maxmathforum
I like the phrase "unpicking." What does it mean specifically?
13th September 22:45
Colin
So the formulation of a problem in words is treated as being somehow separate from the whole of maths?
13th September 22:46
Colin
unpicking is trying to find out what the real question is - what do we really want to know
13th September 22:46
Cassyt
Yes, in a lot of math curricula.
13th September 22:47
Cassyt
And since eleme teachers tend to be less strong/mor fearful of math, they follow the text.
13th September 22:48
Colin
Which is effectively spoon-feeding an approach in which the teacher/parent/pupil doesn't understand the reason or purpose of each step...
13th September 22:50
Cassyt
You can't change secondary math ed until you change elem math ed. That starts with teacher knowledge & foundation skills for students.
13th September 22:52
Gareth
it seems to be a vicious circle, but it either needs to change somewhere or we all need to accept that things are never going to change
13th September 22:52
Gareth
i dont think any of us want to think that nothing is ever going to change, so then the question becomes more practical in exactly where to introduce the changes that are required
13th September 22:53
Colin
I would like to try the chatroom again, maybe at a different time from the scheduled chats so we can get a better go at using it.
13th September 22:55
Cassyt
I think you can change elementary math education.
13th September 22:55
Gareth
to make it more appealing to non-maths people?
13th September 22:55
Colin
I think it has to be changed, not just can.
13th September 22:56
Cassyt
Well, it changed in the 70's (New Math) it can change again. In fact, I'm banking on it. But I only work with a couple hundred teachers a year.
13th September 22:57
Cassyt
Is there really such a thing as a non-maths person?
13th September 22:57
Colin
The journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single step, as the saying goes!
13th September 22:57
Gareth
isn't that the people we're discussing how to engage?
13th September 22:57
Colin
Many colleagues label themselves as such, and yes they need to be (re)engaged
13th September 22:58
Gareth
by non-maths people, i mean people who need to be engaged; not people who can't do math or anything
13th September 22:58
Gareth
they can, but choose not to be interested in it
13th September 22:58
Cassyt
Can we really classify people that way? If so, I'm a non-baseball playing person.
13th September 22:59
Gareth
of course. i don't play a music instrument and so i am not a musician
13th September 22:59
Colin
It's more about how people choose to identify themselves
13th September 22:59
Gareth
i do however listen to music as i find music that appeals to me
13th September 22:59
Gareth
so what we need to do is find a way for maths to appeal to these people
13th September 22:59
Gareth
and i think in order to do that we need to tie it into the things that they *are* interested in
13th September 23:00
Cassyt
So the people that we most need to have engaged are the teachers.
13th September 23:00
Gareth
as long as they are able/willing to pass that engagement on to others, yes
13th September 23:03
Gareth
the maths teacher i had at school wasn't bothered because, as he told us himself every other lesson, he was retiring in "a couple of years"
13th September 23:04
Gareth
while i'm reluctant to identify lost causes, it's a sad reality that they do exist - even within our own field
13th September 23:06
Cassyt
Ouch! Crazy isn't it?
13th September 23:06
Gareth
it is indeed
13th September 23:06
Gareth
i kinda felt sorry for him to be honest
13th September 23:06
Gareth
he clearly didn't enjoy his job
13th September 23:06
Gareth
anyway, there's a lot of work to do to truly engage everyone about maths, but i think it is possible. i think one of the best ways is to tie it into subjects that they are interested in
13th September 23:07
Cassyt
It's an interesting conversation now that my sons are in 9th & 10th grade. One attends a charter with a fabulous math teacher. The other a public IB program.
13th September 23:07
Cassyt
Teachers in the IB are mixed. The Geometry teacher was weak. Alg 2, ok, but the Pre-Calc guy is a great teacher.
13th September 23:08
Gareth
bad teachers are everywhere and i don't want to suggest that it's only maths that's affected. my physics teacher at college was useless for example, but my history teacher was fantastic
13th September 23:08
Gareth
yeah, you're always going to get a mix of poor/good teachers, but we can't allow for the success of maths to be dictated by what is essentially a random lottery of where our kids go to school
13th September 23:09
Gareth
i want my kids to enjoy maths no matter which school they go to, so we need to take into account that some teachers are going to suck and work around that
13th September 23:09
Gareth
we need a system that doesn't break as soon as a poor teacher is involved
13th September 23:09
Cassyt
So what we need is admin willing to work to develop a teacher?
13th September 23:10
Gareth
that could be one solution
13th September 23:10
Colin
Most of the 'subject' issues are at the secondary level though, training of primary teachers is a key factor.
13th September 23:10
Cassyt
Yeah, as a teacher, knowing that your kid's teacher sucks is the worst.
13th September 23:11
Gareth
i guess it does. im not a teacher myself, but i can certainly empathise with that situation
13th September 23:11
Gareth
so how do we work around poor teachers?
13th September 23:11
Colin
And sometimes, teachers make the 'worst' parents to have facing you on parents' day!
13th September 23:11
Gareth
teachers have to be the first line of attack in making maths engaging to the masses
13th September 23:12
Gareth
if the maths teacher sucks then you can pretty much forget about anyone who he/she comes into contact with being engaged by maths
13th September 23:12
Gareth
so you either need to remove all those teachers from the system or have a system that still works despite them
13th September 23:13
Colin
early years is where the best maths teachers should be working, not teaching A-level
13th September 23:13
Gareth
did you see the test results for early years math teachers though?
13th September 23:13
Gareth
i think it was on the bbc...
13th September 23:14
Gareth
they were shockingly bad on average, at maths
13th September 23:14
Colin
Channel 4, dispatches
13th September 23:14
Gareth
so if they really are the first line of attack, there needs to be a lot of work in that area
13th September 23:14
Gareth
ah yes that was it
13th September 23:14
Cassyt
Right, that's why teachers tell me they teach K, or 1st or 2nd grade. They can't do 6th grade math.
13th September 23:15
Gareth
hmm. the problems are pretty fundamental it seems
13th September 23:15
Colin
that's the point, though, the point at which disengagement from maths needs to be identified and changed, and no-one should be teaching elementary maths without a firm understanding of the underlying concepts (=18+ qualification, not a grade C GSCE...)
13th September 23:16
Gareth
the number of problems far outweigh the number of activists if you can forgive the terms
13th September 23:16
Gareth
so is the solution to take some of the responsibility away from those teachers?
13th September 23:17
Cassyt
The solution is to recognize that there needs to be some work done and get on that.
13th September 23:18
Cassyt
I was at a school last week where the 1st grade teacher insisted that it was NOT POSSIBLE to have more than 9 of anything in the ones column of a place value chart.
13th September 23:18
Cassyt
Colin, for what it's worth, I like the chatroom. Easier to focus & follow.
13th September 23:19
Gareth
did it not go too well then with the chat room?
13th September 23:20
Colin
I think so too, I'm hoping to wean people off Twitter, and just keep the Thursday one for Twitter... maybe need to keep Mon follow-up but shorten it to an hour....
13th September 23:21
Colin
@gareth teething troubles... some see the benefits, but like to use twitter because of tech issues - phones etc.
13th September 23:21
Gareth
i see. what percentage are using phones?
13th September 23:22
Colin
It's difficult to tell, because Twitter allows lurking too... which is more difficult in a chatroom with registered users!
13th September 23:22
Cassyt
I like that all non-mathy people in my twitter feed aren't innundated with ed & math related posts. Not that they wouldn't learn something...
13th September 23:23
Gareth
well, if there's enough of a demand for a phone-friendly room then we can do that
13th September 23:23
Gareth
if it's just a vocal few though who will find something else to take issue with once that's resolved, then that's different external image cleardot.gif
13th September 23:24
Colin
@Cassyt that again is another advantage, my stream becomes particularly dense due to moderation as well!
13th September 23:25
Gareth
there are some people who would refuse positive change even if you paid them, so im conscious of the fact that i can't let those people dictate what happens here.
13th September 23:26
Colin
I think if we have a fairly flexible schedule for chatroom use, a designated topic and a guarantee that there will be at least one other person to chat to, I don't see any reason why this shouldn't take off.
13th September 23:26
Cassyt
Wait, teachers refusing positive change? Wasn't that the topic of a mathchat? external image cleardot.gif
13th September 23:26
Gareth
maybe if we run the room as it is for a week or two and see what the reception is like then, and try to gather some data on who isn't using it purely because of the fact they're on a phone, then we can take it from there
13th September 23:27
Gareth
cassyt - it's not limited to maths teachers, believe me...!
13th September 23:27
Cassyt
You could run it during the mathchat, then keep the chat room open after the twitter time ends for further discussion.
13th September 23:27
Colin
I'll sort out some times with you Gareth and then post/tweet them to see how many takers we get.
13th September 23:27
Gareth
feel free to use the room whenever you want
13th September 23:28
Gareth
you don't need to sort out any times with me
13th September 23:28
Gareth
i just want to be able to drop in sometimes and add my 2c!
13th September 23:28
Cassyt
Does the chatroom autoarchive?
13th September 23:28
Colin
I can log it and clear the log
13th September 23:28
Gareth
almost
13th September 23:28
Gareth
it's logging everything and will email the log to colin when he tells it to
13th September 23:29
Colin
I get a basic record of date/time username and messages - no emails or who came in and left etc.
13th September 23:30
Gareth
is that sufficient colin?
13th September 23:30
Colin
Yes, it's fine. As I said t you b4 we just need the same as in the current chat archives for those who missed out.
13th September 23:31
Gareth
ok cool
13th September 23:31
Colin
OK Cassy, I am going to clear out the log and leave the room now, thanks for sticking with it!
13th September 23:31
Cassyt
Thanks guys!