Topic (follow-up to Thursday, 16th September 2010):
What is an effective use of class time for maths - reinforcement, learning, support?
As it happened on Monday, 20th September 2010, 19:30 - 21:00 GMT
7:28 pm
ColinTGraham:
Hello everyone and welcome to Monday's #mathchat
7:29 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Hello! #mathchat
7:29 pm
ColinTGraham:
We are revisiting last week's topic: What is an effective use of class time for maths - reinforcement, learning, support? #mathchat
7:30 pm
ColinTGraham:
If it's your first time, don't try to keep up with everything, just interact with one or two people and don't forget the hashtag! #mathchat
7:31 pm
ColinTGraham:
Let's start with a general question: How much do you plan time for lessons and how often does the plan work? #mathchat
7:32 pm
cybraryman1:
My Careers in Math page: (new) http://bit.ly/clGZWU #mathchat #math
7:35 pm
ColinTGraham:
No takers? Ok are reinforcement, learning, and support equally important or does it depend...? #mathchat
7:37 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham I think reinforcement is vital - students reach exams with no recollection of early material #mathchat
7:37 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham had 1st lesson w/ new maths group toay - spent time discussing common problem areas #mathchat
7:37 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Learning to take proper notes you can revise from should be lesson number 1 #mathchat
7:37 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs What level is this Jan? #mathchat
7:39 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge At what age, though? Does text or workbook design help or hinder here? #mathchat
7:39 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham Y11 GCSE #mathchat
7:41 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Do common problem areas suggest a mis-use of time earlier in school-life or is it not as simple as that? ;-) #mathchat
7:41 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham I suspect it doesn't enter into students' heads that taking notes may help them come the exams #mathchat
7:42 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge I also suspect that too many rely on the spoon-feeding done in a lot of textbooks #mathchat
7:42 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham I'd say students should be introduced to good note-taking practice in early secondary #mathchat
7:43 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham mmm good Q: the other Q might be - is the mis use of time down to poor curric/SoW/syllabus design? #mathchat
7:44 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge So that would be time spent on the process of learning or meta-learning before other considerations #mathchat
7:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Content coverage = subject learning. Poor design = too much, too difficult,...? Cover everything or reinforce 70% for a C #mathchat
7:46 pm
chris_1974:
evening #mathchat. Interesing question tonight, but learning is they key. there are a range of way to acheive that.
7:47 pm
chris_1974:
#mathchat. not sure i'm getting my point across very clearly...
7:47 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 or grammatically ;-) #mathchat
7:47 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Yes - I think this should be part of general studies - cross-curriculum application #mathchat
7:48 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham 1 of my 'failings' is a tendency to wander off into the 'history of Mtahs' etc - not needed bu maybe more engaging?? #mathchat
7:48 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge You are involved in tutoring, is it mostly support and reinforcement or do you do any subject teaching too? #mathchat
7:49 pm
chris_1974:
@jradxyz RT @ColinTGraham: @chris_1974 Hello John, hope to see you in #mathchat some time... maybe tonight? ;-) #mathchat
7:49 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Could you build content delivery around the history of the concept? Maybe too late for Y11 class though! #mathchat
7:49 pm
CoachGinsburg:
The time we add value is when we're circulating to identify and troubleshoot misconceptions--not when we're in front of the class #mathchat
7:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg I deliberately tried to avoid 'teacher-talk' by leaving 'teaching' out of the question..! #mathchat
7:51 pm
Begabungs:
RT @mathchat: #mathchat in 3 hours. Prep: http://bit.ly/a7h7Ae #ukedchat #edchat #elemchat#scichat #ntchat #nqtchat #gtchat
7:51 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Some students need areas taught from scratch, but most of time is reinforce/guide/correct #mathchat
7:51 pm
chris_1974:
#mathchat I've decided to have a greater focus on learning to learn. As well as teaching them, I'm trying to be more explicit about ...
7:51 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham yes I wonder if I 'waste time' but still feel the fun is important #mathchat
7:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Begabungs It's on now! #mathchat
7:52 pm
chris_1974:
... what they need to do to be better learners in maths. I'll judge success later! #mathchat
7:52 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge In a sense you have much greater control over how the time is used because of a much smaller class size #mathchat
7:52 pm
icecolbeveridge:
#mathchat I'd like to see more 'horizontal' teaching - problems that use several ideas across the syllabus
7:53 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@ColinTGraham Yes, in fact a them in teacher training I do is the difference between teaching and facilitating learning #mathchat
7:53 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Oh, absolutely. I'm very lucky - I can slow down to a crawl if I need to. #mathchat
7:53 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge Ah shades of the IB there... heretic! ;-) #mathchat
7:53 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@CoachGinsburg oops, I meant theme--not them @colintgraham #mathchat
7:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 At the 16+, independent or autonomous learning becomes much more important though, doesn't it #mathchat
7:55 pm
Janshs:
@chris_1974 is why I feel learning journal idea so important; some of my new Y11 group today remembered for when I had them in Y7! #mathchat
7:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg Lectures can be effective ways of learning, if learners can take notes and lectures are succinct #mathchat
7:55 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham part of it is training my y10/11 to be excellent learners in y12. Current 12's stuggling with need for independance. #mathchat
7:55 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Sure - I think we lose chances to reinforce ideas by teaching topics totally separately #mathchat
7:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs But how many had kept their journals from Y7...? #mathchat
7:56 pm
chris_1974:
@Janshs I'm trying the journal idea with my 11's - mixed so far - change is scary for them. #mathchat
7:56 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham ah sadly not but at least the concept was there #mathchat
7:56 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@icecolbeveridge re: taking notes, I have a one-concept, one-card system using index cards and binder rings that kids love #mathchat
7:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg Most new teachers seem to think they should be teaching the subject and tend to over-explain things too! #mathchat
7:58 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@CoachGinsburg That sounds like a fantastic resource! #mathchat
7:58 pm
Janshs:
@chris_1974 I have also used collaborative document idea via our VLE - seems good so far with Y9, so will try w/ Y11 #mathchat
7:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
So a general consensus seems to be some time should be spent on meta-learning - outside any other subject-based concerns. #mathchat
7:59 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@ColinTGraham I agree re: lecture, but would add that we should make it interactive thru ?ing, etc.--for engagement & assessment #mathchat
8:00 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg Or do the @karlfisch flip and have the lectures for homework/outside class #mathchat
8:00 pm
Janshs:
@geraldhaigh1 mmm alongside #mathchat, well I can try .......
8:00 pm
chris_1974:
@Janshs sounds good. You need students willing to try new ways of working... #mathchat
8:01 pm
CoachGinsburg:
75% of the US K-12 math curriculum is review from one year to the next, so get off stage and troubleshoot as kids practice #mathchat
8:01 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham meta=learning yes absolutely #mathchat
8:01 pm
Janshs:
@chris_1974 will keep you posted! #mathchat
8:02 pm
ColinTGraham:
Is the building of a 'whole-school' portfolio for each student one way of having a reason to show working, keep journals, etc. #mathchat
8:03 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg How soon does ability difference make an appearance in maths classes? eg in UK can be 5-year gap by age 13 #mathchat
8:04 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham @chris_1974 I like that idea! could work thro VLEs? #mathchat
8:04 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge Separation of maths also can make a lot of it seem relevant only to the exams at the end... #mathchat
8:05 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Working important to explain where result comes from + to help troubleshoot #mathchat
8:06 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Exactly - I'd like to see maths of football/orienteering/piracy/social networking games/books #mathchat
8:06 pm
JillBromen:
RT @ColinTGraham: Is the building of a 'whole-school' portfolio for each student one way of having a reason to show working, keep journals, etc. #mathchat
8:07 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@ColinTGraham2-3 year spreads are common now by third grade--emphasis on academics in k and pre-k are a contributing factor #mathchat
8:07 pm
ColinTGraham:
So let's return to the original question... reinforcement, learning, support - are they separable with different methodologies? #mathchat
8:08 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg Which reinforces @Janshs's earlier comment about poor curriculum design #mathchat
8:11 pm
ColinTGraham:
@icecolbeveridge Like the maths behind Pokemon, for example... #mathchat
8:12 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@ColinTGraham Don't get me wrong: I'm ok with spiraled/distributed practice of old content, but not whole-group re-teaching of it. #mathchat
8:13 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham Or poker! I think maths teachers shy away from gambling, but it's what gave us stats in the first place. #mathchat
8:14 pm
Janshs:
@CoachGinsburg I think this is key - whole group is rarely right these days? #mathchat (actually any subject any age/stagE?)
8:14 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg So you would see effective use of teacher time being to work with individuals or small groups for non-new topics #mathchat
8:15 pm
cybraryman1:
@icecolbeveridge Probability lessons #mathchat
8:15 pm
ColinTGraham:
Whole group works when it's input of information - eg a video or listening to a short explanation, maybe #mathchat
8:16 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham @CoachGinsberg 'teachers' come in all kinds of disguises...... #mathchat
8:16 pm
ColinTGraham:
@cybraryman1 @icecolbeveridge Well since my first job included being a statistician... ;-) obviously I love that part of maths! #mathchat
8:17 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@cybraryman1 Yes - and there's also a lot of algebra if you do it right ;o) #mathchat
8:18 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@ColinTGraham Yes, and actually working more by themselves & w/each other, since kids in schools I work at lack resourcefulness #mathchat
8:18 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs I always remember a comment one of my ESOL students made to the head of ESOL - Teachers are tools, I like people better... #mathchat
8:19 pm
cybraryman1:
@ColinTGraham Statistician is one of the careers on my brand new Careers in Math page:http://bit.ly/clGZWU #mathchat
8:19 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg Part of encouraging collaboration between students would mean helping them become better teachers/explainers, then? #mathchat
8:19 pm
CoachGinsburg:
A school I consulted w/last year tripled its test proficiency rates after teachers went from sage on stage to guide on side #mathchat
8:20 pm
Janshs:
VG RT @ColinTGraham always remember a comment one of my ESOL students made to the head of ESOL - Tchrs r tools, I like ppl better #mathchat
8:21 pm
ColinTGraham:
Background to ESOL comment was that the student was having difficulties with 1 of her English teachers & said she liked her maths #mathchat
8:22 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@ColinTGraham Exactly, but it's on us to cultivate this through our questioning ("why") and modeling when we're explaining #mathchat
8:23 pm
ColinTGraham:
Not that I taught them very much maths in those lessons! Anyway, I digress... #mathchat
8:24 pm
ColinTGraham:
What would you say is the ideal balance of time, in %, of the things you would like to do in each lesson #mathchat
8:31 pm
icecolbeveridge:
@ColinTGraham I don't think there's an answer to that - depends totally on the students and the topic #mathchat
8:33 pm
ColinTGraham:
Is it unrealistic to think in terms of 100% learning, which some seem to advocate...? #mathchat
8:35 pm
chris_1974:
@ColinTGraham define learning! if they're engaged at getting better at maths, or learning how to apply it? Answer should be no. #mathchat
8:38 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 I don't do definitions! I wonder if some teachers "teach" things that should be "learned" w/out an idea of learning... #mathchat
8:40 pm
ColinTGraham:
For example rushing through a curriculum without realising that some kind of 'catch-up' or reinforcement needs to be built in too #mathchat
8:46 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham no I don't think so, it's about finding the expo that clicks (luck?) #mathchat
8:48 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs either luck or experience... #mathchat
8:49 pm
Janshs:
@ColinTGraham yes that's a good point ... how long does it take to get experience tho? #mathchat
8:49 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@ColinTGraham Some remediation can occur within acceleration, especially arithmetic within algebra--e.g., laws of exponents #mathchat
8:51 pm
chris_1974:
@Janshs @ColinTGraham some tchrs don't need experience, they just have knack. Others may never get fully there. #mathchat
8:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg Or recognizing factors, HCF, LCM, importance of 'basic' facts etc. when simplifying algebra #mathchat
8:53 pm
ColinTGraham:
@chris_1974 Does the knack come from a deeper understanding of what they teach or is it being more aware of what Ss need each time #mathchat
8:53 pm
Janshs:
@chris_1974 I believe that's true, how can we help the ones who don't have the knack to move closer? #mathchat
8:56 pm
chris_1974:
@Janshs @ColinTGraham not sure how we can help others. It can come from more experience of needs. #mathchat
8:56 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg You'd probably call those GCD and LCD... ;-) #mathchat
8:57 pm
ColinTGraham:
@Janshs Certainly not from here, Jan ;-) #mathchat
8:58 pm
ColinTGraham:
So in the final few minutes... any thoughts about effective use of class time? #mathchat
8:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
RT @4thGrdTeach: talking to students as assessment tool #mathchat
9:00 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@chris_1974 @Janshs How to help others is what I do in my daily coaching work--and it works... usually. #mathchat
9:01 pm
chris_1974:
@CoachGinsburg now coaching is an underated skill. Best I ever had was 1. coaching, 2. coaching training. #movemeon #mathchat
9:02 pm
CoachGinsburg:
In a 45 minute class, kids should be doing math for at least 30--w/teachers actively assessing (and assisting, as last resort) #mathchat
9:02 pm
ColinTGraham:
@CoachGinsburg I love coaching work, when I can get it! #mathchat
9:02 pm
CoachGinsburg:
@chris_1974 I'm curious about the coaching training? #mathchat
9:04 pm
ColinTGraham:
I will be trying out the chatroom approach too, probably sometime tomorrow and Wednesday, follow @mathchat for details #mathchat
9:04 pm
ColinTGraham:
OK Thanks everyone. The next topic is a "special" moderated by @davidwees "Why I hate/love maths" bring a friend or an enemy #mathchat
9:05 pm
ColinTGraham:
Archive will be online in 30 minutes or so... #mathchat