Topic: Which works better - long-term projects and investigations or ones which can be completed in one or two lessons?
As it happened on Thursday, 11th November 23:30 - 00:30 GMT
11:30 pm
ColinTGraham:
Hello #mathchat if you are reading this (a scheduled tweet), it means I'm going to be a bit late, so start without me!
11:30 pm
ColinTGraham:
Tonight's topic: Which works better - long-term projects and investigations or ones which can be done in one or two lessons? #mathchat
11:31 pm
rodaniel:
Prolonged exposure, revisiting can have diff impact than short deep exploration #mathchat
11:41 pm
ColinTGraham:
Hello, all, not a lot of activity so far! #mathchat
11:43 pm
ColinTGraham:
Let's start with gut feelings - do long-term projects or short one/two lesson investigations work better? #mathchat
11:46 pm
ColinTGraham:
No-one chatting tonight? #mathchat
11:49 pm
cybraryman1:
Students can get overwhelmed with a long term project and stay better focused with short term ones. #mathchat
11:49 pm
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham I thought we started at 5:30 my time....45 minutes from now. #mathchat
11:50 pm
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 No, Cathy always 23:30 GMT! Daylight savings changes things! #mathchat
11:51 pm
ColinTGraham:
@cybraryman1 What could be done towards making the long-term project less overwhelming, Jerry? Is it lack of guidance? #mathchat
11:51 pm
cybraryman1:
@ColinTGraham Students get caught up with work in other subject areas and get too overwhelmed to really concentrate on one subject #mathchat
11:53 pm
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham You don't adjust your clocks? #mathchat
11:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
@cybraryman1 If the teacher broke a long-term project into smaller steps, would that help or is it important for students to do it #mathchat
11:54 pm
ccampbel14:
I know I haven't had enough check-ins with students along the way & then they get behind. #mathchat
11:54 pm
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 Yes, we went back to GMT on 31st October, so it's earlier for me too! #mathchat
11:55 pm
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 This suggests that you give the project to the students and let them get on with it... inside or outside class? #mathchat
11:58 pm
daveinstpaul:
What's an example of a long-term project in math class? #mathchat
11:59 pm
ColinTGraham:
@daveinstpaul Well, that's a good question, Dave! I wonder how many of us actually do long-term projects... Maybe build something? #mathchat

ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Usually a combination of in-class work with some at-home time if they don't get enough accomplished in-class. #mathchat
12:01 am
ccampbel14:
@daveinstpaul An e.g. for me would be a survey that students conducted about a specific topic of their choice. #mathchat
12:01 am
ccampbel14:
Usually I give the project at the beginning of a unit so Ss can work on it over time and it is a culminating activity. #mathchat
12:01 am
cybraryman1:
It is good to have some in-class work so teacher can judge progress & give suggestions #mathchat
12:02 am
ColinTGraham:
@cybraryman1 I think presentation of findings, discussion of next steps, etc. would be usefully done in class #mathchat
12:03 am
Scorgo:
I sat as a judge last June for some FANTASTIC projects at the gr 11 level incorporating big ideas and real world. So so good. #mathchat
12:04 am
ColinTGraham:
@Scorgo I certainly think that 14+ are more capable/interested in working on longer projects. Were these maths projects or ...? #mathchat
12:05 am
ccampbel14:
I had trouble ensuring that my students were on the right track. Need very structured checkstops for this. #mathchat
12:06 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 So more of a teacher-led task? What would have happened if you had let them go off track? #mathchat
12:08 am
cybraryman1:
RT @ccampbel14: I had trouble ensuring that my students were on the right track. Need very structured checkstops for this. #mathchat
12:08 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Not sure. Worried about 'Practice makes permanent' & if they were making habits of math thinking that was incorrect. #mathchat
12:08 am
Scorgo:
The projects had a list of criteria with the intent if showing & applying conceptual understanding. #mathchat
12:09 am
Scorgo:
Kids dud everything Fr math in their sports to baking shows to farming to international spies. #mathchat
12:09 am
ccampbel14:
Some of my students thrived on long-term projects. Others were completely overwhelmed. Anyone have a similar reaction? #mathchat
12:09 am
ccampbel14:
@Scorgo Nice connection to things they valued and enjoyed. #mathchat
12:10 am
Scorgo:
They were entertaining but u quickly saw who conceptually understood the math & could apply & who only procedurally understood. #mathchat
12:11 am
ColinTGraham:
What do you see as the purpose of the investigations? In the UK, many Ss will see it as practice for the coursework 'exam' at 16. #mathchat
12:11 am
ccampbel14:
@Scorgo Were the students involved in any self or peer-evaluation? Found I spent tons of time to assess & evaluate their work. #mathchat
12:11 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham I think here it is like a final 'transfer' task where they put many math skills together to show what they know. #mathchat
12:13 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 Part of the requirement to communicate mathematically...? Do you feel the thinking part gets submerged in this? #mathchat
12:14 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Yes, absolutely to communicate what they know. Not sure what you mean by 'thinking gets submerged'. #mathchat
12:16 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 You said earlier that you were worried about "habits of math thinking that were incorrect" If it's teacher-led, tho..? #mathchat
12:17 am
ColinTGraham:
@Scorgo Did there tend to be more procedural than conceptual mathematicians, or were you surprised? #mathchat
12:19 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Yes, it is teacher-led but if students weren't productive in class didn't always have chance 2 see what they did. #mathchat
12:20 am
ccampbel14:
I guess there is a concern, as well, if they did some work at home, who actually did the work. Parents? Older siblings? #mathchat
12:21 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 That can be tested/assessed by judicious questioning, but takes time too! #mathchat
12:21 am
ccampbel14:
Think that the purpose of inquiry-based projects is to mirror life. Rarely do we do 1 question at a time. Life is more complex. #mathchat
12:24 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 One issue is that mathematical projects, in the long-term, will usually be better done as something cross-curricular! #mathchat
12:26 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Makes sense. Do you mean that the math component would be evaluated by math teacher, communication by Eng teacher? #mathchat
12:28 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 Ideally, yes. I think other subjects may be more conducive to something long-term e.g. mapping in Geography... #mathchat
12:29 am
ccampbel14:
I have thought of many projects that I thought kids would love but the topics aren't 'officially' covered in our curriculum. #mathchat
12:29 am
ColinTGraham:
To go back to @daveinstpaul's earlier point, it's quite difficult to identify a long-term project which would be 'purely' maths! #mathchat
12:30 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 Maybe we are still too fearful of departing from the curriculum... being creative within it should be something we do #mathchat
12:31 am
ccampbel14:
I think certain topics are more conducive to projects - geometry & measurement, statistics & probability, for example. #mathchat
12:32 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 Even thinking about topics, as such, may be too restrictive... the key is the inquiry/exploration, surely... #mathchat
12:34 am
ColinTGraham:
Perhaps we need to have a separate discussion about designing effective inquiry-based projects in mathematics! #mathchat
12:34 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Think being creative within the curr. is key. I don't say limit students but assessment must be at grade level only. #mathchat
12:35 am
ColinTGraham:
Anyway, thanks for the contributions everyone. The vote for next week's topic is up and running:http://bit.ly/c9KL7s #mathchat
12:36 am
ColinTGraham:
Don't forget the time may have changed if you have recently stopped daylight saving! #mathchat
12:36 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Thanks for moderating again. Think looking at what makes good inquiry-based projects in math would be interesting. #mathchat
12:37 am
ccampbel14:
I know that I have tried to create math projects but they really would be considered 'pseudocontexts'. #mathchat
12:38 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 I think it comes from having topics that need to be 'covered', rather than doing something and seeing what comes out! #mathchat
12:39 am
ColinTGraham:
The archive will be online in about 30 minutes #mathchat See you next time...
12:45 am
Scorgo:
@ccampbel14 Stdnt selfeval using a var of the judging sheet we had. when a team finished, they would peer eval the next grp #mathchat
12:48 am
Scorgo:
@ColinTGraham I was actually surprised at the amt of conceptual understanding displayed. #mathchat
12:49 am
Scorgo:
@ColinTGraham some there seemed to be a lot of procedural bc they could only explain how to get an answer - even when questioned. #mathchat