Topic: Let's crowd-source the ideal mathematics curriculum!
As it happened on Friday, 7th January 2011 00:00 - 01:00 GMT

12:01 am
ColinTGraham:
Hello everyone, welcome to #mathchat A special welcome to first-timers!
12:02 am
ColinTGraham:
Today and in Monday's re-visit, we are going to crowd-source an ideal curriculum #mathchat
12:04 am
ccampbel14:
Where do we begin? #mathchat
12:04 am
ColinTGraham:
So, tweet your ideas, topics, URLs, resources, approaches... whatever you think would help Ss show their mathematical ability #mathchat
12:05 am
susanbanister:
RT @ColinTGraham: So, tweet your ideas, topics, URLs, resources, approaches... whatever you think would help Ss show their mathematical ability #mathchat
12:05 am
ColinTGraham:
@TheKizzaa You maybe need another account with non-private settings then, Kiran! #mathchat
12:08 am
ccampbel14:
For older students I like many of the ideas that @jamestanton shares here: http://goo.gl/JAsV#mathchat
12:08 am
ColinTGraham:
Choose something that works well, or that you'd like to see changed, or for a specific topic RT @ccampbel14: Where do we begin? #mathchat
12:08 am
mathrabbit1:
@ColinTGraham Definitely need patterning and connections; helps students move through math #mathchat
12:09 am
ColinTGraham:
I'd like to see a shift towards using technology for calculations and students concetrate on problem solving or projects #mathchat
12:10 am
teachdig:
I think the biggest idea is to have depth in topic and to be able to really explore ideas. Also integration of topics. #mathchat
12:10 am
ccampbel14:
I think all types of patterns are key to mathematics - number, geometry, measurement, probability, algebra, etc. #mathchat
12:11 am
mathrabbit1:
NCTM has great activities to promote algebraic thinking in K-8 #mathchat
12:11 am
ColinTGraham:
@teachdig Hi Dvora, see you got the time right today! ;-) #mathchat
12:11 am
teachdig:
For the next hour or so I will be participating in #mathchat
12:11 am
ccampbel14:
Agree with @colintgraham. Great video by Conrad Wolfram http://goo.gl/nJ6MD #mathchat
12:11 am
dweksler:
Common Core standards in the US will start impacting US educators. Proposed math standards - not a curriculum http://bit.ly/aWBDsW #mathchat
12:12 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathrabbit1 Is algebra something that should be done at primary/elementary levels, do you think? #mathchat
12:13 am
mathrabbit1:
@ColinTGraham Definitely, but at the right levels. Patterns, questioning, etc. are good for all learners. #mathchat
12:13 am
ccampbel14:
I think projects or multi-day explorations should be more of a focus so students experience the "aha" moments mathematicians do. #mathchat
12:13 am
sharnon007:
@marynabadenhors: Soda Play: Play and create with shapes http://j.mp/Q1FvG #mathchat #scichat#elemchat #edtech #elearning #iwb #web20
12:13 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham @mathrabbit1 I think algebra should be done from primary school on - equality/inequality, finding a missing number #mathchat
12:14 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @ColinTGraham: I'd like to see a shift towards using technology for calculations and students concetrate on problem solving or projects #mathchat
12:14 am
davidwees:
I'd like to see students explore problems in the same way the Polymath blog does, but appropriate to their lives. #mathchat
12:14 am
ColinTGraham:
@dweksler That's why 'ideal' is in the topic... but could a curriculum define the standards, rather than reverse? #mathchat
12:14 am
mathrabbit1:
Agree with ccampbel. The more students discover and connect, the more they learn.#mathchat
12:14 am
teachdig:
@dweksler What would make the standards into a curriculum? #mathchat
12:15 am
ccampbel14:
@davidwees How do we decide what is appropriate for their lives? Does this change for students in different areas of the world? #mathchat
12:15 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 Timing is an issue, maybe too much 'mathematics' is included at a surface level in current system #mathchat
12:15 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @davidwees: I'd like to see students explore problems in the same way the Polymath blog does, but appropriate to their lives. #mathchat
12:16 am
shyj:
RT @teachdig: I think the biggest idea is to have depth in topic and to be able to really explore ideas. Also integration of topics. #mathchat
12:16 am
teachdig:
One of the important parts of math is the thought process for problem solving of all kinds. Patterns are a good way to approach. #mathchat
12:16 am
dweksler:
Not sure I know WHY we need standards AND curriculum (rules of teaching?) - but it seems a lot of people re-work them frequently #mathchat
12:16 am
mathrabbit1:
@ColinTGraham Definitely idea overload with what "should" be learned by students. How do we fix it? #mathchat
12:16 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @ccampbel14: I think projects or multi-day explorations should be more of a focus so students experience the "aha" moments mathematicians do. #mathchat
12:16 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees So students could chose their own problems to solve, with the teacher as a facilitator. Would curriculum be definable? #mathchat
12:17 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @mathrabbit1: NCTM has great activities to promote algebraic thinking in K-8 #mathchat
12:17 am
teachdig:
@dweksler I like the general standards that allow for many ways to get at the ideas. #mathchat
12:17 am
mathrabbit1:
How can teachers best facilitate discovery learning? How do we meet the state standards? #mathchat
12:17 am
ColinTGraham:
We also need to be clear about terminology, curriculum, syllabus, standards, criteria, targets... #mathchat
12:18 am
ccampbel14:
Think people need to understand numbers better & how they can be represented or misrepresented - statistics. #mathchat
12:18 am
mathrabbit1:
To me standards are what we must teach, and curriculum is our vehicle to do it #mathchat
12:19 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 So application of numbers, rather than performing calculations? Definitely agree about data-handling and presentation #mathchat
12:19 am
shyj:
I have a lot of 5th grade teachers who are very frustrated that kids STILL don't know basic math facts. #mathchat
12:19 am
davidwees:
The focus of a strong math curriculum should be on formulating & solving problems collaboratively. #mathchat
12:19 am
ccampbel14:
I would like to see math more integrated across subject areas - science, music, art, etc. #mathchat
12:20 am
mathrabbit1:
RT @ccampbel14: I would like to see math more integrated across subject areas - science, music, art, etc. #mathchat
12:20 am
teachdig:
Currently so many things are covered over & over yr after yr and never fully digested by many. What if... #mathchat
12:21 am
ColinTGraham:
@shyj By basic math facts, do you mean arithmetic operations (number bonds, times-tables etc) ? #mathchat
12:21 am
teachdig:
instead we went in-depth via student interest. Would there be better retention? #mathchat
12:21 am
mathrabbit1:
@teachdig ...we had fewer topics and deeper exploration? Maybe then it would make more sense #mathchat
12:22 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 The challenge is that mathematics IS an integral part of other subjects, but curricula don't often address this fully #mathchat
12:22 am
teachdig:
@ColinTGraham @davidwees I think so as long as guiding to main ideas... goes back to standards. #mathchat
12:22 am
shyj:
@ColinTGraham Yes, addition, subtraction, multiplication & division. #mathchat
12:22 am
mathrabbit1:
How do we get lang. arts, soc studies, etc. onboard with math integration? #mathchat
12:23 am
ColinTGraham:
@teachdig Is the lack of 'digestion' due to the topic or the teaching methods or a mix of both? #mathchat
12:23 am
teachdig:
RT @ccampbel14: I would like to see math more integrated across subject areas - science, music, art, etc. #mathchat
12:23 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Basic mental math calculations should be expected but long, complex calculations can be done with tech. #mathchat
12:23 am
shyj:
AMEN! @ccampbel14 @mathrabbit1 I would like to see math more integrated across subject areas - science, music, art, #mathchat
12:24 am
ColinTGraham:
@shyj So if 11yos can't 'do' basic arithmetic, the ?n may be: Why do they need to, and should teaching be adjusted accordingly? #mathchat
12:24 am
shyj:
@mathrabbit1 Let the teachers PLAN together to see where they can help each other out. #mathchat
12:24 am
mathrabbit1:
Teaching methodology is lacking. Too much telling from teacher, not enough students doing and discussing #mathchat
12:25 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @ColinTGraham: @ccampbel14 Timing is an issue, maybe too much 'mathematics' is included at a surface level in current system #mathchat
12:25 am
ccampbel14:
@mathrabbit1 Challenging! Many teachers say it isn't their job 2 teach reading. Others would say they won't teach math either. #mathchat
12:26 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathrabbit1 Getting other subjs onboard is a 2-way process. Maybe we could look for opportunities in our curricula to do outreach #mathchat
12:26 am
mathrabbit1:
@shyj @ccampbel Most assume reading and writing are universal, but math is confined. Many are afraid of math. #mathchat
12:26 am
teachdig:
@ColinTGraham I think time is biggest factor. Teaching methods to cover so much in so little time not best 4 all. #mathchat
12:26 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @ColinTGraham: We also need to be clear about terminology, curriculum, syllabus, standards, criteria, targets... #mathchat
12:27 am
ccampbel14:
@mathrabbit1 Would agree that many people are afraid of math. Must figure out a way to change this. #mathchat
12:27 am
mathrabbit1:
This year, I have been left out of SS and LA collaboration with my team. Not even asked. Math is almost taboo. #mathchat
12:27 am
shyj:
@ccampbel14 @mathrabbit1 Then maybe they shouldn't be teaching! Isn't tchng about what is best for the kids? #mathchat
12:28 am
teachdig:
@ColinTGraham @mathrabbit1 Have tried with stats across subjects and time again often the factor to reality of cross-over. #mathchat
12:28 am
dweksler:
"Writing to Learn Mathematics" - wonderful book on writing as part of math class http://bit.ly/frby7D#mathchat
12:28 am
shyj:
RT @teachdig: @ColinTGraham I think time is biggest factor. Teaching methods to cover so much in so little time not best 4 all. #mathchat
12:28 am
ColinTGraham:
@shyj It may also be about expectations, as a secondary teacher, I would expect most 11yos to be able to do XYZ according to stnds #mathchat
12:29 am
shyj:
@mathrabbit1 @ccampbel Afraid of math because they aren't comfortable with it themselves? #mathchat
12:29 am
mathrabbit1:
In cross-curric, I am usually the one crossing while others watch. Math is considered mathrabbit1's job, not theirs. #mathchat
12:29 am
ccampbel14:
@shyj @teachdig @colintgraham If math were more integrated I don't think we would have the time crunch that currently exists. #mathchat
12:30 am
dweksler:
@shyj Yes - often very unsure of their own math abilities #mathchat
12:30 am
mathrabbit1:
@shyj Yes! It's that fear of math that holds them back. #mathchat
12:30 am
shyj:
@ColinTGraham Everyone is expecting the grade levels below them to get kids to mastery. Not possible nowadays. Too much to cover #mathchat
12:31 am
ColinTGraham:
We've covered mathphobia in prior discussions, but lack of confidence in mathematics leads to teaching to the test (=curriculum) #mathchat
12:31 am
shyj:
@ccampbel14 @teachdig @colintgraham Completely agree! Time crunch would lessen for all areas if integration occurred. #mathchat
12:31 am
ccampbel14:
@shyj @mathrabbit1 Yes,many teachers aren't confident in their math ability, problem solving, etc. Still cool to be bad at math. #mathchat
12:32 am
teachdig:
@mathrabbit1 I find that often but have been lucky in the past to work with SS who want to bring in the connections. #mathchat
12:32 am
teachdig:
@shyj @ColinTGraham Back to the too much to cover each year. #mathchat
12:32 am
ccampbel14:
Around the world, who decides what is basic math that everyone needs and what is 'extra' or for university-bound students? #mathchat
12:32 am
ColinTGraham:
So, in looking for an ideal curriculum, what would you specify needs to be done or achieved by students in mathematics, and when? #mathchat
12:33 am
shyj:
@ccampbel14 @mathrabbit1 So wouldn't it be cool if the tchr and kids could learn to love math together? #mathchat
12:33 am
mathrabbit1:
So, then, how do we build the ideal curriculum? Or, good ones out there, and we need to look: CPMhttp://www.cpm.org/ #mathchat
12:34 am
mathrabbit1:
@shyj Again with time constraints to teach multiple topics. No time for the discovery : ( #mathchat
12:35 am
mathrabbit1:
@ColinTGraham There are good exploratory curriculums out there. The mindset of what math is must change. #mathchat
12:35 am
shyj:
@teachdig @ColinTGraham Exactly. I didn't get multiplication until 4th grade, it's introduced in 2nd now! Kids aren't ready! #mathchat
12:35 am
ColinTGraham:
I'd like to see a generalized list of projects & maintenance of theme-based work that happens in early years extended to 14, say #mathchat
12:35 am
davidwees:
I'd like math to be chosen primarily because it is useful/interesting in most people's lives rather than just because it exists. #mathchat
12:35 am
ccampbel14:
In Canada we have a curriculum for 6 provinces & territories & it's been super hard to agree. Wonder if it's possible globally. #mathchat
12:36 am
mathrabbit1:
I am using a connections-based Alg program this year. Students think it's weird. I see awesome learning. #mathchat
12:36 am
ccampbel14:
I think we could focus on mathematical skills that begin in kindergarten & continue through to high school graduation. #mathchat
12:37 am
davidwees:
Motivate mathematics with the problems it helps solve, rather than find problems to suit a particular piece of mathematics. #mathchat
12:37 am
ccampbel14:
@mathrabbit1 What does connections-based mean? #mathchat
12:37 am
ColinTGraham:
@teachdig So, ideally, we need more opportunity for more coverage in depth and less areas which are required to be covered #mathchat
12:37 am
mathrabbit1:
RT @davidwees: How do we make people see it's relevance? #mathchat
12:37 am
kontinent:
RT @ccampbel14: I would like to see math more integrated across subject areas - science, music, art, etc. #mathchat
12:38 am
mathrabbit1:
@ccampbel14 It connects the strands of alg 1 using good questioning and discussions, building to understanding. #mathchat
12:38 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees We need to get away from the 'teacher finding problems' approach too, Ss should be bringing us problems/questions... #mathchat
12:38 am
TEDxSFED:
RT @ccampbel14: #mathchat in 1 minute: "Let?s crowd-source an ideal curriculum!" #ukedchat#edchat #ntchat #gtchat #elemchat #scichat
12:38 am
teachdig:
I really like the MYP math standards as a starting point. #mathchat
12:39 am
ccampbel14:
@teachdig What is MYP? #mathchat
12:39 am
mathrabbit1:
How do we get students to bring problems? How do we get them to connect their lives to math? #mathchat
12:40 am
mathrabbit1:
Any thoughts on NCTM recommended curriculums? Or on Dan Myer? #mathchat
12:40 am
ColinTGraham:
Does all of the mathematics in our curricula have to be useful, or can some of it just be done for interest? #mathchat
12:41 am
ccampbel14:
I'd like students 2 learn 2 ask good questions & work towards solutions. Currently students answer teacher questions. #mathchat
12:41 am
teachdig:
@ColinTGraham Exactly. I think by the end of school (or even grade 10) as much can be covered but with greater understanding. #mathchat
12:42 am
ColinTGraham:
Without being glib, ask them! RT @mathrabbit1: How do we get students to bring problems? How do we get them to connect... to math? #mathchat
12:43 am
dweksler:
Seems we are finding the tensions between educational practice (PBL, student-centered) and mathematics to be learned #mathchat
12:43 am
shyj:
@mathrabbit1 so maybe we need to revisit what we really value? #mathchat
12:43 am
ColinTGraham:
I know @frogphilp put together the past term's work by working on problems that his Ss brought in (8-11 yo) and it was successful #mathchat
12:43 am
dweksler:
@shyj Always important to keep in mind :-) #mathchat
12:44 am
mathrabbit1:
@shyj Exactly. How do we as educators adjust in the current state of ed? #mathchat
12:44 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Math can be useful or simply for the beauty of it. Just like art or music, some is practical & much is for enjoyment #mathchat
12:44 am
shyj:
@dweksler But math is EVEYWHERE...shouldn't math instruction be too? #mathchat
12:45 am
ColinTGraham:
@dweksler There's always going to be tension between the 'authority' and those who have to do things they don't want to... ;-) #mathchat
12:45 am
shyj:
@mathrabbit1 One VERY slow step at a time (but my patience in wearing thin). #mathchat
12:45 am
mathrabbit1:
RT @shyj: @dweksler But math is EVEYWHERE...shouldn't math instruction be too? #mathchat
12:45 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @davidwees: Motivate mathematics with the problems it helps solve, rather than find problems to suit a particular piece of mathematics. #mathchat
12:46 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @ccampbel14: I think we could focus on mathematical skills that begin in kindergarten & continue through to high school graduation. #mathchat
12:46 am
teachdig:
@ccampbel14 Middle Years Program from IB. It covers grade 6 - 10. #mathchat
12:46 am
ColinTGraham:
Maybe we should direct the question: "Why do we need a curriculum?" before trying to idealize one... #mathchat
12:46 am
mathrabbit1:
@shyj Mine too. But I guess we keep trying : ) #mathchat
12:46 am
dweksler:
Thinking of tension as something that's important to consider - the educational environment intersecting the subject bein learned #mathchat
12:47 am
shyj:
@ColinTGraham @mathrabbit1 And show them the connections. They won't find them by themselves at first. #mathchat
12:47 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @ccampbel14: I'd like students 2 learn 2 ask good questions & work towards solutions. Currently students answer teacher questions. #mathchat
12:47 am
mathrabbit1:
@ColinTGraham I think this stems from the NCLB and state standards. The idea of all students learning the same thing...#mathchat
12:47 am
shyj:
@ColinTGraham We need curriculum for accountability? #mathchat
12:47 am
davidwees:
@ColinTGraham Agreed. The curriculum becomes the skills the kids learn rather than the content. #edchat #mathchat
12:48 am
shyj:
@mathrabbit1 @ColinTGraham If only all kids were the same that would be great, but they aren't, thus the problems. #mathchat
12:48 am
mathrabbit1:
Many students have stopped thinking; it's all teach to the test. No need to think. #mathchat
12:48 am
teachdig:
@ColinTGraham @frogphilp How did he ask for the questions? What question did he pose to the Ss to get the responses? #mathchat
12:49 am
shyj:
@mathrabbit1 One step at a time.... :) Even though they are BABY steps, at least it is something. #mathchat
12:49 am
mathrabbit1:
No thinking = no questioning. The teacher will tell you what you "need" to know. #mathchat
12:49 am
mathrabbit1:
RT @teachdig: @ColinTGraham @frogphilp How did he ask for the questions? What question did he pose to the Ss to get the responses? #mathchat
12:49 am
ColinTGraham:
I've probably mentioned this before, but I like the way the Council of Europe 'defined' language learninghttp://bit.ly/bLHa5G #mathchat
12:50 am
shyj:
@davidwees @ColinTGraham Tchrs struggle with that. They don't realize the content can be anything, just make sure skills fit #mathchat
12:51 am
ccampbel14:
I think one of our biggest goals is to get people to think mathematically - most students don't want to expend energy doing this. #mathchat
12:51 am
padgets:
#mathchat Hi everyone! coming at the tail end tonight, checking the tweets...
12:51 am
mathrabbit1:
@shyj I struggle with that-hard to maintain pace and cover all topics #mathchat
12:51 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathrabbit1 Or, more likely, the internet/calculator/iPad will tell you 'the answer' #mathchat
12:52 am
ColinTGraham:
RT @marynabadenhors The problem comes when tchrs ask "What should kids be able to do?" instead of "What should kids understand?" #mathchat
12:52 am
shyj:
@mathrabbit1 maybe our pace and amount of topics need to be revisited. Is it the best for kids? #mathchat
12:53 am
marynabadenhors:
The problem comes in when teachers ask "What should kids be able to do?" instead of "What should kids understand?" #mathchat
12:54 am
ColinTGraham:
@teachdig You can see some of the work @frogphilp's kids did on their maths blog:http://bit.ly/9hPiIL #mathchat
12:54 am
teachdig:
Standards allow more for different methods towards understanding. Curriculum often in its current form is quite limiting. #mathchat
12:54 am
shyj:
@ccampbel14 I don't think kids realize they thing mathematically all the time anyway: riding bikes, playing games, etc #mathchat
12:54 am
mathrabbit1:
Asking what kids should be able to do has become the building block of education in the US. Understanding is on the back burner #mathchat
12:55 am
ColinTGraham:
@shyj And most problems require some kind of mathematical thinking to solve them, at some stage... #mathchat
12:55 am
padgets:
#mathchat have to write learning targets on the board daily, then ask students to choose how they learn it, list is 29 options and counting
12:55 am
shyj:
@marynabadenhors Comes from objectives in the tchr editions: "Student will..." = DO, not understand #mathchat
12:55 am
padgets:
#mathchat more engaged kids because they choose how they learn, not me, I just facilitate
12:55 am
teachdig:
@ColinTGraham Very cool. I often see links btwn math ed and lang ed. #mathchat
12:56 am
ColinTGraham:
@ccampbel14 I think it's a case of expending unnecessary energy... why calculate or prove what is already posted online? #mathchat
12:56 am
ccampbel14:
@shyj I absolutely agree. They think mathematically & solve problems all the time. Some Ss think if it's too easy it can't be math #mathchat
12:56 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham Or do math when someone else has the formula! #mathchat
12:56 am
shyj:
@padgets Very cool! #mathchat
12:57 am
ColinTGraham:
@marynabadenhors We also need to make sure that cognitive demands from curricula match the cognitive development of the Ss #mathchat
12:57 am
shyj:
@ColinTGraham Exactly. Kids just don't realize they are "doing" math all day long. #mathchat
12:57 am
davidwees:
Most successful unit this year. "Decide your financial future." Almost every student talked to their parents about money. #mathchat
12:58 am
shyj:
@ccampbel14 That's because math hasn't been put into context for them - see the real life connections.#mathchat
12:58 am
padgets:
@shyj #mathchat less stress for me for sure :)
12:59 am
shyj:
@ColinTGraham @marynabadenhors That's a huge issue. Most times they don't match...just trying to get through book instead. #mathchat
12:59 am
ColinTGraham:
The Personal Finance Education Group (UK) is a very good example of targeted curriculum...http://bit.ly/btBhIa #mathchat
12:59 am
mathrabbit1:
@davidwees It was real to them. How do we do that when it gets more abstract? Much harder. #mathchat
1:00 am
shyj:
@padgets Definitely! #mathchat
1:00 am
ColinTGraham:
OK, as usual, we have only just scratched the surface! Thanks for your contributions everyone. #mathchat
1:00 am
ccampbel14:
@ColinTGraham @marynabedenhors How do we match curricula to cog. development? E.g. Fraction operations-taught at different grades. #mathchat
1:01 am
ColinTGraham:
We'll be coming back to this topic again on Monday at 19:30 GMT #mathchat
1:01 am
mathrabbit1:
Thanks to all for a good chat! #mathchat
1:01 am
shyj:
Thanks everyone...so much to explore yet....got to run,,, #mathchat
1:01 am
teachdig:
@padgets @shyj I might find it more stressful to be able to guide each student in the time of a class. Though I love the idea. #mathchat
1:02 am
padgets:
@teachdig #mathchat understand, may not be for everyone :)
1:02 am
ColinTGraham:
Don't forget to add some more ideas for future discussions to the shared Google Doc!http://bit.ly/gqjSiX #mathchat
1:02 am
teachdig:
@ColinTGraham Thanks for facilitating once again. :) #mathchat
1:03 am
dweksler:
Should all students have an educational plan/portfolio so students and teachers can know where they are and next steps? #mathchat
1:03 am
ColinTGraham:
The archive from today will be online in about 20 minutes or so... catch you all next time! #mathchat
1:03 am
ccampbel14:
Lots of great ideas & thoughts shared tonight. Very challenging topic to imagine an ideal curriculum! #mathchat