Topic: Should mathematics lessons be planned and designed for long-term or short-term effect?
As it happened on Friday, 14th January 2011, 00:00 - 01:00 GMT
12:08 am
mathchat:
Hello everyone, not started yet? ;-) #mathchat
12:09 am
ColinTGraham:
Today's topic is: "Should mathematics lessons be planned and designed for long-term or short-term effect?" #mathchat
12:10 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Long-term, reason skills need to last a lifetime. #mathchat
12:12 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc So how do you measure the impact of the teaching in the short-term, or should it not be measured? #mathchat
12:12 am
davidwees:
RT @ColinTGraham: Today's topic is: "Should mathematics lessons be planned and designed for long-term or short-term effect?" #mathchat
12:13 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham The measure is how ready Ss are for the next class and beyond. Skills should be fairly cemented in the brain. #mathchat
12:13 am
ColinTGraham:
I wonder if some short-term goals should be planned/designed to build confidence or provide progress markers #mathchat
12:14 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Another measure is comfort level with current material and readiness to tackle something more challenging. #mathchat
12:14 am
davidwees:
It is clear to me that the "bite-sized pieces" approach to math education leads to students who cannot digest real problems. #mathchat
12:14 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Long-term is the end result of a number of short-term goals. #mathchat
12:15 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc Do you think there is too much short-term design/planning in present methods then? #mathchat
12:16 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees Does the bite-sized approach work for some areas though? For example, learning basic arithmetic facts. #mathchat
12:16 am
davidwees:
I think that the scripted approach to mathematics instruction has been a disaster as well. #mathchat
12:16 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham It's one reason tutoring is thriving: Ss forgettin the basics. #mathchat
12:17 am
mathheadinc:
@davidwees Yes, it doesn't give Ss the opportunity to think for themselves. #mathchat
12:17 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees Ah, ... scripting is a different topic, albeit that some teachers may rely very heavily on a script to deliver content #mathchat
12:18 am
davidwees:
@ColinTGraham I'd argue that arithmetic is mathematical computation which is separate from mathematical problem solving. #mathchat
12:19 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc Do you see the tutoring as being a short-term fix, as far as the Ss are concerned (from their point of view)? #mathchat
12:19 am
davidwees:
Any kind of instruction has short term goals leading to long term objectives, but whose goals? Whose objectives? #mathchat #edchat
12:20 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees Agreed, but most of us have to work within the constraints of a syllabus or curriculum we had no input towards... #mathchat
12:21 am
ColinTGraham:
Perhaps it would help focus responses if we decide what we mean by short-term and long-term... #mathchat
12:22 am
davidwees:
@mathheadinc Yeah. Mathematics is painful for so many people because of a lack of personalization & 0 motivation in real world. #mathchat
12:23 am
davidwees:
@ColinTGraham Yeah that is true. We can talk big picture here though can't we? Pretend we have the power to change the system? #mathchat
12:23 am
mathheadinc:
@davidwees Most Ss just want to pass. Obviously, my goals for them are much higher and farther-reaching. #mathchat
12:24 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees We can work the system too, but that would require, say, that any long-term teaching I did with 11yos was continued... #mathchat
12:24 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees The challenge is the continuity of approach/method beyond a school year. #mathchat
12:27 am
mathheadinc:
@davidwees Oh my goodness, all the tears and feelings of stupidity. It's painful to watch. #mathchat
12:27 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc Does this conflict between your expectations and your students' affect how you plan/deliver your lesson? #mathchat
12:28 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees Yes a lot of arithmetic can be done using calculators, but being able to judge reasonableness of answers mentally...? #mathchat
12:28 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Maybe for them. I teach them for long-term understanding and retention, no matter what. I give short goals, tho. #mathchat
12:28 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees Does that not require some kind of ability/awareness of basic facts? Should they not be long-term goals...? #mathchat
12:29 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Kids think if they got an ans on the calc then it must be right. Take the calculators away! #mathchat
12:30 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc Or train them to question the calculator answer, ie have an idea about what the answer should be first... #mathchat
12:31 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Yes. You know my fav question is "Does that answer make sense", calculator or not. #mathchat
12:32 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees What period is your "big picture" over, David? @mathheadinc It sounds like you see long-term as being "for life"... #mathchat
12:34 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham For life, why not? :) Best NOT to revel in ignorance. #mathchat
12:35 am
MrInkwell:
good afternoon #mathchat
12:35 am
ColinTGraham:
@mrinkwell Hello Matthew, welcome to #mathchat
12:36 am
mathheadinc:
@mrinkwell Yes, welcome. The more, the merrier. :) #mathchat
12:37 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc So if long-term is life, what would you see as short-term? Do you deliberately emphasize or de-emphasize anything? #mathchat
12:38 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Some daily, some weekly, some monthly. It must build to the long-term. Good for any subject, really. #mathchat
12:39 am
smartinez:
@davidwees are you familiar with the work of Constance Kamii about the harm in teaching kids algorithms? http://bit.ly/eMjdtZ #mathchat
12:39 am
MrInkwell:
what's the likelihood of seeing constructivist teaching pedagogy integrated with the new common core standards? #mathchat
12:40 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc I'm just trying to remember the last time I had to do a derivitive or integrate something... Hmm, not a 'life skill' #mathchat
12:41 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham But if you had to, you could. Nothing wrong with that. Better to know than not. #mathchat
12:41 am
MrInkwell:
@smartinez @davidwees its like teaching students to read lines of written music but not letting them play #mathchat
12:42 am
davidwees:
Derivatives are not a life skill but understanding what amazing stuff you can calculate with them? Pretty cool stuff. #mathchat
12:42 am
ColinTGraham:
@mrinkwell True contructivism is very often mis-interpreted or misunderstood and is certainly a long-term approach #mathchat
12:42 am
davidwees:
@smartinez No, thank you for bringing it up. I'll check it out. #mathchat
12:42 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham If Ss only learn the min, when will they ever be interested in exploring on their own? #mathchat
12:43 am
mathheadinc:
@davidwees You rock!!! #mathchat
12:43 am
mathheadinc:
RT @davidwees: Derivatives R not a life skill but understanding wht amazing stuff U cn calculate w/ them? Pretty cool stuff. #mathchat
12:43 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc If Ss don't feel a sense of progress or success, how likely are they to continue exploring? #mathchat
12:44 am
JosieHolford:
RT @smartinez: @davidwees are you familiar with the work of Constance Kamii about the harm in teaching kids algorithms? http://bit.ly/eMjdtZ #mathchat
12:44 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Yes, we're thinking the same, I think :) Exploration is fun, fascinating, fulfilling. #mathchat
12:44 am
ColinTGraham:
@smartinez Teaching algorithms is certainly destructive,in my opinion, understanding why they work is another matter... #mathchat
12:45 am
MrInkwell:
@ColinTGraham @smartinez i love show students WHY division of fractions by multiplying the reciprocal works #mathchat
12:46 am
davidwees:
Okay #mathchat, I gotta go, joining an online podcasting session in 15 minutes. Gotta get a snack and get ready. Love the discussion.
12:46 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham I think a major long-term goal is for Ss never to be fearful of new and challenging subjects. #mathchat
12:46 am
mathheadinc:
@davidwees BYE!!! #mathchat
12:46 am
ColinTGraham:
@mrinkwell Better still if you can give them an activity which allows them to find it for themselves! #mathchat
12:46 am
davidwees:
@mrinkwell And I'm glad to see you here in #mathchat too. We need more voices. Invite your colleagues as well.
12:46 am
ColinTGraham:
@davidwees Glad you could join us, David! #mathchat
12:48 am
MrInkwell:
@ColinTGraham what needs to happen for problem-based investigations to make it into the curriculum? #mathchat
12:49 am
ColinTGraham:
If I am honest, the institutions I work for or have worked for see long-term as being either KS2, GCSE or A-level exams #mathchat
12:50 am
ColinTGraham:
@mrinkwell I think for the kind of long-term effect we'd like to see/have in our lessons, assessment practices need overhauling #mathchat
12:51 am
mathheadinc:
@mrinkwell Fearless teachers w/high level knowledge using the Socratic method from kindergarten. #mathchat
12:52 am
ColinTGraham:
I suspect for many of us, short-term = lesson, long-term = official assessment date... not conducive to good learning #mathchat
12:52 am
dweksler:
Balance between developing skills and solving problems. Practicing skills for soccer is important but it's not playing the game #mathchat
12:53 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc I have always believed the best mathematicians, who are teachers, should do so at primary level, not university... #mathchat
12:54 am
stevepsanderson:
RT @mathheadinc: RT @davidwees: Derivatives R not a life skill but understanding wht amazing stuff U cn calculate w/ them? Pretty cool stuff. #mathchat
12:54 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Problem: the best ones can't relate to small children or are afraid of them. #mathchat
12:54 am
ColinTGraham:
@dweksler And you don't enjoy the game if you feel your skills are lacking, or if you are forced to play (I hate soccer, BTW!) #mathchat
12:55 am
peterflom:
If you teach #math you really should read A Mathematician's Lament http://ow.ly/3DAjc #mathchat
12:56 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc It's the nature of the mathematical beast! I do think not enough resources are applied appropriately to early years. #mathchat
12:57 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Ain't it the truth!!?! #mathchat
12:57 am
ColinTGraham:
Summarizing so far, it seems we feel long-term should be number skills for life, many students are focused on short-term results #mathchat
12:58 am
ColinTGraham:
Our long-term may not fit with the school's or the students' long-term expectations, & we still need to consider short-term goals #mathchat
12:59 am
ColinTGraham:
Any other points or comments in the last few minutes? #mathchat
12:59 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Another reason I teach long-term: if a S comes back for the same thing in a year, then I haven't done my job. #mathchat
1:00 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc Maybe that's harsh on yourself. If the student expected a 'quick fix', you can't always pick up on all of them... #mathchat
1:01 am
dweksler:
Hopefully life-long interest in math may be furthered by Museum of Math opening in NYC, spring 2012http://momath.org #mathchat
1:02 am
MrInkwell:
Jerome Bruner: The Process of Education - Any child, any subject, any age - its just about finding the appropriate representation #mathchat
1:03 am
ColinTGraham:
@dweksler I'd hope so, David. I just wonder how many people will be attracted to a museum devoted to mathematics. I wish it well #mathchat
1:03 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham No not harsh at all. In our experience, barring some disabilities, any hardworking kid can do what we expect. #mathchat
1:04 am
ColinTGraham:
Well, once again we haven't put the world to rights! Thank you all for your contributions. Nice to see some newcomers too ;-) #mathchat
1:05 am
POWERORGmath:
RT @ColinTGraham: @mathheadinc I have always believed the best mathematicians, who are teachers, should do so at primary level, not university... #mathchat
1:05 am
mathheadinc:
@ColinTGraham Good moderating, Colin, THANKS! #mathchat
1:06 am
ColinTGraham:
The archive from today will be online in about 20 minutes or so. Add some ideas for the future too!http://bit.ly/gqjSiX #mathchat
1:06 am
ColinTGraham:
Have a good day/afternoon/night! See you all next time. #mathchat
1:07 am
ColinTGraham:
@mathheadinc You're welcome, I always enjoy a lively discussion! #mathchat