• MT Blog: Joy and Inspiration in the Mathematics Classroom

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  • Aspects of Problem-Based Teaching: the Need for Community

    Problem-based learning speaks to many of the practice standards and recommended teaching practices, but is not as easy as it sounds. Schettino’s second posting looks at teachers’ need for community.

    Aspects of Problem-Based Teaching

    Problem-based learning speaks to many of the practice standards and recommended teaching practices, but it is not as easy as it sounds.

    Unconventional Quizzes that Liven Up My Classroom

    Math quizzes can be engaging, affirming, and even fun! These quizzes are collaborative (group work), formative (identifies what still needs work), or full information (students have complete prior knowledge of the questions). These quizzes can boost self-confidence, reward persistence, and encourage a growth mindset.

    Blog Post 3: Collecting Daily Grades and Feedback with Google Forms

    Do you spend too much time gathering, entering, and sharing homework grades? Would you like an easy way to see which homework problems were confusing to your students and gather their questions? My solution? Google forms!

    Grading Homework for Accuracy or Completion? Yes!
    This system is a solution to the common dilemma of how to grade homework: for completion or accuracy.
    The Queen’s Reward: Cannonballs and Quadratics

    If you drop a cannonball into a deep cavern and hear a splash 6 seconds later, how deep is the cavern? If you’re looking for a fun change of pace from your textbook, challenge your class to outwit the Queen’s chief advisors and help the young mathematician win the Queen’s Reward.

    10,000 Kicks: Practice in the Mathematics Classroom

    I teach math, and I give my students worksheets. In a way, it feels like confessing a sin to say it. Modern edu-culture frowns on the worksheet for its inability to engage students and its inauthentic, out-of-context existence. And yet, teachers I know give their students worksheets. Why? I point to three reasons.

    Technology for Learning, not for Technology’s Sake: Toolbelt Theory and the SAMR Model

    Toolbelt Theory and SAMR, two of the foundational ideas for my district’s Educational Technology Plan, will guide the integration of technology into our schools over the course of the next few years. I have worked on developing both concepts in a tangible way in my classroom recently.

    Donuts, Submarines, Airplanes, and Trumpets

    The study of volumes in calculus is ripe with potential for students to find joy and inspiration in a math setting through building and hands-on learning. Here are a couple of the ways I have created fun opportunities for students to apply calculus during our study of volumes over the years.

    The Gini Index: An Economic Application of the Area Bound by Two Curves
    Students in a calculus class are not expecting to engage in a discussion on the causes of the 1929 stock market crash. So I like to begin my class on applying the area bound by two curves by facilitating that very discussion.

    Trigonometry Miniature Golf

    By Tim Hickey, posted May 23, 2016 — Cutting wood with a band saw is just plain fun. I have not found a trigonometry student yet who disagrees. This is one of the reasons that I have built the Trigonometry Miniature Golf project into my Trigonometry curriculum.

    The Evolution of the Coffee Cup Problem

    By Tim Hickey, posted May 9, 2016 — Find the radius of a right circular cylinder with a volume of 100 cubic milliliters and a minimum surface area. Bored yet? I’ll bet many of my students were not terribly inspired by this problem during my first year of teaching calculus. For a math purist, the problem is interesting enough. But for teenagers trying to figure out why they are learning applications of derivatives, the problem is lacking.

    By Kasi Allen, posted April 25, 2016 – We live in times of polarized
    Passion for Math
    By Kasi Allen, posted April 11, 2016 — When
    Taking Risks—for Learning’s Sake

    By Kasi Allen, posted March 28, 2016 — Creativity requires risk

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