- Professional Development 2008
The phones have been warming up with enquiries about professional development for the year. PD is our core work, so we are pleased. However, there are only limited spaces in the diary and the time to act is now. In particular, consider the Maths on the Move courses. They have been used by many systems, districts and schools over the years and never fail to stimulate.
If you want to encourage significant, sustained changes in teaching practice, our six day courses have proven very powerful. Usually they are arranged for a system, district or cluster but they can be adapted to a school situation. There are two six day courses:
We also have a suite of one day programs which can be used individually or built into a sequence, and we can tailor programs to suit your needs. See Link List below for more information about all aspects of our professional development work.
- Engineering 'aha' Moments K-8 for primary teachers which focuses on number.
- Engineering 'aha' Moments 5-10 for secondary teachers which focuses on algebra.
- Maths All Day
Our professional development year started at Maidavale State School in Queensland. John Eade, principal of this one teacher school, organised a student-free day for himself and other local schools, then two days of maths with his students. Yes, maths all day for two days with 12 students from Year 1 to Year 7. The second day the school population was doubled when Sue brought her Year 3 to Year 7 students from Millaroo State School to join us. Read John's story about the experience from the link in the list below.
- Maths With Attitude
Maths With Attitude kits are proving popular across all levels of school from Years 3 - 10. Perhaps it's because:
We don't know. We were just trying to collect the best of years of work and organise it into manageable units that encourage learning to work like a mathematician in happy, healthy, cheerful, productive, inspiring classrooms.
- schools are looking for a genuine alternative to text-based mathematics learning
- teachers have pretty much everything they need in one box
- people like the idea of lessons from Maths300 to model how a mathematician works combined with tasks to invite students to apply the model for themselves and skill practice in context
- busy teachers appreciate the scope and sequence chart in each manual that maps out several weeks work
- department heads like the 'in the classroom' professional development encouraged by the kits
- the kits are flexible and not intended to 'gobble up' every week of the curriculum
- kit by kit, schools can build a refreshed curriculum without massive budgetary outlay
- official curriculum documents are highlighting the importance of the higher order thinking and personal and social skill development embedded in Working Mathematically
For whatever reasons 62 kits were placed in schools during January and the photo below is of another 32 (and a box of other equipment) on their way to a shipping company to begin their journey to Dubai.
Ina and her team spent hours packing this order for just one school.
- Painted Cubes
A critical learning that develops when students are learning to work like a mathematician is their literacy - no, not just mathematical literacy, language literacy. Students discuss more, debate more, question more, report more, publish more (and do better in testing situations) when Working Mathematically is the core of the curriculum, than when texts and skill practice are the objective. This month we have added PowerPoint publishing to the Recording and Publishing Album. Specifically a wonderful report on Task 160, Painted Cubes, from Becky and Lydia, Year 8, Settlebeck High School, UK. See Link List below.
What routine do you have in your classroom when you are using Tasks? Are they used purposefully as a component of a curriculum built around kids learning to work like a mathematician - in fact, as an invitation to investigate an interesting problem in the same way as a mathematician works? Within the Principles link (see Link List below) you will find advice on daily management that may be useful in building such an atmosphere. The clue is CRTRA.
- Plastic Boxes
Many schools still store their tasks in transparent plastic boxes. We have updated our reference to this item. Wayne at Plastics & Storage Warehouse is a reliable source of these. See Link List below.
- Tasks of the Month
Four new cameos this month.
- Challenge involves the visual challenge of placing numbers 1 to 8 on a network so that the difference between any two numbers joined by a line is never 1.
- Two Squares is based around the mathematician's question Can I check this another way? and it encourages the partition of areas to find visual representations for calculating the difference between the areas of two squares. It leads into a well known algebra rule.
- See-Saw is an open investigation giving a broad range of students the opportunity to discover principles about balancing objects on a see-saw. It is underpinned by a formula, but the thrust of the task is more on discovering and reporting principles.
- 13 Away starts as a game and becomes a challenge to find the winning strategy for the game. Successfully doing so leads to recognition of a number pattern and exploring hypotheses based on that leads to algebraic generalisation.
- Did you miss the December/January News?
If so you missed information about:
- Tribute to Charles Lovitt
- Checklist of features which encourage learning
- Message of thanks to Chris Seabridge
- Iceberg Information about two Tasks of the Month (Tasks 54 & 55)
- ...and more
November News ... October 2007
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