David Wees's blog

What evidence convinces teachers to change practices?

Research, by itself, rarely changes teacher practices. Presentations on why their practices should change rarely change teacher practices. Attending conferences rarely changes teacher practices (a teacher may adopt a few new things from a conference, but how often has a teacher come back from a conference and begun to teach in a completely new way?).

What does change teacher practice?

Ambiguity in mathematical notation

I'm reading Dylan Wiliam's "Embedded Formative Assessment" book (which I highly recommend) and this paragraph jumped out at me:

Designing open-ended tasks - Part 1

Designing an interesting and open-ended task is relatively easy. The challenging part comes when you attempt to use the task and learn something as a teacher about what your students understand.
 

[Bad math] Polling

Poor polling practice

I hope no one takes the results of this poll by the Conservative party very seriously. Before they even collect results, I know that those results will have significant bias.

Lego and Minecraft in Math

This article originally appeared in my school's monthly magazine, and was co-written with Chelsea Todd, a 4th grade teacher at my school. Note that the lesson idea presented below is Chelsea's idea.

 

I will miss you

Yesterday was my last day working with students as a classroom teacher, at least for the foreseeable future. Next Tuesday is my last day of work in my current school, and on Wednesday I will be flying to New York to start a new job.

Topic: 

DIY Catapults!

Fork catapult - side view

One of my jobs at my current school is work on mathematics enrichment projects with three 4th grade students. For the past couple of weeks, in between their camps, my camp, and other end of year events, we have been working on looking into a mathematics modelling task, specifically, a fork catapult. The 4th grade boys and I completed this project over a series of 3 lessons with me, and 2 more lessons working on it independently between our sessions.

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