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Importance of questions

Questions, both those asked by teachers and those asked by students, are an essential part of education. Questions can act as goals for learning, and motivate student curiousity about what they are learning. All teachers can attest to the fact that students who feel motivated to learn will learn much more effectively and much more deeply than students who lack motivation.

Math Talk

At the SVMI institute, Sally Keyes led a workshop on the use of Math talks in the classroom. Some purposes of math talks are to present multiple ways of solving mathematical problems and to develop students' ability to discuss mathematics. This helps students learn other strategies they can use, look for patterns between the different strategies, and learn how to communicate mathematics with each other.

Teach the controversy

Pluto excerpt from Wired
(Image source: Wired Magazine)

 

Jig-saw problem solving

Stop Googling everything

How do I solve problems - Google search

 

It seems that a new habit has formed in our society, at least among people in our society who are net-savvy. Whenever anyone, anywhere, has a problem, the first way they almost always search for a solution is with an Internet search engine.

What are effective learning experiences for educators?

A question which is always on the back of my mind every time I attend a conference, give a presentation, or work with my colleagues, is how much are we all learning?

Teacher learning diagram

The medium is the mathematics

Mathematics is not medium neutral. What we call the mathematics that we can do with pencil and paper is different than what we can do with a computer and call mathematics, which is different again than the mathematics we can do with origami. The medium defines the mathematical space, in the same way that Marshall McLuhan talks about the medium being the message.

What changed my teaching

Adam Holman asks a really important question:

What have you found to be the catalyst that helped either change your mindset/practice or helped change a ‘traditional’ teacher into one that cultivates relationships and student choice?

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