published by David Wees on Fri, 10/25/2013 - 19:21
My wife and I decided a couple of weeks ago to withdraw our son from our local community school and homeschool him. We realized that the constraints on the school, and the choices made at the school were going to prevent him from getting the exercise, play, and intellectual stimulation he needs to remain healthy in body and mind.
published by David Wees on Thu, 10/24/2013 - 07:19
Today I observed a teacher using this toolbuilt by Jennifer Silver to engage her students in mathematical reasoning. It was a powerful reminder to me of the intersection between effective uses of technology to provoke thinking in students, and the pedagogy used to support that student reasoning.
First, the teacher brought up the interactive diagram up on her Smartboard, and then she asked a student to come up to change the slider values. She repeatedly asked students to say what they noticed each time the slider was changed. She took the time to have multiple students clarify what they said, to have their peers restate and respond to each other's reasoning, and to have students take the time to make mathematical observations. She engaged students in collaborative mathematical thinking for 30 minutes. At the end of the class, at least 10 students came up en masse to play with the interactive diagram themselves and continued to ask her questions and make observations. She had to promise them she would email them the link to the diagram so that they could continue to play with it themselves.
The point here is that the technology made the conversation easier. Instead of creating 20 different examples of graphs and seeing what happens as each variable is changed, students were able to visualize the changes, both in the graph representation, and in the formula representation. When asked if they noticed anything after the "Point on the line" slider was changed, one student said they noticed the Intercept-slope form of the equation did not change. Another student responded to him with "that form of the line doesn't depend on which points you use."
published by David Wees on Wed, 10/23/2013 - 20:16
What exactly does our assessment measure? I watched my 7 year old son complete an online assessment of his fluency with addition facts last week, and I noticed a few things the assessment measured unintentionally, at least to some degree.
published by David Wees on Thu, 10/17/2013 - 10:33
My colleagues and I have formed a journal study group where we intend to share pieces of research which are interesting, and have some compelling story to tell about understanding research. I've chosen Benny's Conception of Rules and Answers in IPI Mathematics by Stanley Erlwanger. In order to support our discussion of the research, I've created a few slides which I have shared below. I recommend opening up the speaker's notes in order to understand the presentation better.
published by David Wees on Wed, 10/16/2013 - 03:54
Life isn't fair. Do something about it.
The world may not care about your self-esteem, but having a healthy self-image is more likely to lead to positive relationships with the people to whom you are close and having healthy relationships is the key to having a happy life.
Don't focus on the money. Focus on improving yourself and doing good work. Both of these are more valuable than money.
published by David Wees on Thu, 10/10/2013 - 06:27
Tomorrow, thousands of educators from various different countries are expected to attend a free 3 day virtual conference, The Reform Symposium, #RSCON4. RSCON will be held October 11th to 13th in conjunction with Connected Educator Month. The entire conference will be held online using the Blackboard Collaborate webinar platform. Participants can attend this online conference from the comfort of their homes or anywhere that has Internet access.
published by David Wees on Wed, 10/09/2013 - 05:36
As I was travelling to St. Ives, I met a man who'd lived seven lives,
In each life he'd learned seven lessons,
Within each lesson he'd had seven chances,
With each chance he'd made seven mistakes,
With each mistake he'd found seven connections,
How many connections, mistakes, chances, and lessons are missed by those who fear to live?