Online Courses – What makes them work for you?

If you were asked, “Identify ten ingredients for an effective and meaningful online course.”,what would you include as essential? Have you taken an online course?  What worked for you?  What were the challenges?  Share your insights, thoughts, and wishes when it comes to online learning. I am curious to hear from students, teachers, parents, and others.Continue reading “Online Courses – What makes them work for you?”

Making Meaning

Several years ago, Jo Boloar’s course ‘How to Learn Math’, included a video clip, of Sebastian Thrun speaking about his approach to problem solving and math. I felt a spark of recognition and a sighed with relief to hear him say that we should not move ahead with a problem until we understand it intuitively; that weContinue reading “Making Meaning”

Thoughts on Student Assessment

Will this assessment help me to identify student’s needs as learners? Will it help me to guide next steps?  These questions swirl around my brain.  See that determined orange tabby climbing higher to to new levels?  That’s what I want for my students. Recently this phrase, caught my attention, actionable feedback. Feedback kids know theyContinue reading “Thoughts on Student Assessment”

Mathematical Curiosity

Curiosity –  Can you think of a time when you or your kids were mathematically curious?  When it comes to math it seems that we focus on knowledge not on curiosity. Jo Boaler’s course interviewed several speakers who have a passion for math, people who have what she calls an ‘inquiry relationship’ with math. ComputerContinue reading “Mathematical Curiosity”

Teacher Language Matters

As I listened to examples of number talks in the math classroom, this stands out, teacher language matters. “I think I heard you say.” “How did you know you should have…..” “Where do you think your mistake came from?” “So you are saying…” “How did you figure that out?” “Do we see it another way?”Continue reading “Teacher Language Matters”

Creating Safe Places to Take Risks for Learning

What messages will you give your students about the value of mistakes as we learn? Mistakes, fertile ground for growth. Live on the learning edge – don’t be afraid to make a mistake. The path of learning is littered with mistakes – thank goodness! Mistakes are the stepping stones to learning. If you can’t makeContinue reading “Creating Safe Places to Take Risks for Learning”

Taking on the Challenge

And the moral of the story is…. Ugh!  A didactic tale can fall flat. With little meaningful connection to the story the message is seldom remembered or lost to the reader.  You may identify with this.  I for one, recognize this didactic interaction not only in books but in my classroom. Lesson 4  of How toContinue reading “Taking on the Challenge”

Shout it from the Roof Tops!

Current research helps us understand what high achieving math students do and it is most interesting, in fact Jo Boaler tells us it is worth shouting from the rooftops so here it is: High achieving math students use flexible thinking,  are able to easily decompose and recompose numbers and naturally compress ideas to move onContinue reading “Shout it from the Roof Tops!”