I am incredibly excited this week to be procrastinating from report writing by taking up the opportunity to write for Education Services Australia, and their incredible online resource: maths300.
For those of you who haven’t heard of the resource, here is an excerpt from their ‘About‘ page, below:
“maths300 is less prescriptive than traditional pedagogy. The lessons build on important algorithmic skills, but also encourage students to develop reasoning and communication skills beyond the textbook. Students are often required to work in groups, to think creatively and to apply a number of different strategies to solve a problem. This process is called Working Mathematically and features in most lessons. The extensions section provides huge scope for extended investigations and cross-curricula activities.”
The lessons are presented as mathematical adventures, and all of them contain rich activities that promote discussion encouraging students to work like a mathematician (one of our numeracy catch-cries!). In our classroom, I have used them exclusively with Kevin Cummins’ Maths Toolbox which he shares on his superb education resource, Edgalaxy.
In combination with this, schools are able to download the accompanying software package which, although simple looking, allows students to complete investigations with a real-life contextual edge. One example is the Footy Finals lesson (great for September, AFL or NRL!) where students have the opportunity to investigate the chance of their team winning the premiership starting from 1st-8th position.
When I submit my maths300 lesson plan, I also plan to make it available via OpenEdToolbox, so watch this space!
Have you used MCTP or Maths300 in your schools/classrooms?
What sorts of maths ‘adventures’ have you taken your students on?
How do you apply real-life context to your numeracy classroom?
Forgive me for the down-time between posts, my energy over the holidays has been funnelled into pizza-eating, football-watching and very little exercise, rather than blogging and university assignments!
At the end of Term 3 I used these two resources to conveniently create and file my parent-teacher notes. This is just one idea, there are many others out there.
Firstly, some information below to familiarise you with the resources discussed in this post:
Evernote is a Windows/Mac/iOS/Web-based platform for taking notes and storing them in a cloud server for retrieval and synchronization across multiple devices. (See here for a great teacher blog, and many tips from an Evernote expert and enthusiast!)
Kustomnote is a web-based platform built specifically for use with Evernote. It allows you to connect your account and create multiple note templates for a range of needs (including anecdotal notes, guided-group notes and many more)
Now that we have the basics, this short post will be useful if you are, like me, finding resources that make things that we already do, even easier!
Once you have downloaded and signed up with Evernote, you are able to log in to Kustomnote using the same ID, which makes things much simpler. On the left hand toolbar, it was as simple as clicking ‘New note’ to customise the fields that I would be using before and during PTIs to record my notes, they looked like this:
- Student & Parent/Carers
- Interview Date/Time
- Wellbeing & Celebrations
- Requested follow up interview (Yes/No)
- Teacher follow-up actions
You can view and clone my note here as I have made it available publicly. Please feel free to make changes, improve it and let me know!
With the Kustomnote template created, it was simply a case of creating a template for each student by clicking the ‘New Parent-Teacher Interview Mid-Year note’ button and entering the information for each student that I wanted to share with the parent. As I saved each new note, each student’s name and information conveniently appeared in my Evernote cloud across all my devices in an attractive, formatted note. I was able to use my iPad to communicate during interviews and add to existing notes.
Overall, I found the experience a great success. Although slightly time consuming to begin with (I spent a good hour experimenting with the templates and formatting) the process ultimately paid off and produced accessible, clear records of each meeting.
I encourage everyone to have a look at the possibilities when combining these two excellent resources, and please share your uses for them in the comment space below.
Cheers, enjoy the rest of the break Aussie teachers!
How do you use Evernote professionally/personally?
What uses have you found for Evernote in the classroom that you can share in the comments section below?
Have you used any other software that complements Evernote?
I’m sure that the clever people over at Transum Software won’t mind me inserting their banner as a plug for their excellent Maths Starter of the Day.
I am a great believer in students having a daily starter to get their brains into gear, I am planning a future post on my grade’s morning routine. However, this great resource (which I also plugged on the OET Facebook page earlier this week) serves for a range of purposes.
The calendar view allows the teacher (or student) to select each day’s maths problem and present it to the grade in an IWB friendly format. I must stress that these are interactive and not all of them merely use the IWB as a data-projector, which is very awesome.
I have used them for mental-starters, found subject-specific problems for tuning in opportunities and also make the link available to students via our class wiki. These resources provide great opportunities for modelled and shared problem solving and working mathematically.
You can find the link to this excellent resource here.
What maths tuning-in resources have you found most useful?
Does your grade do a daily starter?