Friday, July 22, 2011

Math 1512/ Family communication

While working this last year and summer on my elementary education degree, my 14 year old son has come in several times to ask me if I need any help with anything either around the house or with school work.  I am very proud of my son.  This is one aspect of our family life that we work on all together.
We have anyways told my son not to be scared to ask questions regarding school work.  We all need help from time to time.  Although we help him, we try not to do the work for him.  I feel that it is so important for families to help their children with school work and guide them to finding the answers the children are looking for.
There has been times when he has brought homework home that I was puzzled at and didn't know exactly how to help him.  I can imagine that other parents have the same thing happen to them.  By talking to teachers and using other helpful resources, parents can help their children and their education.  Times have changed since many people have been to school so it is good to ask questions in order to help our children.
As a future teacher, I will strive to have excellent communication with parents in order to involve them in their children's education.  If everyone works together, children will grow and succeed.

Here is a website with further helpful hints.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Math 1512/ Mean, Median and Mode

 When I first started back to college to complete my elementary education degree, I took some math refresher classes to make sure that I remembered everything that I needed to.  That was one of the best decisions that I made.  I found out there was many concepts of math that I quite didn't remember or comprehend. 
One of concepts that I had trouble remembering was how to solve figuring out the mean, median and mode.  Once we started solving problems for the mean, median and mode it all came back to me.  I think that I could have remembered it better if in high school or early college days I had some fun and interesting ways to think of the concepts.  Most of the time it was only textbook or worksheets that we worked on. 
Now we have so many different options to help students not only learn these concepts but also become engaged learners and retain the information presented to them.  Through cooperative learning projects, computer websites and videos, we can help students retain materials that they will need later on in the future.  
Here is a fun video that is fun and interesting that can help students learn these concepts:
Here is a fun website that is interactive for students:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Math 1512/ Measuring; What does a pint equal to again?

SALE Measurement Conversion Chart Magnet Cute Puppy Dog Chef DesignThis is similar to a chart that I have hanging up in my kitchen. I love to cook and bake and sometimes have to refer to the chart with different recipes.  I realize that all measurement does not only have to do with cooking but also length, weight, time and capacity.  All of these are important for students to learn since they are used almost every day. 

This conversion table will help students understand the different measurements that might be used in our world today.  I have a hard time remembering them all myself, so we can't expect students to remember them all of the time either. 
I think that within a measurement unit, a class could do many cooperative learning projects.  From learning how to convert within a cooking recipe to creating a garden for the school.  I am sure there are many ideas out there. 
Here is a fun interactive computer website to help students learn measurements:

Math 1510/ Fractions! Do students hit the panic button?

I know as a student a long time ago, whenever fractions came up in math, I would panic.  I don't know if was really that hard but just the sight of different fractions really freaked me out.
Recently I was completing a college course in a fourth grade room during math when fractions were the next section to be discussed.  The teacher in the room warned me that students have a tendency to dislike fractions.  When she started on the section I could see the confusion and panic in their eyes.  I guess it was not just me that had the same feeling.

 I think that are many ways we can help students learn fractions without hitting the panic button.  The teacher in the room I helped in used a smart board to give students visuals to help understand how to add and subtract fractions.  She used pizza, fish, pie and many others to not only gain interest but gain comprehension of the subject.  She also had a bulletin board that students could work on anytime of the school day as extra practice. 

Here a few websites that make fractions a little more fun!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Math 1510/ Why can't I remember how to put together Roman Numerals?

 While working on a chapter in my college math class, I was learning how to write and count with Roman Numerals.  At first I thought, "no problem".  I have used Roman Numerals before and I see them used quite a bit.  This was not the case.  I had problems right away.  So much for being easy.
I feel that having a chart like above will help students (including me) understand Roman Numerals better.  It is important to understand Roman Numerals since they are used more than we think in real life.  There are different rules that also go along with Roman Numerals.
1. Subtract ONLY powers of 10.  Such as I,X or C.
2. Subtract only a single letter from a single numeral.
3. Do not subtract a letter more than 10 times greater.
Having the chart and rules posted somewhere in the classroom will help students understand Roman Numerals and eventually retain what the symbols are and the value. 
Here is a link to a video that teaches students about Roman Numerals with music:
 Roman Numerals

Math 1512/ Ratios ARE IMPORTANT for students to learn!

 What are ratios?  A ratio is an ordered pair of numbers used to show a comparison between like or unlike quantities.  Ratios can be written different ways.
 Ratios are such an important thing for students to learn but can also be difficult to grasp.  Why are they so important to learn?  Ratios are used in everyday life whether we know it or not.  This is one reason it is important for students to learn and understand ratios.
One way for students to comprehend ratios is by manipulating real life objects.  These objects can range from blocks to food items.  By using some type of manipulative, it will help students deal with the concept of ratios and create a wider understanding of ratios.
Teachers could also use learning ratios as a cooperative project in the classroom.  I feel that students can gain a better understanding by writing what they know about ratios, and verbally share and discuss with the class information about ratios. 
Here is a link to a video that simply explains ratios to beginning learners:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Math 1510/ Is it a good idea to use words instead of variables for prealgebra?

Let's face it.  As a future teacher, one of my main goals is not only to have students understand math problems, but to also retain the materials for events to come.  This includes more math classes that are inevitable and real word applications. 
Students do not learn from worksheets alone.  Working on paper can often become boring and tedious.  I have learned this from my own experiences.  If we want students to gain long term retention, we need to link any kind of information to help students create a better understanding of math problems. If using words instead of variables in algebra problem solving develops comprehension in students, why not use them? 
I feel that involving students in choosing different words to relate to an algebra problem is an effective and efficient way in guiding students to a better understanding of math problems.  Try having students write their own words that make sense to them personally.  If a student feels comfortable, have them show the other students, with their own words, how they got their answer.

I know that I have felt just like this kitten when it comes to algebra.  I hope to help students gain a better understand of algebra, whether with words or other means, so that they don't have to feel this way too!!