Thursday, June 23, 2011

Math 1510/ Student Teams


I do feel that deciding on student teams depends on the various tasks or assignments that the team will be working on together.  Most of the time, I prefer to see teams selected by the teacher with a mix of diverse and different students in each group.  I think that we need to take into account the personalities of students (quiet or more verbal), gender, ethnicity and work habits.  Part of the learning process is having the group connect and learn how to get along in order to finish their problem or project.  The size of the team will also vary but if possible, kept to around four or five students.  This will aid in participation from each student.  In fact, in order to have a collaborative effort by all members of the team, there should be a division of different jobs among the members of the team.  This way each team member will know what their job is and how to reach the team goal at the end.
Working in a kindergarten classroom, when we have group centers or other group work times, we seldom let the students pick who they will work with.  Even at this younger age, children have a tendency to pick friends and socialize too much.  It also leads to leaving one or two students out of the mix and can lead to bad feelings.  No one likes being the only one not picked for a group or team.

Here is a website that I found that gave more useful information regarding student teams:

Monday, June 20, 2011

Math 1512/ Helping students learn to analyze data?!?!?!?

What an overwhelming obstacle this seems like.  Working in a kindergarten classroom I have come to realize that one of the one most important aspects that is taught is which way to read a graph.  Do you start at the top or bottom?  Do you read the graph from left to right or right to left?  This seems fairly easy compared to the more complex data displays that we have been learning in Math 1512.

During my pedagogy course, I got to teach lessons on how to make single bar graphs in fourth grade.  When I taught the lessons I decided to use the smartboard in the classroom.  This technology is a awesome asset to the classroom.  I would have the students come up and add to the graph while answering different questions regarding the graph.  The smartboard is a great tool to keep students interested in the materials that they are learning while still having some fun while doing it.

There has to be many other ideas and examples of how to make analyzing data interesting and fun so that students can retain the information.  I found that connecting to information such as their favorite foods, sports etc... helped to grab their attention and interest.

I found this website that gave some good ideas:

This website had interactive math tools and activites for kids and teacher:

This video explains how to use data from students to keep them engaged:


My head is swimming with numbers as I go to bed at night.  As I take these math classes, I hope that I am learning everything that I can so that I can teach math to students not only in the best way, but also in a way that the students can find math fun. Math and numbers can seem so overwhelming at times not only for me as an adult, but also for younger students.

Math is such an important part of life.  There is some type of math involved in everyday life.  We all need to have a basic understanding of numbers and math no matter what age we are.  When we go to the grocery store, go out to eat at a restaurant, figure our how many hours in takes to do homework or how many people are coming over for dinner, we are always using numbers and math.

There are many types of numbers involved in math.  I had to re-learn what are integers, natural numbers and whole numbers.  I was reminded what the properties of addition were.  The identity property, the inverse property, the commutative property and associative property are all a part of math.

Manipulatives are an essential element in helping students learn math.  Many people agree that manipulatives can help children of all ages grasp math concepts easier.  Manipulatives give students a chance to explore, discover and apply new mathematical ideas and concepts.  I hope to learn more ideas on how to use manipulatives in the classroom to help students with math.

Here is a website I found that explains more about manipulatives:

Here is a video I found that explains more about manipulatives: