Digital teaching tips & tricks, ideas, examples, and general thoughts and reflections. Follow my Inquiry.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Teacher Inquiry: The third post

Between gloss testing and camp its been a very busy couple of weeks.

I had high hopes for my presentation follow-ups but in hindsight I should have seen their short comings early on.

Getting students to create their own problems
- Seemed like a great idea because
would require higher order thinking to create problems that they could answer. 
- However in reality, students created any problem (often impossible to answer, or that would be too complex for them to answer) and would revert to an easier strategy that did not fit the problem. i.e. using addition for a subtraction question.

Explaining their solution/ strategy on a presentation
- Much harder than I anticipated for the kids to do.
- Students would normally solve these on paper then talk about them in our groups.  Being able to explain their thinking in writing is a skill we hadn't learned together yet, therefore I should of perhaps anticipated this would be difficult.

What next?
- From reflecting on my failed presentations I have started thinking of various plans I could do to using iPads and explain everything. However due to the time restrictions of testing and camp I haven't been able to put them into practice yet.
- However one adaption that worked well to my presentations, was to get students to solve problems in their books, and then screenshot their working. Then students would attempt to explain their solution in writing underneath. This worked much better and more than half of the class was able to do this correctly.  Of course I would like this task to work for everybody, so its still not perfect by any means. One thing I realised that was quite important was to give the students a question that was very similar to the one they had worked on as a group, therefore the unpacking of the question wasn't too difficult.

Here's an example of how the presentation task can be a success.

There is still lots of room for improvement but I think it's beginning to get there.

Monday, 2 March 2015

Teacher inquiry #secondblogpost

What a busy start to the year we have had already!
We have been to see the River Talks display, had Nigel Latter filming in our class, and now we have testing...

...It's been a struggle to get any sort of routine's going with my Maths class so far, with all the interruptions to our normal programme.  However we are now settling into how we do our problem solving as a big group discussion very well, and are already seeing some great thinking, and are having some really great discussions.

My networking using social media flopped a little bit, with Twitter not receiving any notice at all, and my Google+ post only receiving 2 comments (One being a pity comment from a colleague/ friend).

However despite the majority of the responses being only crickets, the responses I did get were actually very useful, and have already helped to inform my practice.  On the advice from my Google+ notifications my students are completing follow-up problem solving activities and sharing them on their blogs. At the moment these tasks are quite simple but are getting more complex each time. Last week they merely had to explain their answer, with their solution explained as well. Now this week they are expected to do the same, but also to create their own question.

I have also networked with other teachers in my school, and have started getting some ideas towards getting students to create their own instructional video resource bank, using iPads and explain everything. The idea is that somehow students will be able to access each others "how-to" videos easily, and from there teach themselves new strategies.

So, towards my inquiry we are getting slowly.

Slow and steady wins the race after all.