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Friday, September 28, 2012

Strategies for Engaging Students in Mathematics Learning

This presentation was created through a collaboration with a middle school teacher, Ms. Jenny Kim, who works with 7th graders in Norwalk, CA.  Though we put this together in 2010, I think the ideas are still quite relevant and powerful to consider.  Note that Ms. Kim's students made HUGE gains in their mathematics achievement in the span of one academic year in her classroom with 2/3 moving from below proficiency to at or above proficiency.  Hope you find in this some ideas for your own classroom!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Apps for Math Learning

As we see more students having access to web-enabled handheld devices such as tablets it is important that we (the adults in their lives) help them to use these devices productively.  Recent research has revealed a new "digital divide" though not in access to devices but in knowing how to use the devices to support learning.  (Read Warschauer and Matuchiniak's detailed summary of this research to learn more).  Of course, this requires us as educators to know a bit more about such tools!  With this in mind, here are some places to begin.

A growing number of apps support meaningful mathematics learning. By this I mean these engage users in more than factual recall or procedural drills (which are okay if that is your objective - for example Concentration and Pick-a-Path are great!).  A few of my favorites are:

Also note that while the apps shared here are for mobile devices, there is a treasure-trove of web-based applets that support conceptual learning of mathematics on NCTM's Illuminations site!  If you've not been there for a while, check out what's new.

Update 9/28/12 Edutopia released today a free (with registration) guide, Mobile Devices for Learning:What You Need to Know