I’d like to take you on another journey along the road of the language of mathematics with a stop at the intersection of “math concepts and symbolic notations.”
Sometimes the mathematics conversation is just as confusing to students as this collection of signs is to a driver in an unfamiliar situation. There appears to be a variety of symbols used to identify the different types of roads in the area, just as we have a variety of concepts, operations, and relations that are conveyed through symbolic notations.
To further complicate the issue, in math we sometimes have a variety of symbols used to convey the same concept or idea. Imagine the student’s dismay when he or she is not familiar with a new symbolic notation that is being used but is familiar (and perhaps proficient) with a different notation. This can certainly be a blow to some students’ math confidence.
In my previous blog, I argued for a dual topic approach to curriculum design. The framework outlined in that blog is based on a variety of research.
Some of this research is drawn from psychology and studies of human learning. These involve the development of automaticity and controlling cognitive load. Other design elements are associated with what we have learned over the years from international research, particularly the way successful countries focus on fewer topics with greater depth in their math curricula. Still other research is a synthesis of what we believe are best instructional practices in remedial and special education.
An Innovative Approach to Meaningful Embedded Assessment
In recent years, assessment has gotten a bad rap because of overuse and misapplication of mandated accountability tests. All of us involved in education, however, know that meaningful assessment is an important aspect of the learning cycle. We are particularly grateful that, in a time of frustration over isolated testing, embedded assessment is finally getting the attention it deserves.
Simply put, embedded assessments are selected learning experiences that are also used to measure a student’s understanding of the content. The assessment task is embedded in the learning experience.
March is Music in Our Schools Month. Since ancient Greece, music has been an important area of study. The Every Child Achieves Act of 2015 lists music as a core academic subject. So allow me to step on my music advocacy soapbox (we call them conducting podiums) and illuminate both why and how you can support music in our schools.
Advocacy for music in public education is important because it seems that in today’s society, where quality education is summarily evaluated by data from test scores, arts education is constantly threatened.
Among the recent trends in education, few are as notable (for the right reasons) as the growth mindset. This belief is, fortunately, very simple to understand. Mental abilities and other talents can be developed through dedication and hard work.
The opposite of the growth mindset is kind of a downer. It’s called the fixed mindset, and it suggests that intelligence, talent, and other abilities are more or less fixed at birth. It doesn’t matter what you do; you aren’t going to get better. (See, I told you it was a downer.)
While many language skills and comprehension strategies are embedded in daily lessons, teachers know that the overall purpose of each lesson sequence is to understand content related to a theme. The reason for reading a text is clear: The text is worthwhile. It is complex and rich. The topic is inherently interesting—or if it isn’t, yet, it will be once the students know something about it. The reader will be rewarded with understanding, insight, ideas, and new information.
At EdView360, we’re big fans of digital learning. We’ve seen the transformative effect that excellent digital instruction can have on students, teachers, and entire classrooms, and we couldn’t be happier today to be celebrating Digital Learning Day (DLDay).
For those of us who have been around for a while, Digital Learning Day (or DLDay), happening February 17, has special significance. I fall into the “around for a while” category because I had both a TRS-80 and an Apple II. How cool is that? I also had long, blond hair, but let’s not dwell on the past.
The special significance of DLDay for us is that so many of our dreams are coming true. Blended learning is a great example. For many years, the technology aspect of education was a little standoffish. Because of limitations of hardware and software, it was challenging to use technology in the ways we thought were most effective.
But because of recent software advances, blended learning is making its way into more and more classrooms. And it is paying off. When you combine the expertise and caring of the teacher with technology, you have a learning environment in which students are most likely to benefit.
How One Teacher is Working Her Magic to Help Struggling Students Reclaim Their Education, Part 2 of 2
As is my usual style, my little ideas quickly take on a life of their own and turn into BIG magic!
Since I was already pulling out all the stops for Lham, as described in last week’s blog post, I scoured my roster for others like him. These students were caught up in a political Groundhog Day from which they could not escape. There was a lot of identifying and re-identifying of the problems, without any real plan to remediate the issues.
How One Teacher is Working Her Magic to Help Struggling Students Reclaim Their Education, Part 1 of 2
Things are moving fast these days in this magical universe. It’s been raining pink glitter ever since I published my first blog post. I’ve been moving quickly from dream to idea to plan to action. Recently, I turned my attention to at-risk students on my roster.