Tag Archives: math

Maths Presentations

This semester we are doing ‘class-based assessment’ as one of our tasks with the junior classes (Year 8 – 10). Basically, they were given either an equation to solve or a simple interest problem and they had overnight to prepare. It was one lesson out from their test (on those topics) so it doubled as a revision task. I didn’t make the questions too difficult and I told the girls that in order to get an A or a B, the explanation they gave to the class would be what would get them over the line.

At first I was worried I made the task too easy, as all the kids seemed to be doing well (including the weaker ones). But I had allocated the questions specifically to ensure they all experienced an element of success, and even if they all did well I don’t mind because they would at least do well on their type of question on the test. So all good.

And it wasn’t perfect – but some were truly outstanding, including checking their answers by substitution (finally they are listening!!)

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Probability problem of the day

Fantastic probability problem – as told by a genius colleague!

100 patient people are standing in line waiting to get on a plane. All of them have their tickets – except the first person, who has left theirs at home. They board the plane in the order in which they have lined up.

The first person boards the plane, and since they don’t know which seat is theirs, they choose any seat. There are exactly 100 seats, so they have a 1/100 chance of getting their own seat.

The next person boards the plane, and if the first person is sitting in their seat, they randomly choose another seat. The person after that boards the plane, and if their seat is already taken, they also choose another seat.

When the final person boards the plane, what is the probability that they will be sitting in their own seat as assigned to them on their ticket?

Think about it…then give it to your maths classes!

Red Tape – Technology in Teaching

I am working on creating an assignment for one of my maths classes. It’s pretty good, even if I did find the initial idea for it on the internet. My issue is – I think it would work really well as an interactive website, but the amount of red tape I would have to go through to make that happen – in a school that says they are forward thinking with technology – is just not worth the struggle. I think I’m going to have to go back to the trusty pen and paper for this one.

Someone told me a few months ago was that the online world and the ‘real’ world are not seperate – they are in fact one and the same. If this is the case, then we should really be breaking down the barriers to functioning in an online space, whether it be as a business, a professional, a school, or a student. The earlier that kids learn how to safely function online the better, as that is the world that they will be living in when they graduate. If they are prevented from interacting online in a supportive environment throughout their schooling years, what are they going to do when they are suddenly in the ‘real world?’

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As for me and my assignment, I’ve decided to go with pen and paper for the time being. I have suggested to my colleagues that we work towards having an interactive space in the future where students are able to collaborate both with their teachers and each other online, however the amount of paperwork and meetings and permission and red tape that would be involved for that to happen at the moment is just too much.

We know we are going through an educational revolution. We are no longer churning out industrial workers, and because of this, chairs and tables in rows and the teacher at the front of the room isn’t going to cut it anymore. If we are trying to make big changes to the way education is taught and the way schools function, we can’t just wave a magic wand and let it happen overnight. Big change requires time, as well as a shift in culture and in attitudes.

The content and way the material is presented is already a shift – I am trying to encourage my students to apply their knowledge and thinking to real world situations, and to integrate their knowledge over a number of curriculum areas. This will already be a big shift for them. Remember, students expect school to be the same as the way their parents have experienced it, and vice versa. The same applies to teachers too – but that is a subject for another day.

Baby steps.