Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Math at a Glimps

Looking back over the quarter, I realized how much I have learned using technology in the classroom as a manipulative.  There are so many different pieces of technology out there that are available to students and teachers, I sometimes wonder how my junior high and high school years would have been different if I had access to things like Wolfram Alpha or other online /offline software.  I know that I may have enjoyed math class more if I had these things I could have used.
                I also realized that it’s important to have manipulative that can be used in several different areas of math or even other subjects because teachers can’t get all the manipulative they want all at once.  After exploring with manipulative that I can hold in my hand helped me see that students might be able to learn better from them and maybe able to do it while having fun.
                There was so much information in this quarter that as I sit here pondering on what I want to remember most of all, I have a hard time coming up with something.  I am leaving this math class with several different new concepts of math and even a better understand of why the quadratic formula works because of a lesson using graphs and quadratic blocks as well as a better understand of other math techniques that I did not realize before now.
                Ask me what did I learn in math and I will ask you what part you want me to tell you about.  I learned about using technology and found it to be very rewarding for me.  I also learned about how to use manipulative to teach students more than one way on how to solve a problem as well as that even if a student understand one way to do something it is still important that they learn another. 
                My biggest worry about teaching math was on can I make it interesting enough for the students to want to learn it.  Often teachers are given a book and are required to read out of the book to explain to the students how math equations are done.  But I can see that the book can be used as just one tool for teaching.  It may be required but the students can also be taught more than one way about a key concept.  The teacher can take what they have in a book and try to use different materials to make it more interesting.
                Who would have thought that not only would I be learning math and how to teach it, I would also be learning more classroom management skills?  Although having a job pushed me to work hard and on some days I did not want to because I was exhausted, it made me realize that it helped me stay on task.  I am excited to try using jobs in groups that I will be creating in my classroom.  I wonder if this would be helpfully to younger students or if it will be too difficult for them.  But I think that it’s worth a try.
                I am coming out of this math class with much more than what I went in with.  I am feeling more prepared to teach students math and how I can help them when they do not understand the first way I try to teach them.  I have come to the conclusion that it is good to challenge students to try a different way of finding an answer even if they already know how to do it in some one or another.   

Friday, March 11, 2011


I am still not sure if I see the purpose of using an itouch in the classroom.  I found it hard to use with primary age students.  There are two things that I found beneficial but could be bought at a cheaper price for what they were.  I really liked being able to record my conferences with students.  It was very helpful to assess them by listening to them later on.  It also helped me hear myself as a teacher to see what I needed to change to better help the students. 
Another app that I found to be helpful in the classroom as the merrian-webster dictionary, which did not require an online connection to use like many of the other dictionary apps did.  The students were able to use this to help them with their vocabulary and to better understand a text that used words that they often did not know. 
I would have appreciated more instruction on this tool and how it can be used in a classroom than what was given.  I think that it could have a lot of benefits but without the proper training of it I do not know how many different things this little device can do. Like many other teacher candidates, I did not feel comfortable using it in the classroom because I was afraid that my master teacher would think I was just playing games with the students. 
I understand that it is important to learn how to use such a device because I am sure that before long students will have things like them in their pocket.   If this is the case they should learn how to use it, to help them with their homework as well as use it as an educational device instead of just a gaming device.