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.   

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