Benefits in Explaining One’s Math Thinking


"It’s hard to get kids in the habit of talking about how they are thinking about a problem when they’ve had many years of instruction that focused on getting the 'right answer.' That’s why educators are now trying to get students in the habit of explaining their thinking at a young age." — Source: Mind/Shift

Continue reading the full post for examples, tips, and classroom video footage.

Image Source: EdTechTeacher

What If Students Assigned Their Own Homework?


“Some may say homework is good practice, and practice makes perfect. Others insist homework is unproductive and pointless.

“What benefit is there in doing 20 of the same type of math problem? If students didn’t understand the lesson from the day, not understanding 20 problems may make them feel that math is inaccessible. This is how children begin to struggle in math and decide it’s not for them. And if they did understand the lesson, repeating similar problems is pointless. Worse still, students begin to believe math is boring, irrelevant, a set of mundane rules, and maybe even a waste of time.

“What if homework could be a means for promoting self-efficacy, agency, and motivation to learn? Teaching students to actively pursue knowledge and see it as valuable is critical to their success both in and out of school.” — Margie Pearse, Edutopia

Continue reading the full blog post.

Image Source: Learning & the Brain

Building the Future: Tinkering and Playful Learning

The following is an excerpt from an article in The Journal by Mike McGalliard and Anne Wintroub. It’s too good not to share. I encourage educators and parents to read and consider the ideas and recommendations presented in the full article.

“Educators and business leaders have more in common than it may seem. Teachers want to prepare students for a successful future. Technology companies…have a vested interest in developing a workforce with the STEM skills needed to grow the company and advance the industry. How can they work together to achieve these goals? Play may [be] the answer.

“We’ve assumed that focusing on STEM skills, like robotics or coding, are important, but the reality is that STEM skills are enhanced and more relevant when combined with traditional, hands-on creative activities. This combination is proving to be the best way to prepare today’s children to be the makers and builders of tomorrow. That is why technology companies are partnering with educators to bring back good, old fashion play.

“In fact many experts argue that the most important 21st century skills aren’t related to specific technologies or subject matter, but to creativity; skills like imagination, problem-finding and problem-solving, teamwork, optimism, patience and the ability to experiment and take risks. These are skills acquired when kids tinker. ” — The Journal

Sources: Image 1, Image 2

Talking with Children’s Author Jefferson Knapp

Talking Ed. with Jefferson Knapp

Episode 006 (View entire series)

I recently had the opportunity to interview Jefferson Knapp during the AAIM Conference in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

“A few weird memories that stayed with me ever since I was a kid eventually found themselves shaping the story that became The Kingdom at the End of the Driveway series. The people, animals and locations are all very real to me and will no doubt be shocking to some who weren’t aware that they or their pet had a part to play in this story” (Source).

The following is the video from the interview. In it, Jefferson introduces us to his book series, shares the inspiration for his first book, shares insights into his writing process, and discusses ways that he would enjoy connecting with you and your students.

Further Investigation

Jefferson Knapp’s Official Website, FacebookTwitter, and Instagram

Author Pages at Amazon and GoodReads

Resources from Storybird Hands-On Workshop at #MSMECA13

StorybirdStorybirds are short, art-inspired stories, presentations, reports, or tutorials you and your students make to share, read, and print. Storybird is a fun, collaborative website that can be integrated in all content areas and at all grade levels. It can be an effective resource for teaching parts of a story, the writing process, promoting creativity, and more. STEM and social studies teachers can use Storybird for engaging alternatives to traditional lessons, reports and presentations. Storybird also seamlessly keeps a portfolio of each student’s work.

Participants will be guided in setting up accounts and helped as they begin using Storybird.com’s tools and services. Participants will learn how to use the teacher-specific tools.

Below are my slides from the workshop that I’ve taught a couple of times this week at the Mississippi Educational Communications Conference (MECA) in Jackson, MS. All the workshop materials and resources (including a video tutorial, additional examples, notes, etc.) are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

Storybird: Encourage Creativity, Promote Writing, & Add Excitement to Reports, Presentations, & Tutorials – for #isummitconf

Storybirds are short, art-inspired stories, presentations, reports, or tutorials you and your students make to share, read, and print. Storybird is a fun, collaborative website that can be integrated in all content areas. It can be an effective resource for teaching parts of a story, the writing process, promoting creativity, and more. STEM and social studies teachers can use Storybird for engaging alternatives to traditional lessons, reports and presentations. Storybird also seamlessly keeps a portfolio of each student’s work.

Participants will be guided in setting up accounts and helped as they begin using Storybird.com’s tools and services. Participants will learn how to use the teacher-specific tools.

Below are my slides from this workshop that I’m sharing today at iSummit in Atlanta, GA. All the workshop materials and resources (including a video tutorial, additional examples, notes, etc.) are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

View more presentations from Clif Mims
Example Storybirds

Halloween Brothers on Storybird

 

You’re Mootiful on Storybird

 

Managing Online Identities: Tips for Teachers, Students, and Parents – for #isummitconf

Keeping up with the state of technology is not easy. New social media such as Twitter, Facebook, Google+, YouTube, and Pinterest continue to emerge and users sign-up and setup profiles without considering the full ramifications of sharing personal information. Practical tips for helping you and your students thoughtfully setup and maintain your online identities will be shared.

Below are my slides from this workshop that I’m sharing today at iSummit in Atlanta, GA. All the workshop materials and resources are available on my wiki, Learning Telecollaboratively.

Facebook Considers Giving Access to Kids under 13 (Video)

“Facebook is working on new technology that would let young children use the social network without having to lie about their age, reports the Wall Street Journal. Facebook currently doesn’t allow users under the age of 13, though many sign-up anyways — last year Consumer Reports said that 7.5 million of Facebook’s users were 13 or younger, including five million under the age of 10. The proposed technology wouldn’t create a separate version of the network for these users, but instead would put in place features that give parents control over their child’s online experience. A child’s account would be connected to their parent’s, for instance, and tools would be put in place to manage who can be added as a friend and what apps and games are used” (Source).

Note that the WSJ is reporting that Facebook is exploring this. It is a multifaceted issue involving Facebook policies and governmental regulations. We will have to see how this unfolds. The following video provides a broad overview about this issue.

 

Image Source: Smosh.com