Commodore 64

Had a great session today with the IT decision makers at school. Suffice it to say, the powers that be were overwhelmed. The question to be addressed was "What does it mean to be a 21st century school? The concept is embedded in our mission and vision statements for the school but was it really a part of the school culture? What role did social media play? What indicators were there for us to legitimately claim our status as a ...

Geogebra!

By Wednesday, February 9, 2011 , , 0

I love Geogebra! For years I have been using Autograph and Geometer's Sketchpad with great success but Geogebra is in a class by itself. The best part? Its FREE! When you are running a 1:1 program, for mathematics this is gold. In the  spirit of Dan Meyer and WCYDWT (what can you do with this), I had students use their mobile phones to take pictures of a water stream from a hose (we are studying quadratics). Students imported their photos into ...

The Language of Mathematics

I often sit with students during breaks or after school, as most of us do, teaching and re-teaching concepts and skills that are not well understood. For some students it takes 5 minutes to clear up commonly held misconceptions while others require much more attention. In either case, I am always amazed how misconceptions are generated as a result of not understanding the language and notation of mathematics. Case in point: I was working with a math studies student yesterday on ...

Exam Tips

By Monday, December 13, 2010 , , , 0

Apologies for my absence over the past few week. I have been busy marking November session examinations. This experience can be somewhat disheartening at times particularly when you see students making the same mistakes year after year despite our best effort to prevent them. Even more discouraging is when you come across an entire allocation where students have not answered say the normal distribution question or the vector question because they had never seen anything like it before. Or there ...

Myths about Internal Assessment

  At a recent category 1 workshop in Hong Kong that I was facilitating, it became immediately obvious that a number of teachers (and schools) deliver the internally assessed component of the mathematics program in very different ways. These differences arose largely from common misconceptions about how IA should be administered in schools. Much of the confusion rested in how much help teachers were allowed to give to students and how much time should be given to complete a particular task. ...

HL, SL or Studies? Where do they all go??

The new school year brings with it, for me, a brand new school and the first IB Diploma cohort the school has ever seen. Although there were about 250 students K – 10 last year, the school has approximately doubled in size with a huge influx of expatriate teachers and students. The big question on day one with my IB math students was,   “Am I in the right course?” There seemed to be an overwhelming sense of unpreparedness and a great underlying ...