Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Are you hungry for learning?

Do your students have an appetite for math or does math make them sick to their stomach?  In middle school we see both ends of this spectrum.  In searching for a proportions lesson I stumbled upon some snack food that will help feed our students in math classes.  The tool I'm about to share is really cool and engaging BUT the way I found it can give any teacher power to find new ways to engage students in math and all other subjects. (So stayed tuned to the bottom and find out a powerful tool to help find ideas for ALL teachers)

Math Snacks is a really cool website:  http://www.mathsnacks.com/ that is produced by New Mexico State University.  Math Snacks have engaging animations, a learner guide and a teacher guide with each math concept.

Take a look at this math snack on ratios and proportions. http://www.mathsnacks.com/badDate.html
I know that kids will love this video and it gives them an opportunity to experience ratios and proportions in a new light.  This particular math snack comes with a learner's guide that will them from the examples used in the video to other real life applications.  The teacher's guide is a detailed lesson plan with directions, answer key and extension activities.  Explore and check out this website.  It is still in development and currently has 9 available snacks and plans to have at least 20 by next school year.  It is sure to satisfy some of your most reluctant student's appetite for math.

Now for the really good part.  As a teacher, finding quality resources was sometimes difficult.  One of the biggest problems with finding them was TIME.  I would spend some time doing a typical Google search and in the end have no results.  I found this and several other activities using EdmodoEdmodo is an incredible social media platform for schools.  In the past I have used Edmodo as a collaboration tool for my students.  I have recently explored the communities in Edmodo.  Once you sign up for an account you can browse many different communities.

Once you see a community of interest, click on it and explore.  These communities are full of other teachers around the world who are searching and sharing innovative ideas.  You can choose to follow particular communities.  You can post a question.  For instance, if you were looking for new ways to teach inference, you might ask in a post for ways to do this.  Other teachers then share their ideas with you and the need for a Google search has been eliminated.  The resources and ideas shared are typically great and inspiring. 

So if you are appetite is for math, check out http://www.mathsnacks.com/.  If your hunger is for learning some new teaching ideas then check out the communities http://www.edmodo.com/

Bon Appetit!!!!