When I think back and imagine myself sitting in a secondary school math classroom, the unrivaled thing that I needed to accomplish as a secondary school math student was to get high marks. However, this “a certain something” like a stream down impact was fixing to such a variety of perspectives down under. I needed my educator to clarify everything about a problem that he had recently completed. Despite the fact that my educator will clarify everything well ordered, I was as yet not certain and sufficiently sure to disclose to myself that I will have the capacity to breeze through the tests. Moving into the college classroom with a similar outlook debilitated my association with math significantly more. In spite of the fact that I was getting great marks, I never felt that I comprehended what I was learning and why I was learning it.
Presently, when I put on my student educator cap, I have an inclination that I should change the above situation for all (instructors and understudies). As an understudy, I need to have the capacity to state that in the event that I don’t go to my math class I will miss something truly vital and energizing. As an educator, I need to have the capacity to state that my understudies didn’t simply take my notes on the board yet really figured out how and why I made those notes.
My field experience was a steady skirmish of presenting my above understudy instructing theory. At whatever point, I presented an idea or tackled an issue with my understudies, I amplified it with a “why this is vital in our life or why this is vital to you”. More often than not I had a stick drop quiet in my classroom after the “why” question. However, few times if my understudies reacted, it was about how I did a cross multiplication to find the solution. The “why” question, therefore, allowed me to incorporate assessment as learning amid my teaching in an investigative way. Giving my understudies the opportunity to do and unravel inquiries in the ways they like was not working for me. Yet, I trust that I took parcel of time embellishment myself into investigative learning approach, my understudies ought to get more chances to learn in investigative way regardless of the possibility that does not work few times at first.
My introduction to inquiry was in the form of open ended questions (last semester in my EMATH 300 course). At start it seems to me a very complex idea to grasp, because it has so many layers attached to it. Does it mean a question that can be solved in different ways, does it mean an engaging activity for students or does it mean another instructional method that only involves mathematics exploring. However, class activities and reading response discussions during this course offered me the knowledge to understand that inquiry can mean different things depending on the context or perspective involved. Our class discussions allowed me to think of inquiry as a tree that has a lot of branches but the roots are same. So, my perspective of inquiry is to stick to its roots that are students, students and students and then the branches such as investigation/research, communication, reflection, collaboration, multiple ways of knowing and creation will flourish.
The ideas discussed in the article strongly affirm my beliefs of mathematics teaching and learning. As a mathematics student and teacher, I still believe that math is simple to learn if taught accordingly but I also believe that mathematics teaching should show students the beauty of mathematics. I want my students to understand that it is the beauty of mathematics that enable us to transform the complexities of this world into simple equations, notation and variables. I want my students to recognize that mathematics is not just to look for answers; it can also be the source that provides tools to appreciate the world around us. Looking for patterns, making prediction and deduction is all part of mathematics.
Moreover, teachers are responsible to support a balance between students’ level of thinking and the asked inquiry. Sometimes students’ need a push that allows them to think out of the box, therefore conveying students that, it is their questioning that will drive the process of their learning is now a big part of my instructional approach.
Entrance/Exit slips assessment strategy, also known by others names such as Ticket in the Door/Ticket out the Door, Admission Slip/Release Slip is simply short written responses to questions/prompts that teacher presents at the very beginning or the very end of class. Critical analysis of this strategy involves two prompts, how this is beneficial to teachers and how this is beneficial to students.
Teachers can use it to:
- Stimulate the success for learning
- Find out students’ needs for extra clarification or assistance
- Review and summarize new learning
- Determine students’ understanding of a lesson through formative assessment
Students can use it to:
- Examine prior knowledge in preparation for a new learning
- Demonstrate if they learned something or not
- Connect and review prior knowledge with new learning
This strategy also requires some extra input on teacher’s part. Because if students aren’t provided feedback of some kind, they probably stop taking them seriously but if done properly students chances of doing a better job in all aspects of the lesson are very prominent.
Journal writing is another form of formative assessment strategy that encourages student’s curiosity and participation. This strategy is somewhat similar to Entrance/exist slips as it helps teachers and students in keeping an ongoing record of learning and can be done throughout the unit or at the end of the unit.
A similar kind of formative assessment strategy is anecdotal records. It is very easy to do; it’s ongoing and provides teacher an opportunity to focus on some specific area of learning. But at the same time it can be intimidating to students.
All of the above mentioned strategies provide intuition into how students are learning on the daily basis and finding misconceptions in their thinking or process thus presenting teachers with multiple opportunities to reinforce their instructions towards student’s needs appropriately.
Now comes the time when teachers should make students alive while learning mathematics and students should find inspiration in what they are learning. As Goos mentioned in chapter 1, teachers are the ones who communicate their beliefs about mathematics through their classroom practices. And for teachers it gets sometime difficult to convey students the actual sense of the mathematics and when teachers not able to do that then students feel alienated in the mathematics classroom. And for teachers to find out how students are making sense of the mathematics they are learning is a challenging task. But it has to be done. Teachers have to find new ways of assessing and evaluating students so that students don’t feel that are pressured to do something they don’t find interesting.
And I am in total agreement with Beswick on this that providing teachers with resources, curriculum materials and ideas are not enough to change student’s perceptions about mathematics. Teachers beliefs are important in the context and if teachers believe that reciting facts and performing procedures are enough then students will get away from mathematics because not all facts and procedures are meaning full to students. Mathematics teaching should make students feel smooth and calm after their learning.
I believe that mathematics should be taught like music is taught, teacher have to show student how it feels to like to learn mathematics, how it feels like to perform mathematics, how it feels like to listen to mathematics.
I believe that students should be given the opportunity to joke about mathematics and say bad things about mathematics because this will present their teachers an opportunity to modify their teaching strategies.
I believe that the things we don’t understand makes us not like them and most of all we are scared to learn about them and I think that is what happening with mathematics education because students are given less opportunities to understand mathematics.
I believe that teachers are not the only role models for students to learn mathematics. It is the collective responsibility of all to show the charm in mathematics like to make cartoons, movies, sports and games that clearly shows that they are engaging in mathematics.
I believe that in order for students to change their perception about math, mathematics teachers have to look cool. And I am not just talking about their attire it involves their whole personality that can show student and want them to say “I want to become like that one day”.
At this point i think i can say that Mathematics has been in my life for a long time now. I am just going to say it here, “I don’t find mathematics interesting but i don’t know why i want to learn more about math as my life goes on and this is the my third degree in mathematics. I loved doing long mathematical solutions especially differential equations, solving those problems which can be seen through computer simulations. I wanted to see the fun in mathematics.
And on the other hand most of the time when someone needed my help to teach math to middle and high school students, i had no clue of how to approach that. Because every time i teach them i want to show them something interesting about math and they only want solutions to their assignment.
I believe that math is fun to learn and I don’t want to prove it to anybody that math is fun. But proving and showing are two different things. There is a need to show that math is fun and entertaining.
My high school math teacher told me that math is the only subject in which you can score hundred out of hundred and that’s the only reason why I developed interest in math and it started fading away when I was done my high school. But when I started my university I applied in electronic engineering program where I went in for consultation, a professor sitting there saw my math scores and said “Oh you must like math” and I said “hmm its boring” and then he said “I know why it’s boring, let me show you one thing”, he showed me a picture of airplane and said “mathematicians made this airplane” and I said “no engineers made this” and then he introduced me fluid dynamics and aerodynamics which is part applied mathematics and that was it and now I have two master’s in fluid dynamics from university of Regina.
The power of showing not proving, “One picture changed my entire career path”.