I Genuinely Want to Know What’s Next for You, Teachers!

One of the many reasons why I love teaching is that it’s a different day every single day. I never know what is going to be tossed my way, what students will do or say, or what will pique my interest.

Oddly, I am generally terrible at dealing with spontaneity and schedule changes, but in the classroom, I like not knowing what’s next.

However, what I really love about teaching is the chance to learn more. Generally, for me, this comes from my students. I watch, listen, and wonder about what the next move in the classroom should be. What do they need? What do I see and hear them telling me?

I love to know what will best serve them as people, and what will best help them be successful.

I do my best, though I am not nearly as proficient as other educators out there, to listen and watch.

So, without further adieu, here is what I have noticed about students and what seems to make them better learners, and here is what I am wondering, and what I want to continue to dig into (in no particular order):

Play in the Junior Math Classroom:

I am genuinely interested in how play is defined as students develop/grow older, is there a difference between play/flow?

How can play be facilitated in many facets so that a) educators can determine mathematical understanding through play (assessment), b) students intrinsically connect mathematical concepts through play — how can I bridge play and content? c) is there a better form of play than others?

Mathematical Visualization; Using mental space to see/experience Math:

Especially with more effective and simple AR being developed, how do students see mathematics? How can students use their mental ‘eye’ to help them problem solve, and move through math experiences? How is this most effectively ‘taught’?

Interestingly, I was sitting in on students working through a task a few weeks ago, which involved transformational geometry and patterning, and one student was trying to explain how they found out the 50th term of a rotating pattern. He finally sighed, looked at the other student, and said, “OK. How about we imagine term 10…now, if we keep rotating the pattern in groups of 10…” and his hands were rotating in the air. The other student watched the space in the air where his hands were moving. It was as if both were seeing the same pattern together. I want to know more about this, and the potential power of math visualization!

Technology in the Math Classroom:

I think I saw a Dan Meyer Tweet that said something like this: Human first, Math second, Technology third.

And I agree.

But there are some really powerful tools out there, and if not for the specific math, then the collaborative piece to make students brave and willing to take risks.

But what is effective and useful technology vs. mindless technology? The big idea in my mind is makes students think, and forces them to push their math thinking further.

What About You?

I truly and genuinely want to keep this conversation going: What is next for you as an educator? What are you truly passionate about delving into, and how will this make your student’s education come alive?

What would your PD look like?

Please comment so we can chat, or we can talk on Twitter!