1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice


Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by Jenjames2, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. Ah, I see your point now. I took Steve's comment to mean that you don't know if you can do something until you have tried it, I'll leave it there though, I'm sure he can defend himself!
  2. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    And that may well be true of maths. But it isn't necessarily true within the contexts of the various arts he mentions. Hence, from my viewpoint, a rather pointless comment.
  3. I think I get what Steve Humble means.Your comment about conductors is rather like an engineer using Einstein's theories to solve a problem. They can always understand the theory, and appreciate its elegance. What they cannot appreciate is the process of formulating a theory, where one does not exist, until they set about doing so.
  4. googolplex

    googolplex Occasional commenter

    Yes, I know I'm being pedantic here. No problems with that as a notion: the need to get a feel for maths, to actually engage in it in order to understand it. The same, though, is not necessarily true for arts. You can get a great feel for music by rerhearsing and performing it, as well as by composing it - perhaps a better idea as a performer, than as a composer who ends up writing music which makes no sense.
    Steve has the right ideas, but is using the wrong analogies...
  5. So, to go back to the question, what do we feel about electronic resources? Does one size fit all or do we need different treatments of different topics? Do some packages lead to the situation where the teacher is stood at the front having all the fun and there's not much for the pupils to do?

    I tried to show with my post about algebra that having a big all singing all dancing presentation for that topic wouldn't really work for the way I like to teach the topic, which I view as very hands on. At the same time, with the example of the enlargement that I mentioned, I can see that there would be a real 'wow' factor with the butterfly demo.

    What are the views of others, or is it a topic no one is interested in?
  6. I hate to do this, but I'll still disagree with you. What you are saying is of course correct in one sense. I don't get Pagannini, probably because I don't play the violin. Think of a marriage proposal. You don't know if it's going to work until you try it on someone. It doesn't have to make sense at the beginning if the result is correct, the same with art and maths. Later analysis will show whether it was any good or not.
    On topic with what Sara said, I recall a discussion on this forum a couple of months ago about whether students should be taught written methods of long multiplication and division. Some people claimed that calculators mean that these skills have no place anymore. Whether you agree with this or not, it seems that one thing can become regarded as a better solution than another. The question perhaps is not of whether current resources meet teaching needs, but how to go about specifying what would be the best tools for teaching. I.e. Instead of comparing whether a presentation is better than writing on the board for introducing an algebra topic, ask if there is a way supercedes it. I started a thread a while ago about what the "ultimate" resource would be. Sorry to say, responses were not entirely encouraging.
  7. Sorry I missed your earlier thread cas38, I had a bit of a break from the forum at the start of the school year.

    The resources thing is something I've had an interest in because I've seen how long it takes both myself and colleagues to put things together. From previous work experience, I'm quick using Adobe Illustrator and know my way around Keynote but even so, time making presentations is time away from other things and there is an identifiable cost.

    A fair amount of the work done in recent years tends to suggest moving away from a 'transmission' based form of teaching and more towards a 'collaborative' approach. I always took it that the idea behind APP was to encourage this. In that sense, a presentation that goes step by step through a topic might seem a bit dated.

    I saw a video clip of Professor Dylan William highlighting the difference between methodologies in the UK and Japan. As an example he sited teaching how to find the area of a trapezium. In the UK teachers would tend to work through a couple of examples 'and then turn to exercise 1 page 56'. In Japan the teacher would tend to give pupils one method of working out the area and then ask them to work in pairs to come up with other methods of doing the calculation.

    Partly, my question was influenced by this and the type of teaching that the Standards Unit 'Black Box' encourages, where do electronic resources fit into that scheme? I'm not saying for a minute that they don't have a place, I just wondered how other people viewed the interaction between what goes on with the whiteboard, what the pupils are doing and how it all fits together. I gave the algebra example to show my own thoughts.
  8. I like to use technology but I feel that pencil and paper work is a beauty of Maths. Research shows that students need this time working "playing" with Maths. I think a teacher or student writing out solutions for others gives opportunities for all to learn / discuss new methods.
    As with most things a balance is good.
    Ps Maths is a creative subject but let's not go down the art science thing -
  9. I agree Steve, I've always been a big fan of technology, provided it doesn't mean the teacher standing at the front having all of the fun!

    In the past i'd never been one who was much for group work but that's something that we have had a big push on in my school in the past couple of years. It did come as a bit of a surprise that bits of card/paper would be the way to really engage pupils in their learning!

    Where I think the electronic resources some into their own is with things like demonstrating transformations, graph work, shape and space, and a whole host of other areas. Just simply the act of having a set of axes ready to plot a graph on or being able to throw up a transformation quickly is amazing compared with not having an IWB. So, I'd hate anyone to interpret my posts as being Luddite and against electronic resources. Again, my interest was in how they interact with other elements of the classroom.
  10. That is the balance you have to get. How can technology support learning without taking over, as in the end Maths is a very pencil and paper subject - finding pattern, generalising and the proving that pattern is true for all. Technology can sometimes support this thinking process by allowing like you say quick visual memories
  11. Colleen_Young

    Colleen_Young Occasional commenter

    Totally agree - wouldn't be without my pencil and paper - and when the problem gets tricky I like A3 paper sometimes! Technology though offers the chance to explore many examples quickly and provide excellent animations / demonstrations that you just can't with a book or pencil & paper.
  12. Many thanks to MathsHoD for the Archimedes link, I'd not seen that website before, it has some real gems. Thanks too to Casey. I agree, both of those kind of things would be impossible to show with 'chalk and talk' and would generate interest.

    I agree too about having things that pupils can use at home, even though I much prefer Geometers Sketchpad I find myself using Geogebra more and more.

    Again, agree with MathHoD about not using pre-prepped PowerPoint in class and this cross over that many resources make. Many fall somewhere between the two, not quite clear enough for pupils to use on their own and get an understanding of a topic and yet at the same time they try to take away the job of the teacher.

    In some regards, it's quite overwhelming the sheer volume of resources out there. I admire Steve for trying to make his scheme of 'best practice' and also for sites like e-maths.

    I had a look the other night at the Pearsons offering and their solution seemed to be very technology driven, on their website they gave an example of a little package for drawing a graph, I think I could have made a diagram in Illustrator about twice as fast as using their program. Do people have an experience of the Persons software?

Share This Page