Tuesday, May 7, 2013

There is a push for my students to do more reading and writing so they do better on the standardized testing.  I've been thinking about how to include in my classrooms.
1.  Word problems - Use the KWC  after underlining the important sections.  Perhaps even have a short video or illustration included so my students can see what it is.  My students tend to be so remote that they have little or no prior knowledge of some of the situations.  For instance driving the car from Philly to NYC.  We don't have cars and they have no idea of the distance involved.  So I  end up rewriting the problems to use boats, snow machines or ATV's.  If I included a map, perphaps a google trip using google world so they could see the actual routing that might build some prior knowledge.  They could fill out a short pdf form for the KWC and then on the bottom write in an explanation for how they came up with their answer.  This would add reading and writing into my math class.
2.  NASA math problems.  I've tried these but the students do not do well with them.  Again, if we had a pdf form to help them organize information, pictures or videos on the topic so they can "see" what is being talked about and perhaps have them create a video to record how they came up with the answer, it might help them improve their mathematical vocabulary.
3.  Finding real life problems such as telling how long a body has been dead using logs and temps.  Include a web page with the information so students can find the equation used to determine the time since death.  Provide them with a scenario where they are the corenor and they have a body.  They discovered that the body temp is such and such and they make a report on how long the person is dead. 
These are just three ideas I came up with to incorporate more reading, writing, and technology into my lesson plans for next year.  I did not mention iPad apps because there are several that could be used.