Thursday, December 1, 2016

Keeping Up With Research

Book, Data, Document, Knowledge  As a teacher, I try to keep up with current research so I am able to do the best job I can but its hard.  Its hard because it means I have to change the way I do things, I have to convince the admin that what I'm doing is much better than the way I'm doing it all while trying to prep students for state tests, etc.

I know I'm trying to incorporate more technology since my students live, breath, and sleep technology.  I included sleep because many students take their devices to bed to text, read, or play games.  I am trying to capitalize on that while making it a worthwhile assignment and not just something to use because its all the rage.

I want to incorporate choice boards, menus, etc but I'm still trying to figure out how to set up choices so they further student learning.  I've got some ideas I'll be working on over the holidays but its hard.  I also admit that when I'm on holidays, I do not want to think  about school because I need the down time.

I just read something stating we need to quit teaching students math shortcuts because when they learn the shortcut, there is less chance of learning the actual concept associated with the problem.  This makes sense with the newer standardized tests that require the student to justify their work.  Why not have them learn the concept and then show why the shortcut works.  This gives them a chance to develop understanding first.

One concept my students have had trouble with is the one where anything to the zero power is one.  Once I showed how by using the rules of exponents and division you get one when you divide 5^1/5^1 because 5^1-1 = 5^0. This actually made sense to them.

One site I like to read on a regular basis is the Learning Scientists Blog which has great posts for teachers interested in current research and its applications.   Its where I learned about the six strategies for effective learning. It gave me something to look at in terms of its application to Math.

Another place I go is to Facebook and the Education Blogging: Working Out What Works group because people report on what they've read and tried applying to the classroom.  It is a place I get ideas from.

An of course, I love the Mathematics Education (K-12) group on Google Plus because this is a place people share what they are doing so I get even more Ideas.  Josh is great at including current research so I don't have to surf the web for information.

I'd like to know how others keep up with current research and how you apply it to your classroom.  Drop me a line and let me know.