Posts tagged ‘Mathematics’

Math Anxiety integral part of student math achievement

“Math anxiety: An important component of mathematical success”  written by Erin Maloney, Jonathan Fugelsang and Daniel Ansari, was posted on the LearnTeachLead blog November 14, 2016.

From their conclusion: 

“Math anxiety is pervasive among students, teachers, and parents. Given the very real negative impact that it has on students’ achievement, and the availability of easy-to-implement and cost-effective evidence-based strategies to help combat the negative impacts of math anxiety, it is critical that math anxiety be central to the discussion around why our students are not excelling in math.”

The article  has an extensive resource list, too.  For additional information on this  topic, TDSB teachers can contact the Professional Library at (416) 395-8289 or professionallibrary@tdsb.on.ca.

Check it out! Rowan

 

December 1, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Report : Math PD improves teacher knowledge but not student achievement. So is this useful?

The US Department of Education has released report titled Focusing on Mathematical Knowledge: The Impact of Content-Intensive Teacher Professional Development (September 2016).

Here are some selections  from the Executive Summary, page ES-1: 

“Elementary school teachers may especially benefit from content-focused PD because they are less likely to formally study math in college than secondary teachers, who tend to specialize in the subject matter they teach.

Grade 4 teachers from 94 schools in six districts and five states participated in the study and were randomly assigned within schools to either a treatment group that received the study PD or a control group that did not receive the study PD. The key findings on the impact of the study PD on teacher knowledge, practice, and student achievement include:

  1. The PD had a positive impact on teacher knowledge.
  2. The PD had a positive impact on some aspects of instructional practice, particularly Richness of Mathematics.
  3. Despite the PD’s generally positive impact on teacher outcomes, the PD did not have a positive impact on student achievement.”

From page 45: “To summarize, future research might focus on identifying PD that will impact these knowledge and practice outcomes to a larger degree. Future research might also seek to identify other aspects of knowledge and practice to target with PD that are more strongly related to improved student achievement. ”

Me: Maybe this just demonstrates the complexity of improving math achievement.

Rowan

Garet, M. S., Heppen, J. B., Walters, K., Parkinson, J., Smith, T. M., Song, M., Garrett, R., Yang, R., & Borman, G. D. (2016). Focusing on mathematical knowledge: The impact of content-intensive teacher professional development (NCEE 2016-4010). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education.

This report is available on the IES website at http://ies.ed.gov/ncee.

October 6, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Min of Ed renewed math strategy

With the  results of the recent EQAO math assessment showing a decline in student scores, the Ontario government, has  been publicising it’s math strategy. “Ontario’s Renewed Math Strategy will help our students, teachers, schools and districts in achieving stronger math results and better position our young people for the jobs of today and tomorrow. The strategy includes a number of features that will respond to the various strengths and needs of our learners, schools and district school boards” Source: Ont Min of Ed. Memo Summary (April 2016)

Strategy At-A-Glance

Starting in September 2016, Ontario is dedicating more than $60 million to help support students achieve better results in math. Key elements of the strategy include:

  • Sixty minutes per day of protected math learning time in Grades 1 to 8
  • Up to three math lead teachers in all elementary schools
  • Coaching for principals of select secondary schools to lead improvement
  • Support for learning at home through parent resources
  • Better access to online math resources and supports such as Homework Help orSOS Devoirs
  • Math support for Grades 6 to 9 outside of the school day
  • Opportunities for educators to deepen their knowledge, including a dedicated math Professional Development Day.

Source: Ont Min of Ed. Memo Summary (April 2016)

And from  a news release dated today – September 21, 2016

  • More than $60 million to implement a renewed math strategy. Starting this school year, teachers in Grades 1 to 8 will spend 60 minutes per day to focus on effective instruction in math. Other key elements of the strategy include up to three math lead teachers in all elementary schools, and opportunities for educators to deepen their knowledge in math learning, teaching and leading, including a dedicated math Professional Development Day.
  • Helping parents support their children’s learning and well-being by awarding more than 2,300 Parents Reaching Out Grants for the 2016-17 school year. These grants – of which more than 800 focus on or include a math component – support local school councils, Parent Involvement Committees and not-for-profit organizations working with parents.
  • Supporting Homework Help, which provides students with free, real-time math tutoring by certified Ontario teachers. The live, interactive online math help is available to students in Grade 7 to 10 in all English-language school boards. SOS Devoirs is a similar service for Francophone students in Grade 1 to 12.

 

Check ’em out! Rowan

September 21, 2016 at 4:28 pm Leave a comment

2016, Grade 6 EQAO math assessment show decline in meeting standards

EQAO has released the results for the 2016 math assessments for 2016 provincial-level results of the primary- and junior-division Assessments of Reading, Writing and Mathematics (written by students in Grades 3 and 6), and of the Grade 9 Assessment of Mathematics. Their news release titled “Elementary school reading results continue to rise, while math results continue to fall. Half of all Grade 6 students did not meet the provincial math standard in 2016.”  The news release includes links to additional EQAO documents and EQAO will release the individual school board results on Sept 21.

  • The area of concern is the grade 6 math results: “The percentage of students in Grades 3 and 6 who met the provincial math standard has decreased steadily over the past five years. Half of all Grade 6 students did not meet the provincial math standard in 2016.”

This has been media news over the past 25 hours – here are some links that might provide additional perspectives and analysis.

Back in April the Ministry announced a new math strategy including the following:

“Starting next September, key elements of the renewed strategy will be introduced including:

  • A minimum of 60 minutes each day of protected learning time for effective mathematics instruction and assessment for students in Grades 1 to 8
  • Up to three math lead teachers in all elementary schools
  • Coaching for principals of select secondary schools to lead improvement in math among their students
  • Support for learning at home through parent resources that provide helpful tips and information on the mathematics curriculum
  • Better access to online math resources and math supports such as Homework Help or SOS Devoirs
  • Math support for Grades 6 to 9 outside of the school day
  • Opportunities for educators to deepen their knowledge in math learning, teaching and leading, including a dedicated math Professional Development Day to further their school improvement efforts.”

Check it out! Rowan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 1, 2016 at 9:35 am Leave a comment

mPower at TVO brings games learning to build math skills (k-6)

TVO has created a FREE online “games-based resource that builds problem-solving, critical thinking and math skills” for grades K-2 (available now)  and Grades 3-6 (coming soon) with an aim to foster a positive attitude about math.

It is call mPower and is based on the Ontario curriculum and provides a teacher interface / dashboard allowing teachers to  upload class lists, and to track player progress. It is responsive in a friendly way  to student progress and scaffolds suggestions  if a student does not answer correctly.  Teachers need to register using your school board email and then upload class lists in which students receive unique logins.

TVO also delivers Homework Help for Grades 7-10

Check it out! Rowan

August 31, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

Elementary pre-service teachers need to improve math skills

Today’s Toronto Star (GTA section, p. 2) includes an item by Louise Brown titled [in the online edition] Elementary Teacher’s Weak Math Skills Spark Mandatory Crash Courses.

“Elementary teachers’ weak math skills — some can’t even recall Grade 6 fractions — have sent Ontario teachers’ colleges scrambling to launch mandatory crash courses, with some making student teachers pass a math test to graduate.”  Brown includes a list of steps/programs that the different Ontario teachers colleges are doing in order to increase comfort levels, refresh or increase skill levels.

In 2008, CMEC released a report titled: Teacher Education and Development Study in Mathematics and their report concluded on page 30 … “there are a few conclusions from the study that may help elicit further discussion among policymakers and educators:

• In general, Canadian institutions do not seem to have very strong requirements in mathematics for individuals wishing to enter into teacher-education programs. Other than assessments to meet the requirements for a course in mathematics or in mathematics education, there is no formal test of the mathematical knowledge or skills of future teachers at the completion of their program of study.

• Most educators of mathematics or of mathematics pedagogy for future teachers in Canadian universities are specialized in areas other than mathematics, and few hold a doctorate in the discipline. At the international level, about one-quarter of educators who participated in the TEDS-M study held a doctorate in mathematics, with a higher proportion in higher-performing countries. In Canada, 10 per cent of participating educators held a doctorate in mathematics.

• With regard to knowledge of mathematics and of mathematics pedagogy,Canadian future teachers at the elementary and lower-secondary levels performed above the international average. Although Canadian 15-year-olds have performed among the top-ranking countries in mathematics since the inception of PISA in 2000, it appears that there is potential for further improvement by possibly providing future teachers at the elementary level with more advanced training in mathematics that covers elements beyond the school curriculum, and by providing future teachers at the lower-secondary level with more advanced training in testing- and assessment related topics.”

Check ’em out! Rowan

May 13, 2016 at 3:17 pm Leave a comment

Is memorisation a good strategy for learning mathematics?

This eye-grabbing title is  the latest Pisa in Focus (#61) monograph from OECD.  Many education systems are debating this very issue: should students be learning by rote, including memorisation, vs discovery or  a  more inquiry-based program?  The PISA study found finds the most 15 years olds commonly use  memorisations to learn math;  in Canada 28% of students reported that they mostly memorise to prepare for a math test. However the ‘better’ students (perseverant, positive) were less likely to use memorisation strategies.

From page 4:  “In some situations, memorisation is useful, even necessary. It can give students enough concrete facts on which to reflect; it can limit anxiety by reducing mathematics to a set of simple facts, rules and procedures; and it can help to develop fluency with numbers early in a child’s development, before the child is asked to tackle more complex problems. But to perform at the very top, 15-year-olds need to learn mathematics in a more reflective, ambitious and creative way – one that involves exploring alternative ways of finding solutions, making connections, adopting different perspectives and looking for meaning. So yes, you can use your memory, just use it strategically.

Bonus, read the blog article. Final paragraph: “In some situations, memorisation is useful, even necessary. It can give students enough concrete facts on which to reflect; it can limit anxiety by reducing mathematics to a set of simple facts, rules and procedures; and it can help to develop fluency with numbers early in a child’s development, before the child is asked to tackle more complex problems. But to perform at the very top, 15-year-olds need to learn mathematics in a more reflective, ambitious and creative way – one that involves exploring alternative ways of finding solutions, making connections, adopting different perspectives and looking for meaning”.

Check it out!

Rowan

March 23, 2016 at 8:00 am Leave a comment

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