Archive for the ‘technology’ Category

summer professional reading: Teaching Math with Google Apps

Posted on: July 20th, 2017 by jnovakowski No Comments

IMG_6290Teaching Math with Google Apps: 50 G Suite Activities by Alice Keeler and Diana Herrington

 

Foreward by Jo Boaler

 

Published by Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc. 2017

 

This book opens with a foreward by Jo Boaler, with a call for educators to transform math classes. She references the Forbes list of skills needed for employment such as teamwork, problem solving, communication – all of which she argues can be enhanced through collaboration with technology. She also addresses the issue of “speed” and mathematics and how some students believe they are not “math people” because they are not fast. Boaler explains how the simple submissions of thinking and solutions on a Google form can take away the focus on speed in mathematics.

Authors Alice and Diana have both been math teachers at the high school and college levels. They emphasize the importance of digital tools in reimagining the math class with a focus on collaboration. They outline seven ways to use Google Apps to teach math:

1) Post Directions

2) Watch Students Work

3) Collaboration

4) Shift Students to Higher DOK Levels

5) Students Research

6) Shift to Facilitator

7) Conversations for Depper Understanding

The majority of the book is dedicated to overviewing 50 activities to teach math with Google Apps such as “Small Group Investigation,” “Discuss Strategies,” “Analyze Data Sets” and “Create Geometry Constructions”. The authors suggest asking yourself, “how does this activity make learning better?” Most of the activities use Google Classroom, Google Docs, Google Sheets or Google Slides and provides the advantages of using each format. Also used are Google Search, Google Forms, Google Drive, Google Chrome, Google Drawing, and Google Flights,

FullSizeRender

Links to examples and tutorials are provided.  Some key reminders are interspersed throughout this section:

Teach like YouTube and Google exist.

The person doing the work is the person doing the learning.

We are a community of learners and we help each other get better.

The back matter shares examples from classrooms and highlights DOK levels (Depth of Knowledge), the 4 Cs (creativity, critical thinking, communicate and collaborate), mathematical practices for the CCSS and the 5E instructional cycle (engage, explore, explain, elaborate and evaluate).

There are lots of great ideas for tech integration and student collaboration throughout this book. Be mindful that some districts have policies or concerns regarding students having gmail accounts and as Alice has clearly said on Twitter – Outlook and Google apps aren’t really compatible. If having gmail accounts for students is frowned upon, like in my district (Richmond), take some of the ideas from this book and figure out how to make them work with the platforms that you are able to use! That will be one of my goals for the coming year as I see so much opportunity in technology enabling  our secondary students to engage in in-class, cross-class and cross-school collaboration around mathematics.

~Janice

Big Mathematical Ideas for Grades 3-5: year four

Posted on: May 25th, 2017 by jnovakowski No Comments

This after school series is in its fourth year, focused specifically on the foundational mathematical concepts in grades 3-5 such as operations, place value and fractions. This year, we met once a term after school in Jennifer Plummer’s French Immersion grades 3&4 classroom at Homma Elementary (thank you for hosting Jennifer!).

For our first session in the fall, we focused on number sense and operations and the curricular competencies of reasoning and communication. I had recently been to the NCTM Regional Conference in Phoenix and shared a great game that I was reminded of in one of the sessions there.

The Product Gameboard

The Product Gameboard instructions

IMG_8825

At our second session, in January, we focused on financial literacy and mathematical inquiry. I shared the new Pizza Co. game for the iPad from Osmo as well as some other resources and children’s books to support the financial literacy content in the BC Mathematics Curriculum.

IMG_1593 IMG_1592

BC K-5 Mathematics Big Ideas

BC_Financial_Literacy_Resources

For our third session in April, teachers in the series requested a focus on assessment, place-based learning and connecting the core and curricular competencies.

IMG_3864

 

BC K-5 Math Communication

K-5_Math_Connections_between_Core_and_Curricular_Competencies

We explored curricular content and competencies by investigating with power polygons.

IMG_3863 IMG_3865

Looking forward to continuing the conversation around big mathematical ideas next year!

~Janice

elementary math focus afternoon 2017

Posted on: January 17th, 2017 by jnovakowski

We hosted this year’s Elementary Math Focus Afternoon on January 16 at Byng Elementary. Over 250 educators attended, from 14 schools.

IMG_9865

There were a range of sessions to choose from and a huge thank you goes out to all the teacher facilitators who shared with their colleagues. A special thank you to our colleagues from Surrey and Delta who shared with us.

Elementary Math Focus Afternoon Jan 16 2017 program FINAL updated Jan 13

IMG_9872 IMG_9874 IMG_9875 IMG_9876

IMG_9898 IMG_9899 IMG_9900 IMG_9901 IMG_9902 IMG_9903 IMG_9904

Rebeca Rubio shared some of the many math resources and kits from the District Resource Centre.

IMG_9878 IMG_9879 IMG_9880

Tracy, from the Canadian Federation for Economic Education, shared resources to support the financial literacy component of the math curriculum, particularly around the Talk With Our Kids About Money initiative.

IMG_9871

The schools attending each contributed a display of materials, documentation or resources sharing an area of professional inquiry amongst their staffs.

IMG_9877 IMG_9881

IMG_9883

IMG_9905

IMG_9884 IMG_9887 IMG_9888 IMG_9889 IMG_9890 IMG_9891 IMG_9892 IMG_9893 IMG_9894 IMG_9895 IMG_9897

IMG_9886

IMG_9866 IMG_9868 IMG_9869 IMG_9870

QR code Math Tags were available with links to IGNITE videos, websites and blogs.

IMG_9860 IMG_9861

Math Tags 2017

 

General Handouts:

BC K-5 Mathematics Big Ideas (one pager per grade)

BC 6&7 Mathematics Big Ideas

K-5 Math Connections between Core and Curricular Competencies

6-9 Math Connections between Core and Curricular Competencies

The Sum What Dice Game Jan2013

Product GameBoard

BCFinancialLiteracyResourcesShared

 

Session Handouts:

Fred Harwood Grid Algebra 1

Fred Harwood Grid Algebra 2

Barker & Schwartz Picture Books Math & Literacy

Bebluk & Blaschuk Formative Assessment

High-Yield Routines September 2015

Linear Measurement final  from Marie Thom’s K-2 Measurement session

Primary Math Routines (Carrusca, Wozney, Ververgaert)

DST Formative Assessment for All

Jacob Martens Numeracy Competencies Presentation

Sentence Frames for Math ELL

ELL Tier 2 words poster

Carrie Bourne Mental Math Poster – Faire 10

Carrie Bourne mental math poster – valeur de position

(contact Carrie for more Mental Math Strategy posters en francais)

MIchelle Hikida Grades 1-4 Mathematical Inquiry

Michelle Hikida Symmetry

Sandra Ball’s Power of Ten Frames presentation and handout

 

A big thank you to the Byng staff for hosting and to all the facilitators for sharing their experiences and inspiring their colleagues in their sessions.

~Janice

looking for math outdoors

Posted on: January 4th, 2017 by jnovakowski

During my last visit of the year to the Kindergarten classes at General Currie Elementary, it was a snowy and icy day so we decided to venture outdoors with some iPads to capture images of things that inspired our mathematical thinking. We had a quick talk with the students about how to look for math outdoors – looking up, looking down, looking all around. We talked about what math might look like outdoors – the counting of items, the shape of things, patterns in the environment, as well as sources of inspiration for thinking about math.

One of the first mathematical ideas we played with was shadows – how does your position affect your shadow? what determines the height of your shadow? what do we need to think about if we wanted to put our shadows in height order?

img_9287 img_9288

As with the case of all our school sites…there is a story that lives there. General Currie was one of the first one room school houses on what was originally called Lulu Island. We stopped briefly at the historic building that is still on the new school’s site and talked about the time elapsed – what school might have been like, what the neighbourhood might have looked like, etc.

img_9289 img_9290

We ventured on to the field and took photos as we walking along noticing nests in trees, tracks in the snow, all sorts of ice and frozen leaves.

img_9291 img_9292

img_9295 img_9296 img_9297 img_9298

The ice was a source of fascination and many questions for the students. They were also very interested in some footprints they found and wondered about the size of different footprints or tracks.

We came back into the classroom and the students used the app Skitch with one of the photographs they took. They labelled, circled or used arrows to show where they noticed math or what inspired a mathematical problem or question.

img_9301 img_9302 img_9303 img_9304

Classroom teacher Kelly Shuto then showed some of the students “skitches” to the class to inspire further questions.

img_9305 img_9306

The following week Kelly tweeted out about the class photo book they had created, based on the idea “What math lives here?”

img_9481

img_9480 img_9479

In this crisp wintery weather, what will your students notice outdoors? What math lives in the frozen puddles and tracks through the snow? How far do animals need to travel to find food? What might your students wonder about?

~Janice

Richmond’s first IGNITE event – #sd38ignite 2016

Posted on: May 10th, 2016 by jnovakowski

The Richmond School District hosted its first IGNITE event on Monday, May 9th at the Big River Brew Pub. The first IGNITE took place in Seattle in 2006 and is now a movement that is international in scope. An IGNITE talk is a five minute presentation consisting of 20 slides, auto-advancing after 15 seconds whether the speaker is ready or not. The IGNITE tagline is….”Enlighten us, but make it quick!”  More information about the IGNITE movement can be found here.

Having presented a few ignite talks and experiencing the inspiration and fun that goes along with these social events, I really wanted to be able to bring this professional learning format to our district and my colleagues Rosalind Poon and Lorraine Minosky were on board and we ran with it. Chris Loat created our logo for us…

SD38 Ignite logo

And both Chris and Lisa Schwartz agreed to be our technical support for the event.  We found a site and had a meeting at the Big River Brew Pub to see where attendees would sit and how the technology and food service would play out.

IMG_3246

We invited Richmond educators representative of primary, intermediate and secondary as well as a balance of teachers and administrators to share a story about something they are passionate about. We also invited two out of district colleagues to add to our Richmond stories.

Two weeks before the event, we hosted a rehearsal especially for educators who were new to the ignite format. It gave them a chance to meet other igniters and to practice their presentation in front of an audience. By seeing and discussing what we appreciate about others’ presentations, I think it also gave presenters some ideas for their own ignites. And its always great to have sushi…and pens.

IMG_3841 IMG_3842

IMG_3844 IMG_3845 IMG_3846 IMG_3847

As we were setting up on May 9th, we were all so excited to see everything fall into place. The venue was great and it was a beautiful day so the patio was open, the technology was cooperating and the tables were set with programs and sweet treats from Sinfully the Best for our guests.The burger bar was a hit and the company was great. Unfortunately two of our igniters (Neil Stephenson and Sarah Garr) had to pull out due to personal reasons.

IMG_4220 IMG_4222

IMG_4225 IMG_4224

IMG_4223

IMG_4221

Some of the guests…

IMG_4228 IMG_4229 IMG_4230 IMG_4231 IMG_4232 IMG_4233

And then the talks began! I was live streaming the talks using the Periscope app and people that weren’t able to attend the event could still watch the talks live. Between each “set” there was a 15-minute break for guests to chat about the talks, etc.

IMG_4247 IMG_4252 IMG_4253 IMG_4254

Twitter was alive with #sd38ignite…we were trending!

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 11.49.53 PM

It was such a positive, passionate event and such a great way to build community amongst colleagues. All our igniters shared their own personal narratives within their professional narratives and these stories are what connect us and make us better together.

We will be releasing the IGNITE talks on youtube soon…watch twitter for announcements!

A HUGE thank you to our igniters…you are what made the event the success it was!

IMG_4246

~Janice

using iPad technology to support all students in mathematics

Posted on: April 7th, 2016 by jnovakowski

Last week I was invited to do a presentation with Richmond’s Learning Resource Teachers, sharing ways that teachers can use iPad technology to support all of their students in mathematics.

IMG_3143

The use of technology can support students in different ways –  through the use of audio narration (ie. screencasting) of explaining mathematical thinking or strategy use and for many students, using their fingers to navigate or “print” using iPad technology is more accessible than using a pencil/pen. The visual (and often audio and kinaesthetic or gesturing) support is also particularly supportive and this is an area the math apps I have recommended attend to. The Math Tappers apps (developed by University of Victoria math education professors) all provide different types of visual supports and tools for students and provide different “levels” of entry points.

IMG_3145

The TouchCounts app (developed by SFU math education researchers) involves moving visual support, audio support in multiple languages (students can choose) as well as the use of physical gesturing which all contribute to many different ways that students can access an understanding of composing and decomposing quantities/number.

IMG_3144

The apps from The Math Learning Center is Oregon all provide virtual manipulative that students can access for both mathematical thinking and solving as well as representing. Students and teachers often use these apps to “app-smash” with, where they take a screenshot of what they created with the virtual manipulatives and then use that image in a annotation app like Skitch or PicCollage or a screencasting app like ShowMe or Doceri. This app-smashing creates a way for students to document and share their learning.

IMG_3146

Here is a link to slideshare where I have posted the section of my presentation about the different apps. CLICK HERE.

~Janice

google expeditions at Homma

Posted on: March 16th, 2016 by jnovakowski

Peter Ritchie, a grades 6&7 teacher at Homma, organized a visit to his school from Google Expeditions. Anna and her Google Expeditions car along with two class sets of 3D viewers with phones (Google Cardboard). Classes each were scheduled for a half-hour time slot to go on a virtual field trip. The classroom teachers chose their field trip based on the class’ current units of study – Ancient Egypt, the Coral Reef, the Moon.

IMG_2947 IMG_2948

Chris Loat, Gordon Powell and I were asked to be some extra sets of hands for the day and it was such a great experience. The students had so much fun and were screaming out in excitement, often having troubles sitting still and wanting to move around (which is a bit of a safety issue when you have viewers covering your eyes) and the students were often reaching out with their hands to touch things they saw in their 3D viewers. The teacher uses an app on a tablet to choose what students are seeing, although students can move their heads to see a 360 degree view of the location. The teacher can also pause the screen and click on different notes on his or her tablet to read aloud or explain to the students. Many of the teachers used the What do you notice? and What do you wonder? frame to engage students and to continue the experience back in their classrooms.

IMG_2950 IMG_2951 IMG_2966 IMG_2968 IMG_2991 IMG_2998

A video of our morning together can be viewed HERE.

~Janice

 

~Janice

inclusive learning communities: grade 8 math at Boyd, year two

Posted on: March 16th, 2016 by jnovakowski

Several schools in our district are participating in Inclusive Learning Communities projects, with a school team working alongside Learning Services staff to consider inclusive principles and practices. Hugh Boyd Secondary is continuing with a its second year in the project, investigating the question: How can we meet the diverse needs of our students in our grade 8 math classes?

A summary of last year’s project can be found HERE.

This year, the school team met with Shelley Moore and myself to look at class profiles, develop performance tasks for the beginning of a unit of study, consider and plan for inclusive practices within lessons and discuss ways of assessing students. This year, the teachers chose to focus on algebra (solving equations) and linear relations (graphing). We looked at the prescribed learning outcomes, considering what students needed to know to be successful at the grade 8 level – language, concepts, processes, skills. I introduced the team to the number balance as a way to think about balancing equations and emphasizing the concept of equivalence.

IMG_1506 IMG_1508 IMG_1511

New this year was a collaboration with SetBC – the school was provided with a half-class set of iPad tablets loaded with apps suitable for communicating learning in mathematics. SetBC facilitators provided support to the Boyd teachers in learning how to use screencasting apps such as doceri.

One of the lessons we developed together was having the students use the number balances to represent algebraic equations and then use the app ShadowPuppet to capture their process and understanding.

IMG_2496 IMG_2501 IMG_2503

A short video of this lesson can be viewed HERE. The teachers noticed the high engagement of the students and how some students were able to demonstrate their understanding of the mathematics in ways that played to their strengths.

The teachers followed up with lessons, continuing with the students creating screencasts using iPad technology.  The students were provided with choices of algebraic equations to create a table of values for and then graph using the doceri app (it has various graph paper backgrounds to choose from).

IMG_2595 IMG_2597

During our debrief session before spring break, the teachers identified the new practices that helped to meet the needs of their students and that they felt would endure for them: using a performance task before the unit of study to assess where students are in their understanding, using manipulatives/models, using open-ended learning experiences, presenting three or more different entry points for students (different complexity of questions or problems) and using iPad technology.

~Janice

elementary math focus afternoon: January 18 2016

Posted on: January 26th, 2016 by jnovakowski

On the afternoon of January 18, we hosted staffs from eleven elementary schools at Byng Elementary for our second Elementary Math Focus Afternoon of the year. About 160 educators attended an opening presentation followed by a choice of several concurrent sessions, over two time slots.

IMG_2051

IMG_2049 IMG_2046

IMG_2047

Schools were also asked to bring something to share by putting it out on display in the gym – something new we were trying and received positive feedback from schools staffs about.

IMG_2061 IMG_2062 IMG_2063 IMG_2064

Sessions available to teachers included kindergarten programming, supporting all learners in mathematics, screencasting using iPad technology, high yield routines, mental mathematics, inquiry and geometric thinking.

IMG_2058

IMG_2060

IMG_2052

During the second time slot, we also tried an “EdChat” format where teachers came together around an area of interest (primary, French Immersion, etc) with a facilitator and were asked to bring something to share that they have tried since our last focus afternoon or a question that they had. This collaborative type of participatory professional learning is new to some teachers in our district and we will continue to think of ways to nurture this structure in future events.

IMG_2055

As always, we ended the afternoon with teachers discussing with each other what they were going to try in their classrooms, connected to the redesigned curriculum and of course, there were draw prizes!

IMG_2050

~Janice

the new Numbers game for Osmo

Posted on: October 15th, 2015 by jnovakowski

I am a huge advocate for the Osmo system for iPads. I first introduced Osmo on this blog post here.

The company just recently release a new game that I was very excited about – Numbers. I received it in the mail and opened my box and automatically thought it was so clever. It comes with digit and dot tiles but the dots only come in 1s, 2s and 5s creating great opportunities for thinking about numbers in parts.

IMG_0587 IMG_0588

Two Fridays ago I visited the grade 1 class at Kidd Elementary and all the students got to give Numbers a try. Suffice it to say, it was a huge hit! The students were asking where they could get the game and I emailed our DRC right away for the classroom teacher to get the Osmo kits into her classroom!

IMG_0594

The grade one students had some great comments on the game:

“We use our brains to make the numbers.” – A

“I like that there are numbers to choose from.” – W

“I like that you get to make the numbers and that you get the fishes.” – K

“There’s not enough 1s to make 11 so you have to think of a different way.” -W

“You can think really hard.” – K

IMG_0600

One drawback I noticed on Friday for classroom use is that you have to acquire “points” to open up new levels. This is great when a child is using it at home but for classroom use, it would be preferable to allow for different entry points for different students. I might be missing this accessibility somehow so am going to look into this further.

At this point, until I gain access to the higher levels, I can’t really comment on the other tasks available but it looks like there’s great possibilities for thinking about decomposition and composition of numbers, counting and addition.

~Janice