The Quilchena intermediate teachers are engaging in a collaborative professional inquiry this school year, looking at ways for students to represent their learning in mathematics. Alongside this, is looking at forms of assessment that are authentic and honour the different ways that students are representing what they know.
The teachers are beginning to use math journals as a way for their students to record mathematical thinking and today during our team meeting, I suggested the importance of opportunities for oral rehearsal before students record their thinking in writing and diagramming. I shared some examples of screencasting using the iPad as a way to capture mathematical thinking and to have “evidence” of this for assessment purposes.
I spent the last block of the day in Ms Simpson’s grades 4 and 5 class. This week, the students had been working on using benchmarks to help them estimate when adding large numbers. They were doing a game from their textbook aimed at practicing specific skills. As the adults circulated in the classroom, they asked the students to explain their approaches to estimating the sums of a pair of numbers.
I pulled out my iPad to use the ShowMe screencasting app with one grade 5 student and captured his thinking in the ShowMe below:
We shared the student’s ShowMe with the rest of the class and the students and teachers were intrigued by the use of technology in this way. I think this oral and visual capture is a great way for students to sort out their thinking and show what they know. I’m looking forward to continued work on this inquiry project this year.