Dan Meyer at an earthly hour

July 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

It was great to meet Dan Meyer in Sydney and get a fresh dose of math inspiration. Having learnt from him a few years back it was great to hear about more of his strategies for the teaching and learning of maths. The 3 points that hit home for me were: be creative to hook students, provide good opportunities for students to ask questions and ‘we’ve got a great responsibility’.

Hook students –   Use sweet graphics, stop-shot video, interesting photos or whatever to get students started. By beginning a lesson with some boring ‘mathematical’ introduction you’ve definitely lost half of the students. Why not invest some time in making an introduction engaging and let students ponder for once… I like using splicd to create situations like this.  Dan got us started with a pennies video that was great.

Student questions – Set up your intro to the lesson such that the students can’t help but ask questions. When Dan was taking us through this step he noted all of the questions that we asked as a group; we voted on these results. We normally think that a math scenario simply has a question and answer. This step helped us to see that there are loads more questions to ask.

We’ve got a great responsibility‘ – Dan has said previously that these students in our class will be the ones looking after our economy, schools, hospitals in the near future. Given the amazing power of maths and it’s great potential we are doing students a great disservice by not making things interesting, challenging and engaging. These students will need maths to solve so many of life’s problems.

Thanks Dan for taking such a long trip to visit us. We were glad to see that you had a good time at Hugos, Zumbo and 4 Pines.

Pyramid of Pennies

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