Tuesday, 4 September 2018

Tongan Language Week

Malo e lelei.  It's Tongan Language Week all week. Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e Lea Faka-Tonga.

Did you know?
With a population of over 106,000 people, Tonga is an archipelago of 169 islands (of which 36 are inhabited). The 175th largest country in the world in terms of area, Tonga consists of 748 square kilometres of land scattered over roughly 700,000 square kilometres of ocean.

Do you know about Coconet TV, a national treasure and fantastic classroom resource.

What could we do in maths classrooms?

Taha.   Learn the Tongan number system

0= noa     1= taha     2= ua    3= tolu     4= fā, 
5= nima    6= ono    7= fitu    8= valu     9= hiva

10 is hongofulu (hoh-ngoh-foo-loo)
 100 is teau (teh-ah-oo)

every other number is made up of the words for 0-9 with 3 exceptions
  • sixteen is one six taha ono
  • twenty becomes two zero – ua noa
  • 54 is nima valu
 22 uo ua,  55 nime nima and 99 hive hiva

Ua.  Explore linear relationships with the Figure it out activity - Tongan Travel (level4)  or
Tolu. Create Pasifika patterns 

Fa. check out the coco cooking section of Coconet TV for ideas for a shared lunch and a lot of maths.

From NZ Curiculum online
"Tongan Language Week / Uike Kātoanga’i ‘o e lea faka-Tonga supports the curriculum principles of cultural diversity and inclusion, and provides an opportunity for students to:
  • demonstrate the vision of connection to a global community
  • explore the values of diversity, community, and respect
  • achieve learning outcomes described in the learning languages area
  • make use of key competencies, especially using language, symbols, and texts, and relating to others."

Friday, 29 June 2018

What's on

The longest night is behind us and its time to look forward to the days getting longer and the calendar of events for Term 3

Kalman Awards - apply now! 
The Margaret and John Kalman CharitableTrust is again generously supporting the achievements of secondary Mathematics and Statistics teachers in the Auckland region. John Kalman was a professor of Mathematics at the University of Auckland from 1964 to 1993, and a leading promoter of Mathematics in New Zealand.

The inaugural winners  were Subash Chandar K, Ormiston College and Mala Nataraj, Selwyn College. They each received a prize of $5000 from the Margaret and John Kalman Trust. In addition they spent a day at the Department with 30 of their students.
Students made Enigma machines with Pringles tubes and conjectured and generalised about “stacks of cans”. Tanya Evans spoke about employment and careers for those with a Mathematics degree and students were intrigued to view and learn about a Gomboc. One student made a ‘vlog’ about her experience that featured interviews with members of the Department and showcasing her Enigma machine and the Gomboc. They also visited the Unleashed Space in the Department of Engineering. This space includes Maker Space which houses the latest 3-D printers, laser cutters and much more. The day concluded with a Maths Trail around Albert Park

Applications will be accepted from individual teachers and groups of teachers from Secondary schools in the Auckland Council region.
Details may be found here .
Applications must be received by 5pm July 30th

Kohia Exam Papers: order now for delivery July 20
Practice exam papers will be available for each of the mathematics and statistics externals for Level 1, Level 2, and Level 3 Statistics and Calculus.
orders can be placed now for delivery from July 20th

Australian Maths Competition: August 9
Entries close Friday July 6th. Use this link if you have yet to register or have extra students you would like to register for the competition.

 Derek Glover, has taken over from the late Alan Parris as the new national director for the Australian Maths competition. Email Derek if you have any questions about the competition.  derekglovereducation@gmail.com

Maths Week August 13-17

Maths week is turning 21 in 2018. Lets celebrate by topping the2017 numbers where 297,258 students and 4,882 teachers took part.

Registrations are open https://www.mathsweek.co.nz/registration

Image result for image for balloons 21Image result for image for balloons 21Image result for image for balloons 21

This years topics include:
The Golden Ratio, A.I., The Largest Prime Number, LOP codes, Noughts and Crosses, The Maths Chase, Indices Cycle Race, Maths Millionaire interactive, Daily Dollar Questions, Maths Games.

AMA Casio-Mathex August 22 & 23
August 22nd  (Years 9 &10)  
August 23rd (Years 7 & 8) 

The AMA Casio Mathex competition is one of the largest maths events in the country. Almost 2000 students attend the  each year.  
Make sure you don't miss out by getting your registrations in early. Schools may enter up to two teams from each year level. Entry is free to AMA and PMA member schools.
The event is again being held at the recently renamed  Barfoot & Thompson stadium, Kohimaramara Rd Rd. (at Selwyn

2017 Casio Mathex Final in action


AMA Saturday morning  September 1.
Where: Faculty if Education & Social Work, THe University of Auckland, Epsom Ave
When: 8.30 am - noon, September 1
$5 Koha

Friday, 25 May 2018

Tall poppies

There is a tendency for us all to look off shore for expertise, however many countries look to NZ as a world leader in education. In this post I have gathered together links to sites of NZ teachers and schools that are leading the way in open sharing of their resources for math & stats teaching and learning.  I am aways in awe of how teachers manage to complete these sites on top of everything else that is part of a teachers life.

If you have a site or know of other sites let me know and i will update this post

STEM Online A resource for NZ students by NZ teachers
Hosted under the University of Auckland learning management system CANVAS which requires a double sign up. The effort is worth making, to access the rich resource that STEM Online offers us. Resources for tables equations and graphs (AS 91028) are live and more is in the pipeline for other standards.

Nayland College is world famous in NZ for their  maths & stats site Started by Max Riley, now retired, Nayland College pioneered the open sharing of resources for teaching and learning maths.

The new Google sites makes it easy to build and share a site.
Priscilla Allan, Pakuranga College, uses Google sites to put students in charge of their learning. Have a look through her  2018 junior classes site.

Jamie Sneddon, St Kentigern College, has put together a comprehensive site for Level 2 Networks
This is a huge leap forward from the Padlets I created for Networks and Co-ordinate Geometry  a couple of years ago.
A Padlet is still however a useful tool for sharing information or collecting student feedback.

Jamie also has sites  for AS 91587 Systems of Equations  and  AS 91574 Linear Programming  and AS91264 Inference  All sites are being gathered together for easy access on Sned Maths

Tamaki College maths department site which then links to each teachers site. Miss Munoz's Year 9 class use a blog to reflect on their learning.

Best Maths is full of content for Year 7 to Year 13
http://bestmaths.net/ . 
Ro Bairstow of Kings College is behind BestMaths

Ormiston Senior College: are leading the way in the use of spheros, personalised learning and youtube
Liz Sneddon and Subash Chandar K  are both recipients of the Earnest Duncan award for the work they have done for students and teachers across NZ.
Liz has produced a series of statistics workbooks for all  and shared via a google site
Subash is the author of the you tube channel infinityplusone. When I last looked there were over 2500 subscribers.

Jake Wills of MathsNZ fame not to be confused with NZMaths made all our lives easier with NZGrapher . In the 28 days leading up to April 18 over 900 000 dot plots alone had been created.

If you are teaching stats, which is all of us, a must read is Anna Fergusson's blog teaching stats is awesome.  I recently discovered the online VIT module of iNZight there. Perfect for a visual representation of sampling variation. Anna has also has a companion site Learning stats is awesome  with some very cool tools.

You will find all sorts at  Jim Hogan's (Team solutions) site.  Jim's site includes an archive from years gone by.

I am dabbling with google sites. I started with junior Algebra & 91028
I am liking the collections feature of Google+ to curate things.

I have found SOLO useful for helping  teachers new to NCEA understand relational and extended abstract thinking. Lots of resources available from HookED

Last week I came across these resources for pedagogy curated by The University of Auckland. This site covers many things digital for the classroom.

and recently launched is The Education Hub . At The Education Hub they are helping us to bridge the gap between research and classroom practice. Currently there are short articles and guides that could be used as a focus for department meetings around self assessment, high expectation teaching and the importance of learning skills.


Friday, 18 May 2018

Why maths talk ?

Communication and collaboration are touted as essential skills for the modern workplace.
Being able to think creatively and articulate your thoughts is a highly valued skill in an increasingly competitive world.

Encouraging talk in maths classes not only helps prepare students for the modern workplace, it also builds competency in reading and writing (Britton, 1970).

"Mathematics is a language that enables us to describe and model situations, think logically, frame and sustain arguments and communicate ideas with precision. Students do not know mathematics until they can 'speak' it. Interpretations for concepts remain mere ‘shadows’ unless they are articulated through language. We find that many students have never had much opportunity to articulate their understanding publicly. " Maths Assessment project

Maths Solutions suggest that getting students to talk in maths classes also supports:
  • robust learning by boosting memory
  • deeper reasoning
  • language development
  • development of social skills 
and that it also
  • reveals understanding and misunderstandings

If I want my students to talk more in class then i must think about 
  1. How do I facilitate classroom discussion ?
  2. What would my classroom a safe place for students to talk and take risks
  3. How do I encourage students to communicate  
To encourage students to communicate 
  • Build the relationships with and between students in the class (whakawhanaungatanaga)
  • Encourage voicing of  "other ways" 
  • Make student thinking public via scribing ( board, padlets, shared doc)
  • Restate students’ strategies
  • Use their contexts rather than mine
To make the classroom a safe space for students to share their voice 
  • Build the relationships with and between students in the class (whakawhanaungatanaga)
  • Develop a risk taking mistake making culture
  • Make sure all students have enough time to think and process (wait / thinking time)
  • Value all responses without judgement
To facilitate discussion
  • Ask questions that have multiple answers. Students could discuss the answer in teams, then in pairs and finally I could get them to  individually write a response for their team mate to read. the response could be  a single sentence.  eg two numbers sum to 180 what could they be?
  • Use prompts like those on Which one doesn't belong , 101qs what is the first question that comes to mind?  or  a statistical graph from census at school data viewer so every students can participate. and have them start their discussions using prompts I notice ... or I wonder ..., I agree/disagree with ... because...; I think ... doesn't belong because...
  • Use discourse rich tasks eg investigating number patterns

 100 Questions to promote discourse  is one of the most useful documents I have found. Questions are grouped in categories eg questions that help students work together, rely more on themselves, reason, evaluate their progress

Want to read more? This white paper offers strategies for Orchestrating Mathematical discourse

or if you prefer to watch

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

How do we get students excited and curious about mathematics?

When students are curious they are more likely to be engaged. But why? What, is curiosity and how does it work? A study published in the journal Neuron suggests that the brain's chemistry changes when we become curious, helping us better learn and retain information

In their study Grubner and Ranganath(2014) explored how curiosity influences memory. They found that states of high curiosity enhance both the learning of interesting information, and also the more boring stuff.  Applying this to the classroom maybe we could interpret this as  "students will learn more about topics they are curious about"
The authors of the study also discussed how much of what a person experiences in a day is forgotten.  This made me wonder, how much of what happens during an average school day do our students remember? 

How do we get students excited and curious about mathematics?

Do we uncover the magic?
Eddie Woo, Mathematics teacher and youtube star says "It is magic until you understand it and then it is mathematics" 

Multiplying by drawing lines - an ancient mayan method appears to be magic until you find out Why it works

Do we create an element of surprise?
These curated tasks for  primary and secondary aim to do that. they were Featured in an article from nrich's recent news titled from WOW to Why.

Do we use  hooks?
A hook could be a real-world example, an interesting problem, or a novel way of looking at a familiar situation. Middle-school math teacher Michael Giardi was featured in ASCD's weekly news. He uses hooks and prompts at the beginning of class to engage students. In this blog post, he describes how this approach promotes productive struggle and gets students thinking like mathematicians.

Do we build on the successes of others?. 
This recent ERO publication: Teaching approaches and strategies that work - keeping children engaged and achieving in  mathematics highlights approaches used by schools that focused on improving outcomes for students in mathematics in years 5-8.

Gruber, M. J., Gelman, B, & Ranganath, C. (2014) States of curiosity modulate hippocampus-dependent learning via the dopaminergic circuit. Neuron, 84(2), 486-496. http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(14)00804-6 .

Tuesday, 6 March 2018

making connections 2

My first making connections post was about making the connections between strands of the maths &  stats curriculum. This post is about making connections between people.

He aha te mea nui o te ao. He tāngata, he tāngata, he tāngata
What is the most important thing in the world? It is people, it is people, it is people.

Thinking about this whakatauki and our our first two Team days of 2018 I decided that this year that I would be more explicit about the place of whakawhanaungatanga in my practice.

Whanaungatanga: (noun) relationship, kinship, sense of family connection - a relationship through shared experiences and working together which provides people with a sense of belonging. It develops as a result of kinship rights and obligations, which also serve to strengthen each member of the kin group. It also extends to others to whom one develops a close familial, friendship or reciprocal relationship.

As we worked together in our teams of three, learning to 4 strand plait we reflected on the fact that relationships come in many forms. In our work we have the learning relationships that are built between teacher & student, the socio-emotional relationships that students build between each other. There are also the relationships we build with colleagues, families and whānau. 

Building strong relationships is often taken for granted as a skill all teachers possess; yet this might be an area in which teachers need support and professional guidance. (Aspden, McLaughlin & McLachlan, 2015)

We talked about  “Knowing your learner" being like an iceberg. Learners only show you what they want you to see. It is important to go below the surface to find out what is really going on. 

The Iceberg

Knowing your learner has many layers:

The behaviours they display – Our perception from observations

What makes them tick – the things that engage and inspire them

Their relationships – How they interact with other people

How they feel – Their perception of the world around them in different situations

We also acknowledged that in our work as facilitators we must ensure we are being honest, trusting and respectful as this forms the basis of successful strong relationships. (Bryk & Schneider, 2002)

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We all acknowledge that relationships are at the heart of our work. Our learners do better when they know they are respected and cared for. We work better with our colleagues when we feel valued and our ideas and beliefs are respected.

The big question is how do we ensure that we form, nurture and maintain these relationships?

Bryk, A., & Schneider, B. (2002). Trust in schools: A core resource for improvement. Russell Sage Foundation.

McLaughlin, Aspden, and McLachlan. (2015). How do teachers build strong relationships? A study of teaching practices to support child learning and social–emotional competence, Early Childhood Folio Vol 19 NO 1: 2015

Saturday, 10 February 2018

teachers learning from teachers

Today  Ormiston Senior College opened their doors to mathematics teachers to share how they are personalising learning utilising technology. Teachers came from Albany in the north to Onewhero is the south.

I was definitely the kid with a new toy as I learned to drive a sphero.
With a bit of trial and error however the sphero was off.

I think the best day of school just got better.

Many thanks to Ormiston Senior College, Subash and his department for hosting us - A great morning - lots of learning - and lots of ideas shared.

Next stop
Auckland Maths Association AGM & Quiz Night
Get a team (of 4) together  or join a team on the night

Wednesday February 28th 
Mt Eden Bowling Club, Epsom Ave, Epsom.
Happy Hour 6-7pm
AGM followed by quiz night,