Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Reflections and Learning from 'Movies and Math'

I was delighted to attend several of Kathy Cassidy’s presentations at GETCA (Greater Edmonton Teacher's Convention), this past week. Through Twitter I have come to know her as grade one teacher who fearlessly and meaningfully integrates technology in her classroom.  She shared tips, tools, student blog posts, math movies, and apps that she uses in her own practice as a grade one teacher in Saskatchewan.  

Jo Boalar’s online course How to Learn Math and Sherry Parrish’s excellent book, Number Talks have made me eager to increase the math conversations in my online classroom, and Kathy’s sessions highlighted some new tools to make this happen. Here are some of them.

Free and Awesome Math Apps

What’s fabulous about these first three Apps is that they are available for both the computer and the ipad.  And best of all they are free. Play with them and see how they will support math learning in your classroom. Division one students will easily pick up how to use these Apps especially if they are modelled in day to day math discussions.

Once students have completed an activity with any of these Apps, save their work by taking a screenshot. Not sure how to do this?  To create a screenshot of your iPad display, press the sleep/wake/power button (at the top-right of the device) and the Home button (below the screen) at the same time. There are many ways to to get a screenshot on the computer but one of my go-to tools is Greenshot. It's free and easy to use. Now to use these images to create a math movie.

Tools for Math Movies

ScreenChomp, Show Me, and Explain Everything are the tools that some of my students have used to create math videos. All of these are for the iPad, a tool which I know not everyone has in their classroom.

Young children can be challenged to speak and draw on the screen at the same time.When a student is using these applications - add all the images and the on screen drawings before creating the recording. Once everything is in place, students can press record and explain their thinking.   

ScreenChomp  Here is a short video explaining ScreenChomp. If you want to know more about this App check fellow blogger David Salmon's Post: Unleash Your Student's Knowledge with ScreenChomp.

Show Me - Getting ready to create a Show Me

Explain Everything  
Explain Everything is a tool with lots of options but not one that young students could easily use independently. The videos that my students have created with Explain Everything have been done with the one on one support of an adult.  

Inserting videos in a Google Form

I plan to have my students use these tools to demonstrate their understanding of math concepts by creating their own math videos. The next step will be to get them sharing their videos with others and having other students respond to the videos.

There are many ways to share our Math Movies. Check the recent Div1 Edtech post on blogs. However I want to try something new. I've discovered that you can now insert a video in a Google form. I am interested in giving it a try. In my online classroom I would post a video in a Google Form and use that as one way to capture student responses. Although the creator of the video would not see the responses I would gain insight into student thinking.

A Powerful Practice for Learning and for Assessment

Whether your students are in a classroom together or scattered across the globe imagine the power of students creating recordings of their math thinking and sharing their videos with others in a variety of ways. My goal is to have all of my students creating recordings and responding to each other as we continue to collaborate and grow in our math learning. I use simple sentence starters to guide students as they give responses:

'I heard you say...', 'When you said... I thought....', 'Did you try...? 'Can you tell me more about...', ' I learned ....', Now I understand...'.

When it comes to assessment, these math videos give me one more opportunity to listen to student voices and guide them in the next steps for learning. As students think, process, clarify, reflect, respond and rephrase there will be a lot of great learning happening. And that makes me happy!