Tag Archives: education

Your MATHS lesson “silver bullet”? Maybe not, but pretty close!

One way to build a POSITIVE vibe in your Maths lessons, and it only costs $4. Try it out! Literally THOUSANDS of primary students around Australia are benefiting each and every week using this tremendous resource.

Practical Maths Leadership materials in primary schools are hard to come by.

And INNOVATIVE, CREATIVE Maths materials are even harder to find.

BUT . . . they exist, they’re written freshly each week, and they’ll add a real, GENUINE SPARK to the way in which the children in your class think about Maths, right now and into the future.

Give them a go! Just $4 and you’ll IMMEDIATELY receive this week’s Maths Pack via email.

Visit http://www.EdShop.net.au/math-worksheet-for-teachers/

Just $4 to discover “Maths Gold”!

That’s http://www.EdShop.net.au/math-worksheet-for-teachers/

 

 

When Maths Skills and Reading Skills Collide

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What a shame!

Too many of our students are perfectly capable of “doing” maths.

But they can’t!

Why?

Because they can’t read the worded problems.

It’s a READING skill they lack, not a maths skill!

So, what are we teachers meant to do about THAT?

Practise. Practise. Practise!

Develop a “maths reading vocab” that will stand them in good stead.

AND, have them solving maths problems THAT CHILDREN HAVE A NATURAL INTEREST IN!

AND, have them solving maths problems at a level appropriate to their reading and maths skill levels.

EVERYONE likes to succeed!

So, let’s give our students the very tools that will help them succeed RIGHT NOW, as well as build a solid foundation for the future.

Such materials DO exist!

Take THIS WEEK’S Worksheets, for example! They include problems on the Winter Solstice in Australia (June 21st), runner Ron Clarke’s record-breaking run, the new children’s holiday movie “Inside out,” and loads more.

Some of them are RIGHT HERE — all you need to do is ASK!

Enjoy!

Why Primary Teachers Deserve — a Fair Break!

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Once upon a time there was a curriculum — Maths, English, etc. — in primary schools that clearly set out a standard towards which all students should strive.

Sure, some students would well and truly exceed that standard, while others would struggle, but, under the teacher’s guidance, do the very best they could with what they had!

But, today, what do we have?

Some pretty books, some whiz-bang technology, some amazingly-equipped buildings, and heaps of kids who don’t know their tables!

Oh, yes, and we have homework sheets galore that seem to challenge parents and students alike.

Maybe the old ways weren’t so bad!

Maybe a solid curriculum that DEMANDS students and teachers to stretch, to challenge themselves without having to design and redesign their particular school’s approach to the learning essentials, would be a GREAT THING for all.

But, maybe that’s just Pollyanna stuff!

We’ve done our bit, with our interest-packed homework and worded problem sheets.

But teachers and schools need to be given permission, and a concrete curriculum, that actually makes teaching more manageable for all.

Better outcomes would be the ASSURED result!

And isn’t that what we ALL want?

Technology in the classroom: Does it REALLY help, or hinder?

We’re in a bind in education.

We seem to have classrooms increasingly being filled with technological wonders.

And that’s good!

But we also seem to have classrooms in which the students are megabytes ahead of the teachers who are trying to teach them in the area of technology.

Not good enough!

Teachers need the training, the professional development, that will AT THE VERY LEAST give them a fighting chance of understanding what their students are doing on their laptops and tablets (the electronic ones, I mean!).

The old saying that a tradesman is only as good as his tools is only partly true when translated to the classroom situation. We seem to have developed a scenario in which the tools are pretty-well available, but the expertise to manage them and use them to maximum effect in a positive way has eluded us.

Perhaps it’s time for industry to step in and become an active partner in our education system by offering to train our valuable classroom teachers in the technology of today.

After all, it’s the students of TODAY that will be the business professionals of TOMORROW.

How about it, business people?

Teachers should use Law Week for their Maths Teaching! And new-born Princess Charlotte, and Prince Harry, and . . .

Every day, every week, every month provides primary teachers with opportunities to use the news of the day to teach.

“To teach what?” you ask.

Well — not to put too fine a point on it — LOTS OF STUFF!

Who says teachers have to categorise all leaning into “timetable-sized chunks” for easy digestion.

Who says indeed?

Like, LAW WEEK this week offers so many opportunities to teach aspects of English (how the law SHOULD BE WRITTEN), reading comprehension (the Old Melbourne Gaol, and the hangings there!), the Ghosts of parliament house, and in Maths, the way lawyers charge, the entertainment this week through mock trials, how juries work (12 Angry Men, etc.) and so on.

But, what a GREAT way to teach maths in a REAL way!

And that’s just in LAW WEEK.

What about Mothers’ Day, or Royal Baby Charlotte Elizabeth Diana Windsor, or 2-year-old George Windsor, or Prince harry and his adoring minions, or the Federal Budget, or the Soccer v AFL debate, or discount shopping, or … or …

Our Maths Worksheets do this. But why don’t YOU do it as well, at your school?

Just a thought!

Oops! I forgot to teach that!

With technology in everyone’s pocket these days, it’s a temptation to think that children know far more than they actually do!

Mr Google, that wonderful machine, is never far away.

And Cirri is there, ever present, to answer their every need. Well, almost!

But we teachers have to see through this mist, this subterfuge, and use our special “teacher-detector-facility” to get to the bottom of the reality — that many children these days can cope with the superficial stuff — the research (copy and paste), the investigation (group work and so-called “teamwork”), the tests in which students can take in with them texts, cheat sheets, calculators that have the capacity to land a person on the moon . . .

And yet they can’t give you change from $10 without a machine telling them how much to give.

Yes, sure, things have changed. But is that change better?

To be sure, in some ways it is. The English curriculum has done it well! It is a prime example of an approach, relatively recently adopted, that GENUINELY teaches students how to express themselves, how to identify manipulation in texts and newspaper columns, how to present their arguments in public in a competent, interesting and fluent manner.

Great! But, Maths?

Are we preparing our students, not just for a career, but for a life in which calculations are a daily necessity?

Maybe not!

Another look at the curriculum, perhaps?

Here’s hoping!

Who Teaches Maths Best — Schools or McDonalds?

Sometimes the so-called “experts” get in the way.
And that’s ESPECIALLY true in education.
Spelling standards? Out the window!
Grammar? What’s that?
Tables mastery? Oh, so boring!
Automatic response? Why? We have calculators and iPads to do that!

Well, some of us think that this is a tragedy! A REAL tragedy.

We’re TRYING to do something about it through our website.

But, really and truly, it’s up to “the experts” to reverse the trends, to remedy their ways, to reform the curriculum so that it actually addresses some of the weaknesses that are so GLARINGLY OBVIOUS to anyone who cares to check.

SO . . . Good on McDonalds for training the teenagers working for them. For enforcing standards of work and efficiency and honesty and reliability and . . . I could go on!

May our schools take on some of the McDonalds attitudes and values. Not a popular thought, but a GREAT one!

Thanks, McDonalds!

Average in Maths Can Be Goodo

Well, well, well.

Couldn’t have said it better myself!

This Letter to the Editor in Melbourne’s Age Newspaper (6/1/15) shows how statistics — even as they relate to the heady world of schools and educators and education — can be misused — even abused!

And if our students aren’t being taught how to use maths correctly by our “educational leaders”, politicians, Principals, etc., and how to interpret data in a sensible, thoughtful, wise way, (being always aware, of course, of the many ways available to ‘skew the data’), then heaven help our generations of tomorrow, mathematically speaking!

My thanks go to Mary O’Callaghan, of Ashburton, for this thoughtful and perceptive view of the way in which stats are being abused by many in our school communities.

What a tragedy!

Here’s the letter:

“Don’t be sucked in

The billboards appeared at most elite  schools the day after the VCE (Year 12) results came out. Writ large are percentages of ATAR scores and individual subject scores. The statistics are a marketing tool that would shame any respectable maths department.

We aren’t told how many were streamed out or shipped in with scholarships. Was extra support given to the high performers?  And what is the  message the billboards are giving? Are schools claiming full credit for the results? Enticing gullible parents  with “we can do this for your child. Just pay us a small fortune”?  Do the parents believe it?

Average is good.  After all, it is what most of us are.  Let us celebrate excellence in effort, not just results.  Parents, ask your school to show how it can benefit your child, your average performer.  Ask it to demonstrate how it values excellent effort and citizenship.  Maximise your hard-earned dollars for your child’s benefit, not the school’s academic profile.

In their marketing war, schools appear to be marginalising the students and parents who are responsible for their very existence, the majority.  If this is not the case then let us hear it loud and clear.  Let the billboards proclaim the school’s value-base in educating our precious children.

Mary O’Callaghan, Ashburton”

Rote Learning — The old way, or the NEW way? A Mentor, please!

These days in schools, it’s cool to be cool.

It’s GREAT to be up with the latest IT, the software that promises so much.

But, DOES IT DELIVER?

So many valuable educational dollars spent on so much fantastic-sounding technology.

So many valuable educational dollars spent on the promise of software that will deliver great outcomes.

So few teachers who are in a position to capitalise on all this “promise” that surrounds them.

So, what is a school administrator to do?

Look good? Appear progressive with government and with peers?

Or SLOW DOWN, and bring along the teachers in an orderly, sensible, encouraging manner?

How about, then we all slow down, take a well-earned, much-needed educational “deep breath”, so that some of the proven teaching and learning methods of the past aren’t “lost” in the “promise” of the new, state-of-the-art technologies and hardware that at the moment seem largely a diversion, rather than a valuable teaching tool.

The old ways, like rote learning. Getting number facts and functional vocab into the long term memory of students.

Like, “automatic response” development, such as the teachers of old used to learn their tables, their spelling, their — lots!

And, how about we encourage each and every teacher to find their own teaching mentor — someone whom they trust, respect, “worship” and can easily learn from as they seek to improve their own teaching performance.

Too much to ask?

Too much NOT to ask!

Best Teacher Christmas Prezzie Ever?

And WHAT does a Chalkie want for Christmas?

Loads of possibilities.

But, I mean REALLY want?

Well, to the typical teacher, it’s as simple as — relaxation.

No meetings, no yard duty, no reports to write, no lesson planning.

Don’t know how Santa can wrap this very special teacher gift up, but . . . he’ll find a way!

So, relax, and enjoy!

You’ve earned it!

Have a happy and holy Christmas.