Sunday, 22 June 2014

Teaching math without words?!

Below is a quote taken from the youtube comments page of this video.  I struggled with math in high school and maybe the word-less approach would have helped, but I also agree with the comments made by this youtube user.

Now I can see this being very helpful for students with developmental disorders or mental disorders quite a bit, but fundamentally mathematics is communicated with language.  This is essential if you even want to step one foot into the square we scientists call mathematics.  Anything, what we should be doing is encouraging students to do a better job of convincing themselves in a manner (without giving them the visualizations) intuitively.  This will help prepare them for doing ACTUAL mathematics later in life, for example when making proofs; the heart of mathematical thought.  Intuition and creativity are very important in mathematics but a rigid, formal structure is needed to approach any discipline of mathematics properly.  As a student that was quite discouraged by my teachers from mathematics, especially in secondary school, my love for mathematics grew because I wanted to teach myself "why" things were true, because I wasn't getting that from software."

Thursday, 19 June 2014


I'm sharing this video because I went to school and played hockey growing up with Scott Slater and his twin brother Brad.  I haven't been in touch with either of them since high school but I was happy to come across this TEDx video.  Scott Slater has put together an outdoor education program called Outside45.  There is not better way to get students involved in their environmental schooling than taking them outside.  It is active learning at its finest.  Congratulations Scott Slater.

Friday, 13 June 2014

Active Learning Stratigies

In an effort to make my class more interactive and engaging I am looking into ways to increase active learning.  I found this short video that discusses active learning and ways to implement it both in the classroom and online.

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

A changing education paradigm.

I like these RSA Animate videos.  This is one narrated by Sir Ken Robinson who is a world renowned education and creativity expert.

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Do schools kill creativity?

Having done most of my PIDP program, the following video has come up a few times in various courses.  I thought it would be worthwhile posting it here to give others a chance to view it.  Ken Robinson is very well spoken and has a good point.  It is 20 minutes well spent.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

What to do about late students?

Here is a great resource regarding what to do when students come late to class.
 I am still trying to figure out what works best for addressing lateness in my class.
I'm wondering how others deal with this issue?  Do you send them to the chief instructor after a few offenses?  Deduct marks? 

Monday, 2 June 2014

Classroom Management

I teach a 24 week course called "Electrical Foundations".  It is a mixture of shop, lab, and class time.  I have 16 students of which 15 are men.  They range in age from 18 to 31.
My classroom management issue stems from one student who is an "over participator".  He is eager to learn and pays attention which is great, but he is always the first to answer my questions and often attempts to answer them before I have even finished asking them.  He starts guessing and shouting out possible answers as I am finishing.  I personally find it very distracting, but more importantly it doesn't give the others a chance to respond and I am finding now that many students have simply given up on trying to beat him to the answer.  
I am beginning to address the issue by reminding him before I pose the question that I would like him to give others a chance to answer. 
In hindsight I should have realized this issue in its infancy and addressed it then, but we seem to be making progress nonetheless.
 Now I'm interested to hear other classroom management issues and how they have been dealt with.