Unit 1.1d: First Impressions

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    Martina Metz

    In what ways do the five Math Minds principles resonate with your current views about teaching and learning mathematics? In ways do they challenge your current views?  In what ways do they prompt you to think about things you may not have considered before?

    • This topic was modified 3 years, 5 months ago by Martina Metz.
    Sarah Richards

    The 5 principles have already all been broadly accepted by me and I’m looking forward to finding out more about them. It was interesting that cognitive science has moved into philosophy, anthropology etc. I hadn’t realised that. It was useful to get some new vocabulary e.g., ribboned lesson structure. Minds link overlapping events seems the most challenging to me. How to overlap events meaningfully?

    Martina Metz

    Hi Sarah…. If you’re interested in the minds linking overlapping events and how to structure learning to increase the likelihood of meaningful associations, you’ll probably find variation theory to be of great interest (if you haven’t already)!

    E Pedley

    Increasingly I’m aware that variation in lessons is great but is dependent on the learners having understood crucial elements. I’m a big fan of using problem solving questions later in the lesson to give the pupils opportunities to tie the knowledge together. However giving staggered variation and letting learners discuss and make connections is something I want to do even more of.

    Looking forward to learning more.

    Martina Metz

    Yes, problem solving can be a powerful way to integrate familiar ideas! In Sessions 1.2 and 1.3, we highlight ways that appropriate variation can be used to prompt attention to crucial elements.

    Mandy Forbes

    I have already come across the first 4 principles and try to incorporate them in my practice. I struggle with getting the level of variation right for all learners. Some students grasp ideas much more quickly than others, it often feels like I’m holding them back.
    Overlapping events sometimes occurs naturally but could be used to highlight less obvious connections.

    Martina Metz

    Hi Mandy, Working with diverse groups is probably the #1 challenge identified by the teachers we’ve worked with as well. In Session 1.4 and again in Unit 2, we highlight the importance of identifying the key elements that can be (meaningfully) varied within a particular topic. This can open up spaces that are helpful both for supporting those who struggle and for extending in ways that challenge those who are ready. That way, everybody can work on the same idea even if some do so with more complex examples. As an added bonus, when there is a clear connection between the easier and harder variations, those who start with the easy ones are more likely to transition to the harder ones.

    Dominique BODIN


    Using already Variation Theory ideas in my teaching I’m looking in the RaPID model for :

    1) The formative assesments interleaving with the raveling phases.
    2) How to manage high achievers Ss with extension/bonus question without slowing down later the whole group for giving them specific feedback and corrections.
    3) Using a Moodle environment, I’m trying to implement interactive plannings and I’m wondering how the RaPID model would fit in a kind of Blending learning.

    Best regards,
    Dominique BODIN

    Brooke Senek

    I really enjoyed learning about the math models and principles. The one significant aspect that resonated with me was that working memory is limited. I think this is an important reminder for all educators, as most times we tend to get carried away and want to teach the most that we can, in order to be efficient with time. Although this is possible, we need to ensure that we are not overloading our students’ memory, as this can cause for information to be misunderstood, lost, or completely forgotten. As a result, it challenges our current views of time, and the overall methods behind teaching. I will definitely take this information, and remember it when teaching any subject, especially math.

    Danielle Calder

    This learning has been very interesting and certainly a refresher from my high school math experiences…The one significant aspect that resonated with me was the concept of providing engagement time. I believe this is an important part of the math process to help support students learning the material bringing them closer to success and decreasing their learning gaps. This time to manipulate and reflect certainly benefits my learning so this time would also help me when teaching and learning with diverse math learners.

    Erica Mastropaolo

    I found the five Math Minds principles extremely interesting as it provided me with a unique framework to think and reflect on my approach regarding mathematics. One aspect that resonated with my views about teaching and learning mathematics is the concept of a ribboned lesson structure. I connected with this notion as I found that as I student I would often benefit from lessons that were well paced and provided me with time to practice. Also, Principle 5 challenged my thinking and current views as I often make connections or try to find relationships between two concepts, although this may not always be the case. Overall, these principles have challenged and encouraged me to think about mathematics through a new lens.

    Scott Keane

    Yes, I really enjoyed learning about the 5 principles and feel that it was somewhat new to me to learn about pacing and how moving too quickly can really hinder the learning process. Also, I found that principle 5 was noteworthy as there are so many connections that can be made between math and other subjects and strands. Really interesting stuff!

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