Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Math P.D.

Had the math consultant into our school today to discuss with us the concept Mathematizing. I don't know of anyone else who gets as excited about math, except for maybe me. Mathematizing is sort of a transitive verb for doing math. The author (we're getting the book and I'll reference it then) feels that a valuable math 'lesson' forces students to "interpret, organize, inquire about, and construct their own meaning". The thoughts were valuable but now I need to construct my own meaning and make the ideas relevant for my students.

In reading the article today for math professional development I came across a phrase that struck a cord in how I want my classroom to operate. "Community of Discourse" (Fosnot, 1989) seemed like a great way to express an on going development of ideas. Catchy phrase!

The author wrote about a 'Landscape of Learning' based on a better understanding of a child's knowledge rather than specifically on a learning goal. The analogy was that of a sailor who plots a course and while journeying has to make changes to that course. Accounting for wind direction and current, stopping for supplies, and steering course away from storms while still aiming for the destination (the learning goal).

I can see video games having the ability to steer students away from misunderstandings and refocuing their attention on learning tasks all in an effort to aid them in constructing their own meanings.

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