The Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario plans to align the Learning Connections project with our overall BIPSA question of: “How does a collaborative inquiry inform student thinking and learning?” As teachers, we need to be making visible connections between data collection, student thinking and achievement, and the inquiry process. We need to ask questions to extend our student thinking and we need to use technology to enhance student learning. Our Learning Connections project will focus on the use of technology in mathematics; with a specific focus on “What does good mathematics communication look like?” We will incorporate the use of technology into a variety of classrooms across the board. Teachers will use different technologies that will engage our 21st century learners, and bring their understanding of the big ideas in mathematics to a new level. Research shows that students who enjoy and like mathematics are more likely to meet the provincial standard on the EQAO mathematics assessment (EQAO, May 2012). With that being said, our goal is to make the learning of mathematics enjoyable and meaningful.
Technology is way to engage our students and will be a new avenue in which they can communicate their mathematical thinking. Our team will co-plan, co-teach and co-debrief throughout the remainder of the year. We will use Teacher Professional Learning Cycle to incorporate the use technology in our classrooms so our students can collaboratively answer varying levels of mathematical inquiry questions. By using a variety of technologies in our classrooms, the eventual hope is that students engagement will promote effective communication as well as debrief student learning across the board in a class to class (or school to school) fashion. The use of SmartBoards, iPads and video conferencing programs are a few of the forms of technology that we intend to use throughout the project.
This year our board is focusing on student voice in mathematics.
We decided to follow the same goal, but this time look at how technology can increase student communication in mathematics. (We learned that while technology is engaging, it might not necessarily be the thing that gets our students talking more in mathematics. Providing our students with rich math tasks is the key to getting our students communicating in mathematics. Technology was a means of delivery, a tool to engage and to capture student voice).
We started looking at what effective communication looks like in mathematics
We looked at monographs, videos from Cathy Bruce and Lucy West that focused on Math Talk Guidelines and Math Talk Moves
Board approach using Accountable Talk (for all areas of the curriculum, but we looked at how we could specifically use this in math)
We started my reflecting on how we could bring technology into the Consolidation component of the lesson.