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19.8.19

E.R.A - My teacher training model


"Successful maths users search for patterns and relationships and think about connections." 

Like a true mathematician I have to abstract principles out of data and create a formula! 
Hence I did that after years of teacher training too. My training draw upon the formula that I have created and named as ERA. There are 3 aspects of teaching: Content, Process and Product. I mostly focus on process for that leads to product directly. Content is not in our hands anyway. 

The objective: To scaffold systems for Teachers to think in a new way about the process of teaching Maths. 

Step 1 - Experience - E - Create an experience for them. 
In the words of Lewis and Williams (1994, p.5): “In its simplest form, experiential learning means learning from experience or learning by doing. Experiential education first immerses learners in an experience and then encourages reflection about the experience to develop new skills, new attitudes, or new ways of thinking.” Experiential methodology doesn’t treat each subject as being walled off in its own room, unconnected to any other subjects.

Whichever strategy I want the teachers to learn about, I immerse them into it like students. They do it. If it is a game, they play it. If it is art, they draw it. If it is a project, they engage in it. 
Experience what is Multiple Intelligence 
Step 2 - Reflect - R - They reflect on it. 
This is the tricky part when I give them space to think for themselves how useful the strategy is in their set up. I tell them 'you are the cook. how useful is this recipe?' They get into groups and discuss. This is where I also learn to be open minded and humble. For at least 1 group comes back with 'nice strategy ... but...'. Initially I used to get into a scuffle. But over the years I have learnt to humbly back off or adapt the strategy for their needs. This is the school of 'no perfect strategy exists'! With a change in my attitude, I find that they feel safe. 
Think and discuss how useful is the experience
Step 3 - Act - A - They act on it.
Post step 2, the teachers are relaxed. They feel safe. Then they are ready for the final step, 'show me how you will integrate this in the next lesson that you are teaching'. Here they work freely as per their selected groups and come up with their ways. Then they share with others and it is a fun session with clapping and cheering. 

Develop a lesson around your learning
ERA is not a mechanical tool to be emulated and followed. Within its core is a deep respect and connection with the human in us. That is the back bone. For at any moment I am ready to change the sequence of steps I have planned for the workshop. The A is reached only if the facilitator is able to make the teachers feel safe enough to explore out of their shells. 

There are no wrong answers in a training. If the teachers are thinking for themselves, it is going great! The clarity of their questions, their ideas and their goals tells me how much they would implement in the classes. 
Listen but give them space

Be a mindful and kindful facilitator!

#monicakochar, #humanemaths, #maths, #teachingmaths, #education, #teachertraining, #training, #experientiallearning, #reflectivelearning



15.8.19

Empath as a Teacher

How does one handle high sensitivity?

Empath is a word that is now coming into the majority vocabulary. We can not ignore it anymore. For we can not ignore any development of understanding of human psychology as we are a deeply human industry (educationists). A teacher or a student who is an empath would find it very overwhelming to be with so many people for most of the day. Hence must know about it.

In a nutshell: (www.drjudithorloff.com)

"Empaths are highly sensitive, finely tuned instruments when it comes to emotions. They feel everything sometimes to an extreme, and are less apt to intellectualize feelings. Intuition is the filter through which they experience the world". 

I was always told that something is wrong with me. Any one of you felt the same? I was told, 'you are too sensitive'. Judith Orloff (www.drjudithorloff.com) has helped set so many of my confusions and fears about myself by helping me to recognize myself as someone having empathic abilities. Some of the things she says have helped me to feel at peace with my self today.

 I am sharing this so it may resonate with you or a student that you have. If it does, please note that nothing is wrong with you or them. You are not too sensitive, you have some abilities and that can be managed with some common sense. 

Here is what Dr. Judith suggests:

Don't take on too much.Keep the goals realistic. I had a tendency to have so many goals for few weeks that it would take me a year to finish them. I take it easy now, and operate by my standards.

Down time is a must. Leave empty spaces in your day for being in your own space where you feel comfortable. The nervous system needs time and solo space to absorb and assimilate all that it has absorbed through the day. Ideally start and end the day with down time. 

Keep breathing. Empaths feel trapped in emotions and and stop breathing. Energy stays stuck in the system and does not circulate. Have several check-ins for yourself during the day. 'How is my breathing?' I find, after trying a lot, that long and deep breaths does it for me. I feeeel the energy flowing in my system. Best is that I can do that no mater what else I am doing. Breathe from abdomen and deeply. Try this exercise.

Keep healthy boundaries. Say NO. I love it when Judith says - Feel your pacing - How much time do you want with others? No one can answer this for you. Feel it and do not hesitate to tell others 'I need to be off to cool off'. Empaths find it hard to say no. watch out for your self. 

What works for you? Nature, poetry, yoga, shower, lonesomeness, friends, meditation - What works for you to calm yourself? Find out. Again...feel. Sometime back I started getting this urge to read poetry for no reason. There is just a sense of relief and joy when I read a poem. I also ended up doing a MOOC course and loved it. I did not understand that I was getting in touch with my empathic self. Feel what is drawing you for calmness? And go for it. Calm yourself down. 

Nature breaks. Nature is the best. Go to a park. Sit next to a tree. Feel the natural world. Feel the earth. From your feet. Feel the electrons. FEEL Take nature holidays. 

Body focus. Every time you feel overwhelmed, focus on some part of the body. Scan your body often to check if you are grounded in it. Empaths have a tendency to lose awareness of the body. Here is a great body scanning exercise.

Most importantly, be mindful. Watch out when you feel overwhelmed by the sensory overloads. Once you are aware, you will know what to do! And the teach the students too...

What do you say? Do you believe that empaths exist?

PS: Empath is different from Empathy.

#monicakochar, #humanemaths, #empaths, #education, #HSP, #evolution, #education

4.8.19

MI and Maths


Multiple Intelligence and Maths

I was invited to conduct a workshop on MI and Maths at Darshan Academy, Meerut.
2 hours! 
There are 3 sections to all workshops of mine, with an encore.
My plan

·        1st when they EXPERIENCE deeply what they are expected to implement.
 2nd when they ANALYSE and debate about it.
3rd when they show an example of IMPLEMENTation of it in their classes.

Finally, when they set goals.


1st
MI Test

I gave a MI self-check test to the teachers and asked them to check their own set of MI. they did it, analysed their results and then made some interesting discoveries.
“I did not know that I am nature smart”!
“I like music but it says I have no musical intelligence”!
Then I had a discussion with them about what MI is and is not. That it does not reflect how intelligent they are but which intelligences do they prefer to use when they learn.

2nd
We analysed the learning. I connected it to the whole brain through picture and a video of a classroom. They had to analyse the video and observe the number of intelligences that the teacher was using.
They also analysed a lesson plan to see how many intelligences are in action and suggested improvements. We talked and talked.
Analysing MI
Analysing a lesson
Analysing a classroom situation

3rd
This is the most interesting part for me. When they show me how they would implement it in their classes. I asked each group to take any topic, pretend we are living in the ideal world when there are no limits of time, and show us how they would have all intelligences used in teaching the chapter. They didn’t have to talk about it, but show it be presenting to the whole group. This is where there was an explosion of energy in the room as each groups came and talked, sang, danced and had fun.
Teachers presenting a lesson

Encore
Goals! Each teacher had to share a goal that would be implemented in the next week itself. Barring one, all other 22 teachers were very clear what they wanted to the next week to use the information learnt!
Thinking about goals

End of the day, the purpose is to have integration in the mind!

Could have done better!
Could have also asked for a goal for their own lives. Since they discovered something new about themselves on the day.



#MIandmaths, #teachingmaths, #maths

21.7.19

Will tech replace teachers?


Ritika Subhash wrote on LinkedIn in her post today “tech savvy teachers will replace teachers in future” (or something like that!) and bang…I had the flow for the next write-up. It was in 2012 that I quit teaching. I discovered that I had made myself redundant in the classrooms. 

The ‘tech savvy’ me had made the ‘me’ redundant. My classes were flipped. My students were learning on their own. I was only a manager. Someone who emailed to them the plan with all the web links and textbook work and they took over their own lessons. At times with a group and at times alone.

My students were groomed so well to be self-directed learners that they were happy to toss me aside!
How did this happen?

Flash back 2006
I walked into Pathways World school Aravali, a space with laptops and wi-fi. I observed students sprawled in corridors with their laptops doing god knows what for as per the IT department, the firewalls were very strong but the students just laughed it off! Not only that, they taught us too (some of us who were 'buddies' with them) how to go beyond them.

So I had an idea. I started designing lessons where they had to work on their own (alone or in groups) using the web links I would send and come up to me only if they needed help. I created a Gmail group of US with a new email id (I would not want them to chase me on my personal email) and would mail them their weekly tasks. This was grades 6 to 8.

And lo and behold! They took to it like fish to water. (Snapshot)

All discipline issues vanished for all I had to say was ‘let’s go back to textbooks’ and there would be a chorus of “no no no no…we will be fine”.
Discipline issues?
  • ‘I don’t have a charger’ …’Back to textbooks’…Mysteriously the charger appeared.
  • ‘My wi-fi does not work’…’Back to textbooks’…’Wi-fi is perfect now’.
  • ‘I could not access my mail’…’…’…’..’
You got my point? I had the magic tool!

There came a point when (please do not laugh) I.Missed.Them. I missed our banter and the exchange of affection. So at times I nudged them to get some attention from them. Their response? ‘Oh! MS.Kochar, do not disturb us. Let us study. Why don’t you have a cup of tea?’ (Yay! Pathways is that magical space where you can get a cuppa tea for yourself in the class).

I found myself redundant and the proof of it was when end of feedback found me holding a slip that said, “Ms. Kochar, the best gift you have given to me is you made Google my friend. Now if I need any information I don’t look for a teacher, I go to Google”. Yes…I was misty eyed. i made someone!
Coming forward!

Looking back I find a lot of truth in Ritika Subhash's statement. I was made redundant by the tech savvy ‘Ms. Kochar’. But there were issues with tech: Students needed the personal touch and missed it. (not just me). So I had to continue with my other ‘non-tech’ strategies also. Group discussions, projects etc…but in everything, I brought in the tech element.

1.     "End of group discussion, mail me a gist of what was discussed."
2.     Projects submission can be in any way including technology (a group sent me as a project submission a video of themselves doing the project!Check it out).
3.     Send me a feedback on this lesson.
4.     Work using the site today. Tomorrow we will have a discussion.
5.     Watch the video and answer the questions given on the handout. Then discuss with a peer his or her answers and compare.

You see! I ‘integrated tech’ in my classes. But I did not let it take-over. The personal relationships stayed as they were, in fact grew better.
Tech helped in many other ways too to make me self-empowered and actually reduced my burden of work.

1.     Pathways used Veracross as a LMS tool. I stopped maintaining a paper diary. All marks were immediately uploaded on the LMS and mails sent from it directly to parents wherever relevant.
2.     I started putting HW on Veracoss and ..well… students had no choice but to change when like a stubborn mule I would not tell them what the HW was. They had to find a way to get the blessed internet and find out the HW for the day (it was daily!)
3.     Students reports…the bane of our lives. Lazy me mailed specific targeted questions to students and asked them to mail me a report flowing through them. I added my 2 pence and posted them. They never went wrong for students knew themselves well.
4.     I did not wish to carry the heavy laptop around so I downloaded Dropbox and locked the school laptop in school.
5.     I used outlook outrageously to connect to parents and responded to them so quickly, there were no evening calls from anxious parents! And we bonded well for they appreciated the extra attention.

All in all…with these as few examples…I found few things:
1.     Tech is great as a helper. Not as a boss. Kids and us still need the personal connect.
2.     Kids need a lot of skill development for being self-directed learners before we can entrust them with it with a gadget.
3.     It does not work for everyone. There were kids who needed a teacher and would not learn from anything but me.
4.     LMS is great to learn and reduce one’s workload. Teachers must try it.
5.     There is a WHOLE world of teachers from all over the world online and ready to share their resources for free. Indian teachers can easily take charge of their personal and professional development through the material available.

When Pathways world school Aravali handed me a laptop and wi-fi password, they handed me a gift par excellence. They opened a new world for me and I am super grateful to them forever. I became a smarter teacher.


#monicakochar, #techinclass, #mathsteaching

14.7.19

Teacher Training in India, Part 3

(Continued from parts 1 and 2)
I did not start thinking "what principles should I use?" I grew into them. 

2 teachers helped me:
(1) Success: Every time a session is successful I reflected, "What made it successful"?
(2) Failure: Every time a session was not successful I reflected, "What happened?" 

 Over the years, I understood that more than content and knowledge, what is needed is your 'humanity'. Teaches are human beings who work with a very sensitive age group. They are sensitized to them. That makes them tough clients for they can sense just how real and genuine you are from miles away. If they do not respond to your product, it is not because they don't understand...it is because they feel and understand very deeply and can see through us. 

 There are 2 types of workshop leader. One who completely demolish teachers and where they are and then build them in the way the leader feels best. Then there are those who feel everyone has a 'wow!' in them and our job as facilitators is to nurture it. I am the 2nd kind. 

 I stay humane: 
A teacher in a school in Jodhpur could not keep her eyes open during my session.
Ego jumped out with a 'Is she bored?' I nudged her a bit, sarcasm being my tool.
She said, “My son has 102 degree fever and is alone at home. I had to come to school for your workshop and stay back too. I could not sleep at night for I was tending to him”.
Collapse ego…forget sarcasm. I tell her, “Just go…go home and tend to your child. I will inform the head of school.”
She gets up with reluctance…then walks out with gratitude. I wonder how the head of school could be so insensitive to her! Since I knew her personally I could take this decision.

 Learnt: Be human, confidently!

 I use "adaptive expertise" (Bransford, 2000):
Teachers in a workshop in Delhi would just not connect…no matter what I did. There was a very distracting restlessness in the room. So I could not just go on and on with my trumpet.
So, I stopped. And I said, “Something is not gelling. And I won’t go on and on unless I know what it is. If required I can wind up the session right away”.
And then it poured out…the level of stress they were working under.
So I changed my session to “Teacher stress and how to handle it”. I divided them into groups and asked them to brainstorm ways. Then had a whole group session where we came up with 25 ways to beat stress for Delhi teachers, the most popular being ‘retail therapy’…of course!

 Learnt: Never be obsessed with finishing your content. AAA-Adapt, Accommodate, Adjust.

 I use principles of neuroscience:
I use a lot of strategies that I learnt while teaching kids. I stumbled into ‘neuroscience in education’ while working with students with special needs and that has given me a lot of strategies very useful for everyone. Some of these are-
  1. Switch the mode: Switch your session every 20-30 minutes. Change!
  2. Tackle the whole person: Be aware of Cognitive, Affective and Psychomotor/Physical domains (Benjamin Bloom, Bloom’s taxonomy)
  3. Goal setting: Ask teachers to set 1 to 3 goals for implementation in the end. As Maya Norula, principal Hopetown school, Dehradun, said, “If teachers can get 2 to 3 ideas for work in their classes through the workshop, it is a successful session”.
  4. I am not an evangelist. I am one of them - I am one of you. I have been there. This is my message for the teachers. From the way I communicate to the clothes I wear. I don’t try to stand out. I try to stay a ‘teacher leading other teachers’. And this is what builds what Shelja Sen of Childrenfirst, India says “Connect” with the teachers. They open to me with trust. To the point that a teacher in Manipur asked me, “Why are you not wearing a dupatta? In Manipur we always wear a dupatta!”
  5. I don't use jargon - Jargon…words that are indecipherable. What a way to build a barrier between the audience and you. I am superior and you are inferior. I hate it. I don’t use it. I can transfer the highest of education principles using the most common language, my favourite being “cooking”.
  • Cover learning differences becomes “How would you feel if your whole family had to eat the same food day after day”
  • Creative teaching becomes “If your child does not like an apple, you bake him an apple cake without telling him”.
  • Teaching strategies become “I am just adding recipes to your recipe book. So you have a bigger choice to choose from when you plan your lesson”.
I don't get burn-out. I care for myself:
Finally…I care for myself. I do only as many training sessions as I can manage. I don’t give up passion for name and fame. I keep revamping my sessions to stay upbeat. I don't chase teachers who are too hardened to change.

I am grateful:
I take breaks and I take pauses in between sessions to ...‘simply breathe’ and enjoy being together with fellow educators. Teachers are different from other professionals. They are simpler and more sensitive. They operate from the heart. And I absolutely love being with them. It rejuvenates me and makes me fulfilled enough to face existence with a song in my heart.

(Concluded)
#teachertrainingindia, #teachersofindia, #teachingmatters



8.7.19

Teacher training in India Part 2


Knowles’ theory of andragogy is an attempt to develop a theory specifically for adult learning. Knowles emphasizes that adults are self-directed and expect to take responsibility for decisions. Adult learning programs must accommodate this fundamental aspect.Click here for details)

1 have 2 anecdotes to illustrate adult learning principles here. Believe me I did not even know the meaning of the word andragogy till 2 years ago! My work has been quite instinctive.

1
Choice
In a workshop where I started sharing my ideas, I found a teacher growing more and more uncomfortable. After a while she asked, 
“Are we supposed to use all these ideas in the classes?”
I said, “No way…it took me 20 years to develop these. Can you start with ONE?”

The teacher’s defensive attitude fell and she was more open, immediately.
What did I do?
I gave her “Choice”.
Adults require choice. To give them a structure and expect to work within it does not work, especially for such a fluid space such as a classroom.

2
Autonomy
You can either believe that you have it all or believe that the teacher has autonomy in her situation. If you believe the latter, then you would develop what is called “Adaptive Expertise” (Schunk, 2012, p133). “An expertise that is adaptable and open to be challenged. This is developed when one gets used to rethinking what one knows, allows oneself to be challenged and drop old views”.  

Simply put, the triple As of - Adapt, Accommodate, Adjust – as given by TanuShree Borundia of the Bangalore school called Shibumi.

I am a big proponent of “cooperative learning” in class. I stopped in my tracks when a teacher said, ‘but my classes have benches, how will I move them?” And then started the brainstorming exercise of how we can adapt our physical spaces to make cooperative learning possible.

Another time a teacher invited me to her class and try cooperative learning. At the end of it I said, “no way!” Not for this class.

I realized that no strategy is great. Hence I can only suggest the strategies to the teachers and help them adapt in their classes. But they need to have the autonomy to take the final call.
Choice and Autonomy…overlapping concepts yet different. Both step from respecting the space that the teacher has in her class.

Coming up next: Using principles of humanity to develop connect with the teachers.






5.7.19

Teacher Training in India-Part 1


I keep hearing about teacher resistance in India by trainers.

I've interacted with 1000s of CBSE/ICSE/ISC teachers in 100s of workshops and there was no group that I couldn't crack open to make them creative with maths. Teachers teaching from 30 plus years have written poems, danced, done role plays in my workshops and willingly. They also discussed concepts and debated on a lot of issues. 

How did I do that?
This is a long piece so I am going to write it in series. 

My way of working is as #StevenRae says, “Throw spaghetti on the wall and see what sticks". In other words, keep trying and observe both successes and failures. 

Initially
Initially I was the Ms. Know all! I knew it all about teaching and was the one to teach others. They knew nothing and I was god's gift to supply them with the answers. Needless to say, it was an uphill battle with me exhausted by the end of the workshops. Post each workshop I reflected on the day and discovered areas that are good and areas where I need to work. 

Turning point
Turning point for me was when I read #RohitPande of #classteacher.com, "teacher is the cook in the classroom" and I realized the truth of it. If they are the cooks, who am I? Well...I am the recipe provider. They get to cook the way they want to, I only suggest. Thus was born my 'style of connecting' to the teachers. 

Armed with this, and my content which I am proud of, I asked myself 3 questions:
  1. What am I sharing?
  2. How do I do that?
  3. How do I assess that they have absorbed?
Any teacher who writes lesson plans would relate to these questions easily. And I worked relentlessly on these following a Plan-Train-Reflect cycle. My main aim has been “connect”. Connect with them so that they are open to learning from me and I am open to listening to them.

Over the years I found that slowly the resistance crumbled and I was able to break into any group with minutes of starting the workshop. Reflecting on it, I found that unknowingly I was using deep principles of learning and those are encapsulated in this short series of articles. 

Coming up next, "The Two principles of Andragogy that I used". 

#teachertraining, #educationmatters, #teachersofindia



27.6.19

Teachers play games to implement



Teacher of primary are playing a game on addition that requires no material.

  • They play. 
  • They reflect. 
  • They improvise. 
  • They implement in classes. 

25.6.19

My failed class!


This lesson of mine completely failed! Although I had thought that it would be super successful. 

Grade 8
Class setting: Group
Mode of learning: Flip the class 
Lesson on: Percentage
Website to be used: www.aaamath.com 
Drill work: Textbook

The students worked in groups with their laptops. The school had free WiFi. As the students often ran in panting with "My battery is about to die" or "Net is working", thereby completely ruining the lesson, I had told them in advance, "Have battery back up for 40 Minutes and WiFi functional. Else you work through the textbook". 

I never had any tech issues...such is the (un) popularity of textbooks!

Now here is my perfect lesson- Have a look!

Clear instructions to the students

Website name emailed to them

The syllabus marked and mailed

They self study


They do the quiz

They work on the book

Perfect class!

Picture perfect lesson...right? I mean how can it be bettered (!) ... I am a genius teacher...were the thoughts in my head. And of course the class was SO quiet. IN an IB school where 1 kid is as good as 5...this was a dream come true. I was building SO many skills. Take a bow.

  1. They learn independence
  2. Time saver
  3. Organization skill
  4. Comprehension skills
  5. Self learning
  6. Problem solving in math
  7. Self paced learning

I should get an award right?

Till...1 voice squeaked, "I just can not do this! Give me the textbook". 
Harshly woken up from my dreams of fame I was and I wondered who is this rude pipsqueak, when I saw the kid, tears streaming from his eyes. And he said, "I can't do this!". And I found my lesson shattered and failed. 

And all kids stopped working as they waited for the 'Dracula' teacher to be mean!

So what happened?
As you can see, the site is very text heavy. 
The kid was dyslexic.
It has bright colours.
He was ADHD and could not focus. 

I fought my ego, for after all i made a brilliant lesson...and the ego lost. I swallowed the humble pie and handed the kid the textbook. Scooted next to him and helped him through the very traditional way.   The class went back to work. The kid came back to normal from his panic attack. I started breathing again. 

So what did I learn?
  1. Don't call a lesson perfect till it is over!
  2. There is no perfect strategy
  3. Flip the class is not an ideal for all
  4. Plan...and be detached. Be ready to drop the plan and adapt. 

I suppose my learning was perfect!



#fliptheclass, #humanemaths, #monicakochar





29.8.15

Teach students to self assess!

When I was teaching at the Pathways world school, School website, I had a routine where the first thing in the class was that I used to give feedback on their HW and grades. This is something all of them looked forward to for it gave them an instant feedback and gratification.

I developed a great relationship with one of my grade 7 section. One fine day, I told them, ‘‘Why should I decide what your grade should be? You decide it yourself.’’
They looked at me jaw dropped, “But how?”

I realised that they need step-by-step instructions. So I gave them a rubric —accuracy of work; amount of work finished; effort put to do whatever they had done.

The results were outstanding. I had students coming and telling me:
  • “I didn’t finish it all, but I deserve a B for I really worked at it.”
  • “I did it...but it was too easy for me, so a B minus is ok.”
  • “I did it all, and I didn’t give up! I deserve an A plus.”
  • “I am not very sure...I have done part of the work. It is correct. But I took a lot of time.”
  • “I have done it. But I was late due to laziness. I choose a B.”
  • “I have done it. But I was late due to illness. I choose an A minus.”

And on and on it went. It was pure 99% honesty, sincerity and healthy self-reflection. That is what I got from the students. So slowly, I could let go of them with confidence that they can self-assess themselves very well. 

They did not measure themselves to any standard, but to their own capacity and hard work.

We looked forward to meeting in each Maths class!


24.8.15

Bring Children to Maths, then take Maths to them!

Paul Halmos said, “The only way to learn Maths, is to do Maths.” Any Maths teacher would second that. The students who succeed in Maths are the ones who do Maths —a lot of it!

Everyone doesn't agree
What about those students for whom the logical-mathematical intelligence is not their dominant trait. Sitting day after day in a room where the language spoken is not the one which they really understand, they lose connection and consequently interest. They get labelled as - ‘weak children’. But they may be ‘strong sportsmen’ or ‘strong writers’. How about using that intelligence...?

My solution
My solution is: sprinkle Maths curriculum with non-scientific subjects, i.e.,integrate Maths with English, Art, History, Sports, Music, Drama or Geography.

For example
Write a letter to a friend explaining how to add fractions with different denominators.
Draw a tiling design using four shapes. It should have two lines of symmetry.
Present dramatically a conversation involving discount.
Search and present information about Mathematician xyz.
Explain to a friend how to split the middle term of a quadratic equation.

Aha!
It gives the non-scientific students an entry point to relate to Maths. It gives them a sense of relief for there is something that keeps them engaged. It gives them a chance to showcase their talent. All of this leads to them connecting to the subject emotionally. That makes them ‘want to learn Maths’ for Maths classes are fun or friendly.

Which level does this work best?
Middle school, or ages 10 to 14. This is the age when Maths starts getting complex. This is also the age when brain develops fastest and emotions are in an upheaval. This is when capacity for emotional connections are formed or de-formed for a life. So this is the age I choose to sprinkle Maths with creativity using non-scientific subject integration!

In this way, I bring them to Maths and then I take Maths to them!


E.R.A - My teacher training model

"Successful maths users search for patterns and relationships and think about connections."  Jo Boaler .  Like a true mat...