Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The Importantance of Interactive Common Core Math Lessons

Nothing screams Common Core like a good math lesson that not only digs deeper into mathematical meaning and thinking, but a lesson that also incorporates other curriculum areas, and...of course, technology. We all know that today's students gravitate towards technology like magnets on a refrigerator.  This isn't a secret by any stretch of the imagination.  As a matter of fact, most students born after 2005 don't necessarily know (or understand for that matter) how to work on anything without technology in the mix!  It's as natural as anything and school administrators, teachers, and even parents need to embrace that idea in order to move forward in lesson creation and development.

Most recently, technology has been getting a lot more attention in classrooms and schools throughout the world (and if you think about it, we used to only say throughout a city...or state...or even country).  Regardless, now a classroom teacher needs to be able to understand the technology and it's global role with students and figure out a way to bridge the two together so seamlessly, that the work and learning just happens as naturally as anything else.  

In the United States, the Common Core State Standards attempts to place a technology component in lessons and in learning for as much as possible - and why not?  Technology means so much to today's modern student that it's nearly becoming a way of life for them.  To students, technology has always been there for them...we can't say the same for the rest of us!  And just as when Alexander Graham Bell created that little old invention, the telephone, 140 years ago, it was the youngsters that were born thereafter that felt comfortable with it.  That's just how technology works.

So how can we create fun, interactive math lessons that are not only engaging, but allow our students to delve deeper into their thinking process and get more out of those lessons?

One of the best ways to utilize the technology that we have available is to use SMART Boards (or other types of interactive whiteboards, also known as IWBs).  Using SMART Boards to help bridge that gap between regular, old-fashion math lessons, and the endless possibilities with an interactive math lesson that is engaging, interesting, and fun is the Common Core key.  Remember, the Common Core is good (in theory)....but educators must also realize that in today's world, the technology helps to bring it all together.  Teachers can't just ask better questions and teachers can't expect students to explain themselves better.  The bottom line is that teachers can't leave out the technology.  By understanding this key component, educators will be able to turn that rigor-dial up several notches.

Watch my Scholastic Teacher Talks: Adam Hyman's Tips for the Interactive Whiteboard for additional discussion and demonstrations.

Here are some additional tips to create engaging interactive Common Core Math lessons:

1.  Take a look at the standards.  Read them.  Pull out the information that is listed.  Then read them again.  What do they say?  What do you understand?  What ideas come to mind?  Jot them down.

2.  Use the resources that you have (textbooks...workbooks...read-a-louds...the internet, etc.) and start pulling out information that will help you build your lesson.

3.  Get to know your IWB and it's software.  Know as many features that your SMART Board has to offer so that you can begin to build a lesson that doesn't just use that IWB to project questions and information as if it were a fancy overhead projector.  That's not what an INTERACTIVE Whiteboard is meant to do.  It's interactive for a reason -- use it to get students to come up to the board and manipulate numbers, pictures, patterns, etc., so that they can not only think about problems differently, but so that it will allow them to be able to explain their reasoning behind their thinking.

Using technology isn't meant to be a distraction.  It's not meant to make your life harder.  Using the technology that is available to meant to play towards a student's strength.  Take advantage!

Follow Adam Hyman on Twitter @ps101hyman
Follow Adam Hyman on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/ps101hyman/
Find Adam Hyman on TpT at http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Adam-Hyman 

1 comment:

  1. NICE BLOG!!! Technical education is a study of technology, in which students "learn about the processes and knowledge related to technology". As a study, it covers the human ability to shape and change the physical world to meet needs, by manipulating materials and tools with techniques. Thanks for sharing a nice information.
    Top MBA Colleges in Ahmedabad
    MBA colleges in Ahmedabad