Teach Middle East Magazine Apr - Jun 2020 Issue 3 Volume 7 - Page 26

Sharing Good Practice NAVIGATING MATHEMATICS INFORMATION OVERLOAD BY: NICOLE FEDIO Where to begin? Start small. Are your students struggling to learn multiplication facts? Look at youcubed.org or nrich.maths.org for some resources. Try a multiplication number talk. Pick one new resource to try and stick with it. And give yourself grace, the implementation dip is real. Ask your colleagues or coach for feedback. If you are fortunate enough to work at a school with a learning coach, invite them into your classroom. If you don’t have a coach, try something like an observe me protocol to invite feedback from colleagues. B ar Models, open middle, three- act Math tasks, esti-mysteries, numberless word problems, rich tasks, number talks, unit chats, which one doesn’t belong, choral counting, Desmos, GeoGebra, Youcubed *… What have I missed? This list goes on and on. I know there are other great Mathematics resources out there that I could have mentioned.​ Does this list start to make you feel a little like the pictur e above? Some days it does to me. The educators who have created these Mathematics resources are an amazing group of people who I follow on Twitter. I am continually awed by their ability to create meaningful material that inspires teachers around the globe. What’s especially wonderful about these resources is that they are all free and readily available to 26 Term 3 Apr - Jun 2020 teachers with a quick Google search. What's not so wonderful is that there really isn't such a thing as a "quick Google search" when it comes to lesson planning. If some of these names are new to you (What in the world is choral counting?) it can be very daunting to try them out with your students. It’s very easy to suffer from information overload, especially in the world of Twitter, Instagram, and other social media. Information overload can cause us to be paralyzed. There is just too much out there…. it’s easier for me to just keep doing what I’ve always done. Where can I even start? If you feel this way, you are not alone. Let go. This is one of the most challenging things about trying new things as an educator. Experience is both a blessing and a curse. If I’ve successfully taught a topic the same way for many years, why should I try to teach it a new way? My answer to that is Why not? What is holding you back? Two high school teachers I worked with last year were amazed at the quality of projects their 9th grade students independently created using Desmos. What did the teachers do differently? They let go of thinking that they needed to teach the material the way the textbook did. The students met the same learning objectives, but in a different way. Shifting through the sheer number of Mathematics resources out there takes a lot of time. Time is a limited resource for most educators. Want to try something new but don’t know where to begin? Reach out to me via email to get started. Nicole is an independent mathematics consultant at Mathematique Consulting. With two decades of experience as an educator. She earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Penn State University and a M.Ed. in Teaching and Curriculum from Harvard University. She is a National Board certified teacher. Follow her on Twitter @ NicoleFedio Class Time