Sekolah Cikal has been learning with iPad as tools for exploring, creating, producing and publishing. The technology has been helping teachers, in making learning experience more exciting and engaging. I am one of the teachers exciting in using iPad for teaching and learning. What would I do with it? How would I use it to help me teach my students to learn better? Why would I prefer using iPad than other gadgets that are easy access and cheaper? I believe that using iPad is more mobile.
Computer is as part of 21st century learning tool. It was supposed to be the transformation of teaching and learning as we know it. In some ways there has been a transformation, but the basics of teaching and learning have remained unchanged, where teacher should plan effective usage of technology in the planner. Technology involvement is in my grade 3 classroom and iPad session is exposed a lot. As pre-activity, we have iPad essential agreement. I believe my students are already familiar how to use ipad. As the advantage, I encourage my students to explore it not only to entertain but also to support their digital academic skills.
How do I use iPads apps in the classroom to help teaching and learning process?
The iPad has a number of useful features that provide for interesting possibilities in teaching and learning process. iPad features could be applied in classroom learning as well as curriculum area. In Math class for example, the fraction apps help them to visualize fraction better than conventional written fraction. While observing, students explore their skills to use the fraction app drawing, apply their critical thinking in representing how ½ (half) like through bar or circle model. During the fraction discussion, students develop their thinking skills by attaching videos and voice recordings referring to teacher questions like “How do you know 2/4 is half?”. In advance, my students work collaboratively in creating fraction story books in digital form. Writing specific genre becoming is more interesting using the Book creator app where students can plan their story template, adjust the content with provided features like fonts, color option and camera which capturing their own image and inserting as the author or pictures from the internet. Those things will make the book illustration more alive on ebook.
Connecting Beyond the Classroom
Mobile connection allows them to have internet access anywhere at school area. As questions arise, students can search clues and insights to begin their studies or research about the unit they learn. In PYP, students are given access to search primary source data for their investigations in or out of the classroom. While finding their investigations, I create an online wall discussion using Padlet app by sharing the link and they can collaborate into the discussion. As a 21st century teacher, the involvement of technology has definitely helped PYP program of teaching and learning process in my classroom. The iPad usage has virtually enhanced the education itself. The App store has thousands of educative designed apps that makes easy for us to find teaching materials of any learning area.
Now, how do you use technology in your classroom?
Ari Wibowo – Year 3 Teacher (Sekolah Cikal Cilandak)
I think the biggest struggle of teaching Math in the PYP curriculum is veering away from the traditional classroom set up of being teacher-centered and worksheet-heavy. In our 6 years as a PYP school, innovating and adapting to a more student-centered practice has been a struggle but quite a challenge.
For the theme on HOW WE EXPRESS OURSELVES, although the unit on fractions does not directly connect with the central idea “Self-expressions celebrate individuality and bridge human differences”, we focused on the conceptual idea “Fractions may be expressed in different ways to show equivalence.”
The unit opened with the word FRACTION written on the board. The students created a mind map by writing words or ideas that they know about fractions. Remember! No looking at your notes. After all ideas have been exhausted, the students will take 2-3 ideas from the mind map and write a meaningful sentence about fractions. They may write as much as three sentences using an assortment of ideas.
In groups, they share their sentences and pick two that they will present as a group. Naturally, tweaking and combining sentences is allowed. On strips of paper, they will write down their sentences and post them on the board. During a gallery walk, students may write down questions, corrections and additional information based on each sentence.
I use this exercise as a way of assessing prior knowledge as well as a spring board to teaching fractions.
Since some concepts are already clear with the students, only a brief review is necessary.
Simplifying fractions, getting a higher term, changing improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa, changing dissimilar fractions to similar fractions are all chunked under the concept of renaming fractions. Through a gradual unfolding of the different ways of renaming fractions, students develop an understanding that fractions may be written differently but they still represent the same thing. Going further, this understanding of equivalence has helped students work better with the four basic operations of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division.
5th grade teacher and PYP Coordinator
Mentari Intercultural School Jakarta
The students in Grade 3 showed how they construct their understanding of numbers, from different ways of representing number values, place values to using numbers to make patterns. The situations created for students helped them to make the necessary constructions. We have attempted to aim for more meaningful learning by veering away from too much repetitive number drills in class. Here are some sample works:
Homeroom Teacher Grade 3
Mentari School Jakarta
“It is important that that learners acquire mathematical understanding by constructing their own meaning…”
So how can children make sense of, and then competently use, the language of mathematics? This article looks at ambiguous language and operational language.
The following interaction between a teacher and student was recorded.
T: Can you calculate the volume of this box? S: um .. [pause] .. no [has a puzzled look]
T: Do you know what volume is? S: Yes, it is a button on the remote.
One of the issues with constructing meaning of the language of mathematics is the use of everyday English terms that have different meanings in the mathematics classroom.
Here is a list of just some of the many words that have a different meaning in mathematics. These words are just some of the homographs: rational, mean, power, odd, face, property, common
The operational language can also be confusing. In the early years ‘and ‘is used for operation of addition. In later years the word ‘and’ is used in an operation for multiplication, e.g. ‘What’s the product of 5 and 4?’
When assessing a student’s ability to solve word problems in mathematics it is so important to consider not only the wording of the question but also the order of the questions. Two consecutive questions, similar to these, appeared in a standardised test. The word ‘altogether’ is used for a different operation in each question. What meanings have the students constructed of the words ‘and’ and ‘altogether’?
Budi puts cards into 4 equal piles.
Each pile has 20 cards.
How many cards does Budi have altogether?
Wati collected 68 cans.
Puti collected 109 cans.
How many cans did Wati and Puti collect altogether?
The construction of operational language is so important for problem solving. In some classrooms students can identify words in a problem, referring to displayed visual mathematical vocabulary.
Although language is heavily involved in constructing meaning in mathematics, the use of visual representations and manipulation of concrete materials all support communication and success in the mathematics classroom. The literacy of numeracy is a challenge for all and an additional challenge if English is an additional language. Our role is to support students to construct meaning as part of the stages of learning mathematics.
ACG School Jakarta
School to School is an annual event hosted by Sekolah Ciputra and dedicated to educators who are willing to learn and share their professional learning with colleagues across East Java. This year, it was held on February 25th. Ms. Hestya and I took led a workshop about math misconceptions in the primary years. This area intrigues me, as I believe all Math concepts can be investigated and explained in a simple way and we don’t need to say “this is the procedure, formula, or theory that you need to remember” to our students, which is the way I was taught. If our students understand how math works, rather than memorize formulas, they will love it.
We started the activity by giving a pretest to the workshop participants to identify misconceptions they had. It was surprising to me that no one answered all the questions correctly. Then we followed up with an activity designed to accommodate the needs of the participants and to refine their misconceptions. We discussed and investigated the following topics:
(1) What is a concept, a conception and a misconception?
(2) What forms of misconceptions occur in primary school?
(3) How do teachers respond to student misconceptions?
(4) What techniques are there to eliminate misconceptions?
To refine the participants’ understanding of Math concepts we did a gallery walk. One important thing that we shared is how Math pre-conceptions leads to further misconception. One example is:
- Students get confused with the alligator/Pacman analogy. Is the bigger value eating the smaller one? Is it the value already eaten or about to be eaten? Do I add what it has eaten?
- In helping students make sense of subtraction they are told to always take the smaller number away from the larger number.
4 – 8 = ?
From this workshop, I have learned that effective teachers understand that mistakes and confusion provide powerful learning opportunities. I believe the quote below reminds us that misconceptions hinders inquiry.
“The worst thing about mnemonics is not that they almost always fall apart, they don’t encourage understanding, and never justify anything; it’s that they kill curiosity and creativity – two important character traits that too many math teachers out there disregard.” -Andy Martinson
PYP 6 Teacher and Year Level Coordinator