Finding The Right Tools
In my search for tools that will help me as I prepare to teach high school math, I came across several valuable resources.
Math Curriculum Makeover
First I came across a video by Dan Meyer, called My TEDxNYED Session — Math Curriculum Makeover. Dan Meyer proposes that math teachers rethink how math problems are presented. He gives examples of how the information in textbooks is provided in a way that takes the creative thinking away from the students. On his blog, he has a great archive of information and connections. I feel Mr. Meyer is a great addition to my PLN because his main interests are "curriculum design (answering the question, "how we design the ideal learning experience for students?") and teacher education (answering the questions, "how do teachers learn?" and "how do we retain more teachers?" and "how do we teach teachers to teach?")." Mr. Meyer is someone I will follow because his post will constantly challenge me to analyze the curriculum from which I am teaching and to discover knew and innovative ways to teach math.
Teaching Math with Technology
Another sight I discovered is www.tech4mathed.com. Sue Glascoe has created this sight because she believes in "taking math education into the 21st century, and bringing my students and visionary teachers along for the ride!" I think I found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Ms. Glascoe is constantly trying out and posting about the newest technologies that are available for math education. One post contains information on using iPads in a flipped math classroom. This website also introduced me to tools such as the new wi-fi Livescribe smartpen called SKY, the Doceri 2.0 with Mobi 360 w/clickers, and TI-Nspire CX. I was fascinated by these devices and how they are being used to combine math and technology. This site contains great step by step instructions and visual illustrations of how students and teachers can use these tools. The tool I was most impressed with that I think I would enjoy using in my classroom is the TI calculator with the navigation system(TI-Nspire CX). There are 2 main features for which Ms. Glascoe uses this system and that is to grab screen shots of the student's calculators and to be able to poll the students using their calculators. With this information she can check to see who is doing their work, how well they are performing, and whether or not they are paying attention. Ms. Glascoe likes that she can set up questions where students can show steps, and she can show multiple pieces of information in the question, like the question and a graph. It will be a few years before I have my own classroom, but until then, I will be following Sue Glascoe, because she is always trying the latest innovations and giving the pros and cons of their performance within a classroom.
The Math Forum @ Drexel
The Math Forum @ Drexel: High School Teachers' Place is a great resource for classroom and career development. For the classroom, you will find answers from other teachers addressing common questions about solving math problems, lesson plans, project ideas, and suggested math software. Then there is a section giving tips for improving your career. It suggests professional development options, recommends online certification programs, and provides information on professional math organizations. This is a great tool as I embark upon my career because I will have examples of how to develop my own lesson plans and I will have a list of contacts that will be able to answer questions I may have about teaching math. It provides these resources for every grade level, from Pre-Kindergarten through High School. I recommend this website for new and future math teachers.