Join me @MathPlayground

10/21/2011 1:18:16 PM

Sometimes an educator comes along whom you have the privilege of meeting and having a conversation, and she has a huge impact on your thinking. Last Thursday evening  at Seedlings
excuse the shameless promotion, Alice, Bob and  Cheryl, interviewed Colleen King, an entrepreneur from MA.     She would prefer to be known as a math teacher. Colleen is very humble as a businesswoman and very impassioned as a math teacher!  (Here is the audio of our interview.)

As educators we are always looking for ways to instill a love of learning to our students. In my opinion, textbook companies, state education organizations, national and international standards provides us with the scope and sequence which sets the road map. Then assessments are supposed to provide the checks and balances which indicate how we as teachers, schools, states and nations are performing. We compare ourselves to others and constantly revise and make improvements to what and how we are teaching. We deliver content, we ask students to practice for fluency and achievement improvements and then we move on. At that point most of us consider our job is done, it is up to the students to hold onto the information and then deliver it at the appropriate time. This is where Colleen King differs in her beliefs and delivery.

 

We have long known that play is the important work of childhood. I would also recommend that is important to adulthood too, but that is another story.You can gain more information by researching the old guys, Piaget and Vygotsky,  and the new guys, Mitch  Resnick  and  Daniel Pink. Here is an interview by Alan November with Daniel Pink.  We know that when children and students play with concepts they internalize their learning and are better able to demonstrate their knowledge across many platforms, problems and solutions. We know students need to reflect and create in order to own their learning. We usually say we don't have time for this allotment of practice and play. However, Colleen found a way. She asked students about gaming, she asked students about motivation and engagement. While it is very important to read, listen and understand how play should be incrementally woven into our classrooms and our thinking,  Colleen King demonstrates this applied thinking to math in unusual and engaging ways for our students. Colleen tutored students and observed, she listened to students and then she went on a crash course and learned programming to bring this to life.

Math Playground Fractions

 

Please check out her website MathPlaygound.com  to get started. I started with the Fraction Balance,  and moved to the suggested Fraction-Decimal and finally the  Fraction-Percent. When we think about students internalizing fractions, fractions and decimals and finally fractions and percents, we plan good instruction and then give many practice examples and hope that the students understand enough that they will be able to solve problems they eventually encounter in real life and on assessments. Colleen has done an excellent job of bridging the math instruction to math play with gaming, which our students live for. By making games for instructional practice and play, Colleen has provided a way for students to engage in the important work of playing with math tools and rules. As stated on the website, MathPlayground.com  "is for elementary and middle school students".  However, I contend that many teachers and adults would enjoy the challenges and reminders about how to systematically solve problems and play at math.

As soon as Colleen made this available to students she began seeing how students were using the new tools. Then students modeled her presentation videos and they began filming their problem solving strategies. This is what we want, our students to model, and create. These students are extending their learning and following in Colleen's footsteps of living life as a life-long problem solver and learner.You will see from the videos the students made about solving math problems that they have internalized the process enough to begin creating and teaching, just what we want.

I am glad to be sharing this site with you. I shared MathPlayground.com today on my Facebook account and within an hour I received a comment from Katie: " I had no idea about thinking blocks! Now my plans are set for tomorrow! :) Have a good holiday!" Please share MathPlayground.com with your students, their parents, and your friends. Spread the word that it is Math Playtime!

This is part one of a two part series between Cheryl Oakes , Tuesday and Bob Sprankle, Thursday. Give us some feedback and let us know what you think about MathPlayground.com and more!

comments powered by Disqus
Photo GalleriesView All Galleries >
Acer C720-2844 Chromebook

(www.acer.com) The Acer C720-2844 Chromebook model delivers speedy performance, a quick boot time of seven seconds, and a matte anti-glare display tha...

Britannica ImageQuest

(www.britannica.com) Britannica Digital Learning has upgraded ImageQuest, a resource for schools and libraries that provides nearly three million rig...

ClassFlow

(www.classflow.com) Promethean has released ClassFlow, a free, all-in-one, cloud-based teaching tool that lets teachers create and deliver interactive...

Adobe Voice

(www.adobe.com) Adobe has released Adobe Voice, an animated video app for the iPad that lets users create and share video stories. The app incorporate...

DeskBoard

(www.boxlight.com) The BOXLIGHT DeskBoard mobile cart adjusts both height and tilt for the P8 ultra short throw interactive projector on a white surfa...

Core 36M

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has introduced Core 36M, a 36-unit charging cart that is optimized for Chromebooks but which also supports most tablets, l...

Edmentum Sensei

(www.edmentum.com) Edmentum Sensei is a mobile optimized solution that helps administrators visualize and track overall school, teacher, and student p...

HMH Player

(www.hmhco.com) HMH has released HMH Player, a new native app for iOS and Google Chrome that streamlines the learning experience for improved digital ...

Juice Power System

(www.bretford.com) Bretford has unveiled an easy-to-use modular power system with exchangeable power components. The Juice Power System uses unique &#...

LightSail

(www.lightsailed.com) LightSail Education has announced a literacy accelerator that combines books with in-text embedded assessments and real-time dat...

myON

(www.myon.com) myON has expanded its digital library to include a set of literacy tools to further personalize the reading experience for students whi...

Nervanix Clarity

(www.nervanix.com) Nervanix has released Clarity, an application that monitors student attention levels as they study and guides them to revisit conce...

MathBall

(www.robotslab.com) RobotsLAB has introduced MathBall, a smart sensor basketball and tablet system that offers curricula in algebra, pre-calculus, phy...

MobileAsset.EDU

(www.waspbarcode.com) Wasp Barcode’s MobileAsset.EDU solutions include everything administrators need to account for their assets, from software...

OpenEd Assessment Creation Tool

(www.opened.io) OpenEd has announced a free tool that lets teachers easily create assessments with the question types required by Common Core standard...

Panasonic TH-80LFB70U

(www.panasonic.com) Panasonic’s TH-80LFB70U interactive LED display features high-speed, multi-touch, interactive capabilities to promote partic...

penveu interactive display system

(www.penveu.com) The penveu interactive display system is a handheld device that turns projectors and large screen displays into interactive whiteboar...

PresentationPro

(www.califone.com) Califone has updated its PresentationPro speaker. The PA310 readily connects with computers, LCD projectors, mobile devices, intera...

PowerSync+ Mobile Companion App

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has announced the availability of the companion app for its PowerSync+ enabled charge and sync produc...

PureCharge Carts and Stations for iPad

(www.bretford.com) Bretford Manufacturing, Inc. has debuted the PureCharge family of iPad and iPad mini charging carts and stations. By offering pre-i...

ProQuest Research Companion

(www.proquest.com) ProQuest’s new information literacy product, Research Companion, offers videos that guide users through the research process,...

Sphere2 & Class Send Student Engagement Software Platform

(www.averusa.com) AVer Information has developed a Student Engagement platform, providing teachers and students with the tools to transmit document ca...

TabChargeCT2

(www.averusa.com) AVer has released the TabChargeCT2 charge cart solution, which can hold up to 40 Chromebooks, iPads, Android or Windows tablets, lap...

VoiceLift with Instant Alert and Emergency Video Monitoring

(www.extron.com) The Instant Alert function of the Extron VoiceLift Microphone, combined with a PoleVault, WallVault, or PlenumVault classroom AV sys...

SMART Board 6065

(www.smarttech.com) The SMART Board 6065 is an ultra HD, 4K interactive flat panel that offers collaborative capabilities while ensuring lessons run s...

Gaggle Unity Partner Program

(www.gaggle.net) The new Gaggle Unity Partner Program provides free data integration services for all educational technology vendors. Through the Gagg...

Waterford Early Learning, Reading, Math & Science

(www.waterford.org) Waterford Early Learning Cloud can be used at home or to supplement lessons in classrooms. It can also be used for individual adap...

NetSupport School

(www.netsupportschool.com) The latest version of NetSupport School allows teachers to monitor and collaborate with any mix of technology. An enhanced ...

Camtasia

(www.techsmith.com/camtasia) TechSmith’s Camtasia gives teachers the tools to record lessons, create videos, and engage their audiences. Educato...

Panasonic 3E

(www.panasonic.com) Intel has teamed up with Panasonic to announce the Panasonic 3E, which uses the Intel Education 2-in-1 reference design. Designed ...

Tweets