Sunday, August 30, 2009

Chapter 11, Math

When reading this chapter, I thought about my 8th grade probability class. We did not use any technology to learn the concepts. I learned how to find mean, median, and mode very well, but I did not understand how changing one point would affect the mean, median, and mode. I remember doing practice problems where one data point was changed, but instead of focusing on the change that happened, I focused on the busy work. We did all the problems by hand, so what stuck in my mind was how to find an answer, not what the answer actually meant.
With technology, I could have understood the importance of actually computing the average and what an average means instead of following the steps to get a number. I think it's important to learn the steps and then expand on those steps by putting them into data spreadsheets.
It seemed like Mrs. Remille introduced mean, median, and mode before spreadsheets, because her students were able to use their knowledge of mean, median, and mode to guide them through the spreadsheet process and interact with the teacher. They even used their previous knowledge of mean, median, and mode, to help learn a completely new topic--standard deviation. I LOVED how Mrs. Remille guided her students to the answers instead of telling them throughout this chapter. She expanded her class's knowledge of topics they already knew and allowed them to find a definition of a new, more advanced topic.
This is definitaly how I would want to use technology.


jmonaco said...

I completely understand what you're saying here. Though it is very important to learn how to get an answer, finding mean, median or mode, it is also very important to know what those numbers mean. Seeing how changing one data point, whether by a little or drastically, can affect the outcome helps the students understand the concepts. Mrs. Remille did a great job showing the students how to do things, allowing them to become more and more eager about the ideas. She could have just told them how to do everything, step-by-step, but she allowed them to figure everything out themselves. In turn, the students seemed to be intrigued by the solutions.

Ben D. said...

I feel as if Mrs. Remille's approach to spreadsheets was perfectly executed. She first taught the students what the definitions of mean, median, and mode were and then introduced them to spreadsheets. Like you said Jessica, it allowed the students to use their understanding of those definitions and really apply them to learn a higher level of math. This is an awesome example of how spreadsheets can enhance the each student's education by allowing them to explore more advanced mathematics.

Katie Dietrich said...

I LOVED Mrs. Remille's teaching methods too. I know that when teachers and professors present information to be that way, it seems frustrating at the time, but in the long run I understand and remember the material much better than when it is just given to me to memorize. And I know that her methods plus the use of spreadsheet technology must have done wonders for her class's understanding of these topics.

awilkey said...

I am reading the Elementary Technology book, but I find it interesting to read the comments about technology in the math classroom. In my math career (which doesn't extend much past high school), I never used technology past PPT presentations. From what I have gathered from reading these posts is that Mrs. Remille's use of technology probably helped her visual learners retain the information MUCH more efficiently. I would have loved to have a Mrs. Remille in my math classes, because I am a visual learner. -- so you guys should definitely bring her methods to your classroom!