The Elephant in the Classroom-Helping Children Learn and Love Maths by Jo Boaler

8 02 2011

This is the most inspirational Mathematics book I have ever read. It gives me plenty of new teaching strategies to support my students in their learning of Mathematics. It is also a very easy book to read.

It has encouraged me to raise my pass mark for all tests and examinations.

I am changing the way I mark all submitted work. I only give comments to lead to the correct answer. There are no ticks or crosses and there is no final mark. This is a huge change for the students as well as me. We are still in the adjusting phase.

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28 02 2012
Robert McGregor

The Elephant in the Classroom has been the book that has had the biggest impact on my thoughts about the teaching and learning of Mathematics. I have found the adjustment from teaching in the traditional way to teaching via cooperative learning very challenging. One challenge that sticks out the most is that Boaler talks about teaching through the process of giving student groups open ended questions to work on together. While I have been able to source a plethora of books and websites giving open ended questions I have found it difficult to source open ended questions sequenced for a particular topic. For example, let’s say I am about to begin a 3 week unit on the Number Plane for my Year 8’s. Where do I source open ended questions for this topic that will not only sustain learning for the three weeks but are in a sequential order? If anyone would like to collaborate on writing maths programs that are composed mainly of open ended questions I would love to hear from you. In the meantime have a look at my blog at http://www.mcgregormaths.blogspot.com.

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