Learning step by step

I used to love my abacus but it was bigger than the one in this video. It was inherently fascinating at an early age because it looked different from other things and it had colourful beads. Did I ever learn to use the abacus to count? Only in the most obvious way by sliding and counting beads or counting up and down rows. I didn’t know how to use an abacus properly and no one showed me. So the abacus reinforced what I knew already and held my interest for numbers just by being there. I did not ever use the abacus correctly which meant I was oblivious to the fact it was a remarkable tool which could do all sorts of things with numbers. The Hev project has created a video which makes it so easy to know how to use an abacus effectively and get the best out of this remarkable tool. It would be fun to make one. It’s tactile as well as cerebral learning and then you can just have fun making all the beads click!
If you google step by step learning or research that on YouTube you will get a lot of returns in terms of things to learn which are stepped out. It’s a gaming principle which the internet has adopted to deliver learning content. The Hev Project shows very clearly what step by step learning looks and sounds like. You are even invited to pause the video to have a practice until you have mastered and understood that step.

So what does learning look like?

One step at a time
Research
Ask your network
Practice and master
Next step
Reflect on your learning
Troubleshoot
Practice
Get feedback
Improve

When you don’t understand or don’t know what you are doing you go back to the step where you lost the thread. With technology you can easily access networks and research so that you do not have to wait to learn and as you are practising you can share what you are doing so you can get feedback, ideas and help so that, in the end, your level of learning is high and has a good outcome.

Match Three with STEAM components

STEAM Where would we be without gamification? I have just used the STEAM acronym and tried to find three indicators of each which start with the same letter to be indicative of meeting the component in lesson planning and delivery. This is a work in progress. It is not definitive and I have shared it so that others can be encouraged to break down the components of STEAM (Science, Technology , Engineering, Arts, Maths) into an applied model which is easy for teachers to consult as they think and plan. We need something like the Bloom’s Taxonomy – a STEAM Taxonomy to pin us all down and get us thinking in a more consistent fashion. I have a mix of verbs and adjectives. I’d prefer one or the other so that is my next challenge. Just throwing it out there.

MathMagic for Captivate

I just discovered MathMagic for Captivate on my MacBook. Why? I am a French teacher. I have found a video so that someone who actually knows what they are talking about can explain this to you. I have no need for an equation editor but you may well need one. The images you create in Captivate are extremely clear and so would replicate well on an interactive board or in a video lesson. Captivate is an Adobe product which obviously the school has kindly loaded on my MacBook. The least I can do is share this with you because it seems to be the very thing if you like creating equations. From my non Maths point of view , it is actually interesting to me to see all the maths symbols so well organised and aggregated. My way of tackling it would be to find out what each of those symbols meant and what I could do with them. Probably not a lot. Have fun. You’re welcome.

Game based learning apps

zondle

Zondle

There is always going to be a limit as to how many apps and websites you can use in your classes because taking charge of them takes time and energy. It pays, though, to take a look at what is available because it might just be the thing you need for a particular class, a particular student or for a colleague who is looking for something suitable. It may also take a team effort to set some of these apps up at the beginning of the year so that you can benefit from them during the year.That is one thing which needs to be addressed in our workloads. Setting learning materials up online is exacting and time consuming initially.  The Educational Technology and Mobile Learning site has just come up with eight really good apps for mobile learning and game based learning. Some, you could use as an adult to increase your own learning. These game based apps are how we are moving learning out of the four walls of our classrooms. Not all students are endorsing that at present but it is going to be how we capitalise on class time, get the edge and move ourselves forward in a world where we are all connected. We are moving from web 2 to web 3 so it is only a matter of time before we muster specific groups for learning specific things and our students need to be familiar with this approach. I like the look of Zondle and plan to explore that a bit more.

The Fibonacci Sequence

Had Maths been this colourful and so connected to nature when I was at school, I might have survived Maths so much better than I did. The great thing about technology is you can find things which will get the messages and content through to all types of learners. I could never think of Maths in an abstract way inspite of being a good abstract thinker. I needed to see patterns like this and I needed to see how it related to living things. It would have made so much more sense to me. The Fibonacci Sequence is explained on the Maths is Fun site. The amazing video featured on The Mind Unleashed. It is such a beautifully constructed video.

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