Parents + Web Resources = Effective Critical Thinking in Elementary Mathematics


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This presentation, by Fosston teacher Dan Gutterud, a graduate student at Bemidji State University, focuses on the importance of parental involvement in education while also highlighting methods of connecting with parents using web resources to promote communication and critical thinking.

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  • To achieve ultimate understanding in everything you do, your instruction must be student centered. The question you ask yourself should not be, “What will I teach today?” Instead, it should be, “What will my students learn today?”
  • Based on a school year of 180 days with a seven-hour day…Students are in school 1,260 hours a year. That means that Students are away from school 7,500 hours a year (non-school days and after school time).
  • Schools must tap into the resources that parents offer.
  • Most teachers will agree that parent involvement is necessary for student success. Lawmakers supported this link through the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001. Part of this law requires school districts to “provide materials and training to help parents to work with their children to improve their children’s achievement” and to “communicate school information to parents in an understandable format and language” (No Child Left Behind, 2001).Schoolsare required to develop a strategic plan to involve parents.
  • Students will also benefit fromHigher motivation and self-esteem,Lower rates of suspensionsLess likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as drug and alcohol use,Violent behavior is reduced.Those are powerful reasons to involve parents in education.The more involved parents are in schools, the greater the benefit will be to student achievement.Socioeconomic status is not the main indicator of academic success. Family involvement in education is more of an indicator of academic success (What Research Says, 2002). The earlier the involvement, the better the results will be.
  • technology is a main resource that the author said should be utilized by parents to provide mathematical activities for their children. Martin D. Hartog and Patricia A. BrosnanDoing Mathematics with Your Child
  • Develop a system of communication for:Parent & teacher communicationDisplay of student work onlineLet parents know your expectations along with your goals and what their child is experiencing in your classroom. Create a plan for parent-teacher conferencesUse surveys,Display work,Show off the resources available to students, let them help their child and you!
  • In this blog, I have a critical thinking question. Students are invited to post their individual responses and information is available for parents. This is a very interactive tool of communication. I will have a link for this on my main webpage.
  • Podcasts offer a great deal of potential for students of all ages. I have chosen to use the podcast as a way of giving a glimpse of what we are doing in the classroom in the area of critical thinking. A question on self-assessment is pictured here. Student published material will also appear on the site with regularity. Parents and students can work together on critical thinking questions and submit answers. Topics can be discussed in detail here by me, such as a difficult concept in Math or another subject in order to provide assistance to parents and students at home.
  • According to wikipedia, “A wiki is a website that uses wiki software, allowing the easy creation and editing of any number of interlinked Web pages. Wikis are often used to create collaborative websites and to power community websites. The collaborative encyclopedia Wikipedia is one of the best-known wikis."Wiki” is a Hawaiian word for "fast”. I like the possiblities of using wikis as a way for students to publish to the internet examples of their work, as well as another method of communicating to families. In Math class, a scenario can be presented through the wiki, and students can use their critical thinking skills to determine the solution to basically any type of Math problem on the wiki.
  • A wiki can also be used as a guide for homework or as a means to demonstrate understanding. Parents can access the pages and help their child even better than before. The image on this slide shows videos of different math concepts that were created by students and posted to a wiki by a 3rd grade class. This use of a wiki brings creativity in technology to the classroom and opens many doors for challenges involving critical thinking.
  • VoiceThread is a web resource that will provide quick feedback regarding progress towards understanding in many subject areas. I like the possibilities in Math for showing different methods of doing critical thinking in problems such as in the example on this page. You can view this page by following the link that is given. Comments can also be added
  • I’m pretty sure not many people have a vast collection of manipulatives at home. However, a good percentage have the internet. One important thing teachers must do is make parents aware of resources that they can use to help with the education of their children. The National Library of Virtual Manipluatives is a great place to go for additional practice at home. To point families to the right place, I advise teachers to include a link to the exact page or web address on their own webpage or wiki so parents access the manipulative that matches the concept to be practiced.
  • Use the wealth of knowledge that is available to you. Parents interested in their child’s education will lead to great things. Many schools have parents who volunteer to help in the reading programs. That works well. Hey, do the same thing during Math class. They will see the things you do to instill critical thinking skills in their children. Those lessons will go home with the child and parent. Another great way to involve parents is to host a schoolwideMath Family Night at the school.
  • Parents + Web Resources = Effective Critical Thinking in Elementary Mathematics

    1. Parents + Web Resources = <br />Effective <br />Critical Thinking in <br />Elementary Mathematics <br />Dan Gutterud<br />Ed 6117 June 2009<br />Bemidji State University<br />Image from<br />
    2. Part 1: What is your focus?<br /> &quot;To have taught well is not to have used a great set of techniques or given the learner some words to give back, but to have caused understanding through words, activities, tools, guided reflection, the learner&apos;s efforts, and feedback”(McTighe& Wiggins, 2005).<br />Image from<br />
    3. Is this a surprise?<br /> Much of what influences students occurs during their hours outside of the school building. <br />Image from<br />
    4. Who influences students during their time away from school? <br />Parents. <br />Image from<br />
    5. Part 2: GET PARENTS INVOLVED!<br />Image from<br />
    6. Benefits of Parent Involvement<br /> “Research shows that students with involved parents—regardless of their background or income level—reap a bevy of benefits, including attending school regularly, enrolling in more advanced classes, getting better grades, graduating from high school, and pursuing post-secondary education” (Be Strategic, 2003). <br />Image from<br />
    7. Part 3:Connect with parents and students using technology<br /> “Parents&apos; attitudes toward mathematics have an impact on children&apos;s attitudes. Children whose parents show an interest in and enthusiasm for mathematics around the home will be more likely to develop that enthusiasm themselves” (Brosnan & Hartog).<br />Image from<br />
    8. Communication is vital<br />calls home<br />webpage<br />progress reports<br />newsletter<br />conferences<br />blog<br />surveys<br />e-mail<br />Image from<br />
    9. Blog<br />Consider a blog as a way to communicate by posing questions or relaying information.<br />From my blog at<br />
    10. PodcastsPublish podcasts online. A self assessment question has been published here.<br />Image from<br />
    11. What is a wiki?<br />Image from<br />Page from my wiki at<br />
    12. Videos on wiki<br />Image from<br />
    13. VoiceThread<br />Pose a question. <br />Students respond at school or home via:<br />*Text *Voice<br />*Phone *Video<br />Image from <br /><br />
    14. Virtual manipulatives—try ‘em<br />“Research has shown that concrete manipulatives help students better understand abstract concepts in math, and comparative studies show virtual manipulatives to be as effective as concrete ones”(Donovan, 2008). <br />
    15. Virtual Manipulatives<br />How many families have manipulatives at home? <br />How many have internet access?<br />Image from<br />
    16. Bring parents into the classroom<br />Image from<br />
    17. Visit my links by going to my wiki at<br /><br />Image from<br />
    18. References<br />Be strategic to boost family involvement. (2003, December). District Administration, Retrieved November 5, 2007, from ContentSelectResearch Navigator database.<br />Brosnan, P.A. & Hartog, M.D. (n.d.). Doing mathematics with your child. Retrieved June 20, 2009 from<br />Donovan, J. (2008, November). Teaching mathematics with virtual manipulatives. Technology & Learning. Retrieved June 22, 2009 from<br />McTighe, J. & Wiggins, G. (2005). Understanding by design (2nd ed.). Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Development.<br />No child left behind act, section 1118. (2001). Retrieved November 26, 2007 from<br />