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Keeping it fresh

PowerPoint presentation used at the Orana Mathematics Conference 2011 by Rod Krause, based on the book "How the Brain Learns Mathematics" by David Sousa

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Keeping it fresh

  1. 1. Keeping it Fresh!
  2. 2. Have you ever had the experience of teaching a concept one day and the next day the students say “We have never seen this stuff before?” JOIN THE CLUB!
  3. 3. Memory Systems From “How the Brain Learns Mathematics” – David Sousa p. 51
  4. 4. Immediate Memory <ul><li>This is held in memory for up to 30 seconds </li></ul><ul><li>It is dropped from memory if it is if little or no importance. </li></ul><ul><li>A telephone number for a pizza shop – look it up, hold it in memory, drop it). </li></ul>
  5. 5. Working Memory <ul><li>Things that have moved into the working memory have captured our focus and demand attention. </li></ul><ul><li>If a student sees no relevance in the topic for the day, it will disappear from memory within possibly the first 30 seconds of the lesson. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Capacity of working memory <ul><li>Can handle only a few items at one time. </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-schoolers – about two pieces of information at a time. </li></ul><ul><li>Pre-adolescents – average of 5 (3 to 7). </li></ul>
  7. 7. Capacity of working memory <ul><li>Consider these limits when deciding on information to be processed in a lesson – “less is more”. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Time limits of working memory <ul><li>Pre-adolescents – 5 to 10 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Adolescents – 10 to 20 minutes </li></ul><ul><li>Then fatigue, boredom with that item occurs and the individual’s focus drifts. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Time limits of working memory <ul><li>Implication => Working memory has capacity limits and time limits that teachers should keep in mind when planning lessons. Less is more! Shorter is better. </li></ul>
  10. 10. How will the learning be stored <ul><li>Information is most likely to get stored if it makes sense and has meaning. </li></ul><ul><li>If teachers cannot answer the question, “Why do we need to know this?” in a way that is meaningful to students, then we need to rethink why we are teaching that item at all. </li></ul>
  11. 11. How will the learning be stored <ul><li>Mathematics teachers get frustrated when they see students using a certain formula to solve problems correctly one day, but they cannot remember how to do it the next day. If the process was not stored, the brain treats the information as brand-new again. </li></ul>
  12. 12. How will the learning be stored <ul><li>The more arithmetic we can teach involving understanding and meaning, the more likely children will succeed in actually enjoying mathematics. </li></ul>
  13. 13. The role of practice <ul><li>Practice makes permanent (not necessarily perfect). </li></ul><ul><li>Giving students independent practice before guided practice can help students learn an incorrect procedure well. </li></ul>
  14. 14. The role of practice <ul><li>The first practice should be guided in the presence of the teacher and includes immediate and corrective feedback to help students analyse and improve their practice. </li></ul>
  15. 15. The role of practice <ul><li>When the practice is correct then independent practice (usually homework) can be assigned. </li></ul><ul><li>This strategy leads to perfect practice. </li></ul>