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Teacher Training with Blackboard


Teacher Training with Blackboard by Renan Sezer In the two teacher training courses offered at LaGuardia Community College for future elementary students blackboard ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Teacher Training with Blackboard

Teacher Training with Blackboard
  • by
  • Renan Sezer

  • In the two teacher training courses offered at
    LaGuardia Community
  • College for future elementary students
    blackboard component was added.
  • In the first course the Blackboard component
    helped students investigate such topics as
    career goals, education and board certification
    requirements, expected salary etc.

  • In the second course web inquiry based learning
    component was added through Blackboard
    assignments in order to investigate the opposing
    views of what is generally known as Math Wars,
    i.e. teaching mathematics through reform
    curricula vs. a traditional approach.

Blackboard assignments help students by
  • drawing shy students into class discussion
  • starting an ongoing exchange of ideas
  • exploring different view points and not being
    tied to one source of information
  • increasing student authorship

BlackBoard Assignment 1
  • Please answer each question individually. 1)
    How many years ago were you in elementary school?
    2) Did you go to elementary school in the U.S.
    or in another country? 3) Think back to your
    elementary mathematics education and respond to
    the following questions a) Was it a
    teacher-centered or student-centered classroom?
    b) What was the interaction between students
    during the mathematics classroom? c) What kind
    of activities were you assigned as mathematics
    homework (e.g. drill questions, word problems,
    writing assignments, exploration activities etc.)

  • 4) As a future elementary school teacher, you
  • to be able to explaining the reasoning behind
    basic mathematical operations and the steps
    required to do them. (For example you need to
    explain why when you multiply the denominator of
    a fraction by a number you multiply the numerator
    by the same number to keep the value the same.
    You must be able to explain why when adding and
    subtracting fractions you need to find common
    denominator and when you multiply and divide you
    do not. The reasons behind them are much more
    than saying Because it is the rule.) You will
    also need to be able to tackle a variety of word
    problems. With these in mind, write how
    confident you are in your mathematics knowledge?
    Do you have a solid mathematics back ground?
    Please be very honest.

  • 5) Based on your answer to question
  • 4, what pedagogical styles of
  • teaching would have prepared you better in
    terms of your mathematics knowledge? 6) If you
    had a child going to elementary school, what kind
    of things would you want him/her to learn and do
    in mathematics class?   

Sample Student Respond
  • It has been about eight years since I have been
    in elementary school. 
  • I attended school in the U.S. 
  • 3) a) I recall each classroom experience was
    different. The dominate form of teaching in the
    classroom was teacher-centered. There was very
    little student to student interaction. A great
    deal of student-teacher interaction was practiced
    as well as long extensive notes to take which
    mostly made the classroom too silent for me
    personally. The teacher was always standing in
    front of the class or even sitting at the desk
    delivering the concept that was to be learned
    during a given time. I remember even one lesson
    was nothing but note taking without the teacher
    saying anything, only as a student was I told to
    review the notes for that evening as

  • 3b) A typical mathematics session in my classroom
  • that all of the guided learning was directly
    drawn from the text book. Each chapter or lesson
    was approached step by step as it was given in
    the text book. These steps were often dictated by
    the teachers who would give examples and as a
    class we would answer them. After being
    introduced to the lesson, the students were then
    given problems to solve individually. Then the
    class would come together with the teacher and go
    over the problems. There was rarely any
    interaction among the students themselves. Group
    assignments werent really practiced except for
    science projects.
  • 3c) The homework tasks that were assigned were
    always directly from the text. They mostly
    consisted of drill question and numerical
    problems. Word problems were seasonally assigned.
    They were assigned mostly when word problems were
    introduced as a lesson. I cannot recall
    exploration activities. My elementary school was
    not an expeditionary learning center. It was
    dictated text, lots of writing, and memory

  • 4) First and foremost I am not comfortable in
    mathematics in my own knowledge at the top of my
    head. Often I have to refresh my memory, but I am
    looking forward to learning to a point where the
    information is already their and that I can
    retrieve it from memory. I doubt myself and my
    abilities when usually I am right or on the right
    track in solving a problem. I also have a bad
    habit of confusing certain laws and rules in
    math. My given mathematics background would be
    more solid if I had learned differently also upon
    my own efforts. 
  • 5) What wouldve helped me best is more
    interaction. I am a visual and expeditionary
    learner. Usually, anything with hardcore
    statistics and facts do not impact my learning
    ability as much as. It is through given examples
    and discussions that trigger understanding and
    what I learn to memory. More of this rather
    than dictation would have helped. 

  • 6) If I had a child in elementary school, in
    contrast to my experience, I would want the child
    to learn basic mathematics. Without the basics it
    would be impossible to advance in higher levels
    of mathematics. As they learn in a mathematics
    class I would like my child to have the ability
    to practice the math in the classroom. In a
    classroom Id want my child to be able to learn
    mathematics to a point of being able to calculate
    accurately. Id want my child to obtain the
    concept and information where they can openly
    discuss it and the problem solving procedures. If
    the child can openly discuss mathematical
    concepts, the child is then capable of helping
    others who do not understand.

Another (Jin Weis) Response
  • I was in elementary school 50 years ago. 
  • 2) I went to elementary school in China. 
  • 3) a) It was a teacher-centered classroom.    b)
    The students did their work independently. They
    couldnt talk and discuss.    c) All the
    activities of the students were under the
    teachers control. 
  • 4) I am a paraprofessional in PS226 . I dont
    want to be an elementary teacher in the future. I
    had  been a high school English teacher for more
    than 20 years. Now I am studying in the college
    to learn the teaching method of maths because I
    am interested in maths and to earn 6 credits
    that the Department of Education requires.
  • I think I have a solid maths back ground. 

  • 5) PS226 is the public school for special
    education. Most of students are in Autism. Their
    speaking abilities are delayed. They can know
    some numerals and simple addition. It is
    difficult for them  to work out the problems by
    using subtraction and division. Of courses I will
    do my best to help them to understand the basic
    concept of maths. 
  • 6) If I had a child going to elementary school I
    would want him/her to listen attentively in maths
    class and do his/her work by himself/herself.
    Only doing that he/she would master the basic  
    theory of maths and have the solid
    maths back ground.

A Response to Jin-Wei
  • HI Jin-Wei    you metioned that you would like
    your kids to work by themselves, i disagree
    because students need to work together. i believe
    that when students wotk together they learn and
    understand the lesson better. Students have the
    ability to explain their solutions to there class
    mates. Also you said you have a solid
    mathematics background, eventhough you were in
    elementary school 50 years ago. tell me how did
    you manage to still remember your basic math.
    probably your teacher had a eficient way of
    teaching her students.

Blackboard Assignment 2
  • 1) Review your response and those of your
    friends to question 6 in Blackboard assignment
    1. (You do not need to write anything for this
    step. 2) Suppose you had a child in elementary
    school. Write a detailed letter to your childs
    mathematics teacher telling him/her a) What your
    child should be learning in class b) What your
    child should be doing in mathematics class (For
    example should the class be mostly in lecture
    form or group discussion form? What percent of
    the class time should be spent in doing basic
    skills and what percent should be spent on
    problem solving and exploration activities?)

  • c) Should your child be allowed to use
    technology in the classroom or doing homework? If
    so what kind
  • of technology and when?
  • d) What kind of homework do you think your child
    should be assigned (Do not give too much
    homework is not the answer I am looking for
    here. Some things you should reflect and write
    about are whether the homework should be based
    on what is taught in class, should it have more
    drill or more word problems, could it have
    problems not done in class but given to them for
    exploration and challenge, should it involve
    projects where they are asked to investigate
    open-ended questions, should it have writing
    assignments in it?   

Ramy Guzmans Response to 2nd Assignment
  • Dear Ms. Brown,
  • My name is Ramy Guzman, mother of Melanie
    Guzman. I am concern about what Melanie will be
    learning in your class. I know that in order for
    her to understand and do well in math she needs
    to learn the basic skills. This is why I want you
    to please explain her each and every problem you
    assign, also show her various way of doing the
    problem and getting the right answer. I would
    like you to let her participate in class and also
    to give her challenging problems when you think
    she has learned the skills. This way Melanie can
    feel more confident when is given a problem. In
    my opinion you should give them a chance to
    explore what they have learn, after giving them
    the lecture you should assign them to small

  • Give them some problem and letting them use
    manipulative so they can see the difference in
    solving a problem with pencil and pen and using
    manipulative. They should spend an equal amount
    of time in basic skills and problem solving,
    exploration activities should be given every once
    in a while in order for you to know how much they
  • Students shouldnt be able to use technology
    during mathematics class, because math is a
    subject of thinking and finding solutions. In my
    opinion because of all the technology we have,
    students dont have the chance of thinking.
    Students shouldnt be able to use technology
    during mathematics class, because math is a
    subject of thinking and finding solutions. In my
    opinion because of all the technology we have,
    students dont have the chance of thinking.

  • So I prefer my daughter to get less technology
    in the classroom and more problem solving, also
    at the end of
  • class you should give them a couple of open
  • questions this will give you a sense of what
    they learn and what they are confuse in. homework
    should be based on what was taught in class, but
    you can also give them one or two challenging
    problems which you will explain in the next
    class. By doing this you have a sense of which
    student are prepared for the next lesson and
    which students need more practice.. It should
    have some writing assignments this way students
    can explain there solutions. I am looking forward
    to hear from you I hope you take into
    consideration some of my advices and comments. If
    you have any questions please let me know. I want
    to be as much as possible involved in my
    daughters education all for Melanies best
    success. Sincerely, Ramy Guzman

Response to Ramys Posting
  • Dear Ramy, Your suggestions are vital to the
    basic math skills.However I think that although
    calculators should not be allowed the use of
    computers is vital.This is so because in today's
    society everything is being computerized.The
    child should gain hands on experience with the
    use of computers.If the child is able to use the
    computer and access information which is
    necessary to complete his assignments he would
    gain self confidence.This would help the child to
    be capable of using the computer for other
    assignments as well. I hope this response would
    help you to think thoroughly about the advantages
    and disadvantages of the use of computers.Being
    able to use the computer is very different from
    using the calculator.I totally disagree with the
    use of calculators when teaching basic math

Blackboard Assignment 3
  • NCTM STANDARDS This assignment is related to the
    assigned reading of the following websites
    NCTM http//standards.nctm.org/document/appendi
    x/numb.htm In the above document click on
    Principles or go to http//standards.nctm.org/docu
    ment/chapter2/index.htm Then Standards
    htm Then Pre K-2 http//standards.nctm.org/docum
    ent/chapter4/numb.htm Then 3-5 (Overview of
    Standards 3-5) http//standards.nctm.org/document
    /chapter5/numb.htm W. G. Quirks
    website http//www.wgquirk.com/Tr
    uthK12.html http//www.wgquirk.com
    /Genmath.html http//www.wgquirk.c

  • 1) Please use VERBS that indicate the kind of
    mathematical activity that takes place in a
    classroom that is described by NCTM Standards.
    Shortly describe the kind of activities that
    takes place in such a classroom. (You are NOT
    asked to list the Standards but synthesize your
    reading of the Standards and visualize a
    classroom based on NCTM Standards.) 2) Please
    use VERBS that indicate the kind of mathematical
    activity that takes place in a classroom that is
    described by W. G. Quirk. Shortly describe the
    kind of activities that takes place in such a
    classroom. (Try to visualize a classroom based on
    W. G. Quirks website.) 3) If you were an
    elementary school student, from which of the two
    classes would you have benefited more? Explain in
    detail why? (I do not want TWO WORD answers.)
    4) a) What are some of the advantages of being
    in an NCTM friendly mathematics classroom? b)
    What are some of the advantages in being in a
    mathematics classroom described by W. G. Quirk?

Dianas Response to 3rd Assignment
  • 1) The kind of activity that takes places in a
    classroom that is described by NCTM standards
    substitute math appreciation content for
    traditional K-12 math content. NCTM believes that
    traditional K-12 math is too difficult for most
    children. Their version of math reform omits
    the essence of traditional K-12 math, including
    standard computational skills, symbolic
    manipulation skills, and mathematical reasoning
    skills. 2) The kind of activities that take place
    in the mathematics classroom as described by W.G.
    Quirk is more teacher centered than
    students. Students learn with the teacher
    instruction. W.G Quirk teachers are giving out
    their daily plan for the day.

  • 3) I f I was in elementary school I would like to
    take benefited
  • the NCTM because it give me more benefits as
    student. It is
  • more fun because I use visual and make me more
    confident with math
  • because I use more creative ideas. The other
    method I dont like
  • because the teacher is the center of the class
    and it make me distrait
  • and make me bored.
  • 4) a) The advantage of being in an NCTM friendly
  • classroom are teachers and students made a good
    relationship with
  • students feel comfortable in ask question and
    receive well explanation
  • for their teacher. Also students have the
    opportunity to interact with
  • other classmates and learn with their ideas or
    mistakes. Teachers
  • help students recognize that the challenge of
    genuine math are
  • exciting and rewarding in ways that go well
    beyond the math must be
  • fun and easy
  • b) The advantage of being in a Quirk guide
    mathematics classroom are
  • that the teachers teach their specific topics in
    math. Teachers use
  • the curriculum.
  • It must be coherent, focus on important
    mathematics, and well
  • articulated across the grades. Students are focus
    in what the teacher teach in classroom.
    Teachers dont have time for students
    ask question.

The Dialogue That Follows
  • Dear Diana, I have read your posting and it is
    very interesting however, I disagree with your
    reason for preferring the NCTM method. I don't
    think that math is based on creativity. I think
    that math is based on facts. Therefore we have to
    be taught the facts and concepts as they exist.
    We should not try to alter the main idea of math.
    Although there can be many fun problems there
    must be challenging problems based on the
    specific topic. Math lessons should not be based
    on how the students feel or what they think
    should be taught. Math lessons should be based on
    what is essential to build a good basic math
  • Shelisa

  • Diana, I disagree that math is in the NCTM class
    would be more creative. English class is meant to
    be made creative and not mathematics. I couldn't
    see how someone would get bored in the Quirk
    teached class. Mathematics is not meant to be fun
    after the 3rd grade in my opinion. Math is fun
    when you're just beginning it. Math is meant to
    be learned. If I had a more structed class maybe
    I would've learned math better. While I didn't
    find mathematics to be very interesting in
    elementary schoool I knew that is was something
    that had to be learned for my own
    future. Albina

  • Albina You don't agree with me, I understand,
    but it is my opinion. Math is not my favority
    subject.I like the idea to learn with NTCM method
    because I like to learn with creativity. This
    method give children the oportunity to explore
    with visual and manipulatives things to made
    essay easy their knowledge in math.
  • Diana

  • Diana,
  • My question is whoever said
  • mathematics was easy? I've never been
  • told that math was easy. If I'm a
  • woman in my 30's and I find math to be
  • headache indusing inducing, I'd hate to
  • think how children feel about math today!
  • Yes, you are entitled to your opinion.
  • Thanks for letting me share mine. Albina

Blackboard Assignment 4
  • By now you should have finished reading the
    websites listed below if you have not please do
    so BEFORE you continue with Assignment 4. In
    the http//www.pdkintl.org/kappan/k0111rey.htm1a
    website, there is a brief summary of the view
    point that supports the NCTM recommendations.
    There are many who oppose the NCTM
    recommendations (W.G. Quirk was just one of
    many.) Below you will find websites that express
    these opposing views. Some of these websites were
    developed by parents who are trying to get their
    voices heard. http//www.educationnews.org/nyc_ma
    th_warsnyc_honest_open_log.htm http//www.mathema
    ticallycorrect.com/wsj.htm http//educationupdate
    l http//www.educationnews.org/math_wars_new

  • 1) Please go to Blackboard Assignment 2 and
    review what you and some of your classmates
    wanted your children to do in mathematics class
    from a parents perspective at the beginning of
    the term. (You do not need to write anything here
    but just reflect) 2) Having read the websites
    listed above, you should know more about parents
    perspectives as well as those that are pro-NCTM.

  • In your group, half of you will take the
    position of parents who are against NCTM and half
    of you will take the position of teachers who are
    pro-NCTM. As a group you will discuss your
    different view points. The outcome of such a
    debate can be that either one group convinces the
    other or they as a whole reach a more balanced
    view on the issues. (During this debate take good
    notes on what points each side made and how an
    issue or issues resolved or not.) 3) I want you
    to make a powerpoint presentation one per
    group- listing the original views of both sides
    and how those views got modified during the
    debate. What conclusions if any did you reach as
    a whole group? Please post your powerpoint
    presentation on the Blackboard.

Points of the Debate
  • Drill / Problem Solving
  • Group work /Individual Work
  • Does writing has a place in math classroom?
  • Should use of technology be allowed especially a

Comparison of Debates Between Groups
  • Group 2   
  • Where your technology agreement is concerned, our
    group arrived at
  • a similar conclusion with respect to the use of
    calculators. Our group
  • thinks that they should be used only to solve
    long, difficult equations.
  • When it came to the computers, the parents in our
    group were
  • convinced by the teachers of the importance of
    computers. They
  • agreed that the teachers could give assignments
    that involved the
  • computers to access websites assigned by the
    teachers and
  • supervised by the parents.   
  • When comparing your group discussion agreement
    and our conclusion
  • the views vary somewhat. Your group agreed to
    have more group
  • discussions. Our group decided that there needed
    to be a more
  • balanced approach. Discussions would be part of
    the lesson, but
  • shorter. Also, some would be lead by the teacher
    with the class kept as a whole.   

  • Your group had a writing agreement, where you
  • decided to basically eliminate writing for math
  • Our group addressed the parents concerns about
  • too much writing with homework. We agreed that
  • word problems and think and write questions
  • be part of everyday homework along with some
  • drills. The think and write questions would be
  • the lines of asking the students to write out
  • words the steps they used to solve a particular
  • problem. This encourages the student to learn the
  • algorithms, but at the same time think for
  • themselves and write. They can draw the algorithm
  • from their understanding.
  • Group I

Blackboard Assignment 5
  • In your last Blackboard assignment (4) you
    have wrote the view points you have reached after
    a debate on what is usually known as Math Wars.
    Below are some websites that reflect a more
    balanced view on the issue compared with the
    previous ones you have read through out the
    semester. Read these websites. http//gseweb.harv

  • The four websites below are the four pages of
    the same link and you can go to the next page
    simply by clicking next. http//www.ed.gov/admi
    e020.html http//www.ed.gov/admins/lead/math/ms/e
    dlite-slide021.html http//www.ed.gov/admins/lead
    /math/ms/edlite-slide022.html 1) After reading
    the above websites, compare how they are similar
    and different than your final position as was
    outlined in Blackboard assignment 4.

A Sample Answer
  • After finishing debating on what is better for
    kids, we have
  • many similarities and differences on whether the
  • or NCTM is better for the kids to learn.
  • Some similarities were
  • Students understand and show more interest when
    taught with
  • real life math problems.
  • Students should learn how to use calculators in
    other to solve
  • higher level math. We agree that students should
  • the problem in other order to solve it.
  • When students are involve in group discussion
    they tend to
  • feel more comfortable. Also students show more
    enthusiastic in the lesson. Also students
    tend to understand better from their own
    peers than from teachers.

  • Some differences were
  • During the debate we argued about what can be the
    best for
  • the kids. As teachers we believe that the use of
    calculators at
  • an early age should be limited. but students
    still need to
  • understand what is happening in those
    calculations Because in
  • order for a child to understand a problem one
    must first know
  • how to do it with pen and pencil. Others believe
  • calculators shouldnt be used at all.
  • Some said that group discussions are good , this
    way all
  • student contribute and it increase their
    proficiency. Others
  • said that students get disturb when working in
  • Even though we had many differences we got to an
  • If kids are taught with a combination of both the
  • and the NCTM, students will learn the math
    concept better. Students will have the
    ability to solve the problems more

Blackboard Assignment 6
  • Assume you are teaching in an elementary
    school that embraces the NCTM Standards. (You may
    want to refer to the following websites for the
    NCTM recommendations http//standards.nctm.org/do
    cument/chapter3/numb.htm, http//standards.nctm.or
    g/document/chapter5/numb.htm, http//standards.nct
    m.org/document/chapter5/alg.htm. ) However, some
    of the parents are concerned that their children
    are not spending enough time learning the basics.
    (You may want to refer to the following sites for
    parents concerns http//www.educationnews.org/ny

  • 1) You are asked to create 2 lesson plans
    (the items that need
  • to be included in your lesson plan are
    listed at the end of this assignment for your
    reference) on the topic of Adding Fractions with
    Different Denominators that you would cover in
    two consecutive lessons. (Make sure that you are
    really doing only addition and not other related
    topics.) In preparing these lessons you want to
    take into account both the viewpoints of your
    school administration and those of the parents.
    Make sure you attach any hand-outs, homework
    sheets etc. you intend to give to your students.
    Your lesson plans should include ALL the
    drills/problems you intend to cover in class.
    Assume you have already covered the topic on
    Adding Fractions with the Same Denominator and
    other prerequisite topics which you should list
    in your lesson plan. 2) Write a description of
    how your approach addresses the standards and the
    parents concerns. Do NOT write what the NCTM
    recommendations are or what parents concerns
    are. What you need to do is item by item analyze
    your lesson plan (the motivational strategy used,
    each drill, each problem, the teaching strategy
    used, each item in the homework assigned) and
    discuss if it satisfies one view or another and
    if so why.

  • Grade
  • Topic
  • Aim
  • Previous Knowledge Assumed
  • Materials Needed
  • Teaching Method
  • Motivation
  • Drills/Problems
  • What Can Go Wrong?
  • Homework
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