Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Math Concept Splash and More Great Resources on Scribd

I just received this email and wanted to pass along some great resources to you.
Hi Mr D,

I am a retired math teacher from Leominster, MA who is part of a team that offers Mass Summer Institutes each year that are funded by the Massachusetts Department of Education. During the institutes, we teach algebra and geometry content while modeling the use of many strategies that support all learners in middle school and high school. I've posted dozens of sample strategies on Scribd, a document-sharing website.

My favorite strategy is the Math Concept Splash, which I've modified from the pre-reading Word Splash strategy, which we learned about in our district from The Skillful Teacher: Building Your Teaching Skills. In the example we were shown, vocabulary words, phrases, sentences, and ideas from an assigned-reading article were “splashed” on a page and students were asked to brainstorm what they knew and thought they knew before actually reading the article.

As math teachers, we wondered how we could use the splash as a strategy in our middle school and high school classes. I created this Functions and Relations Splash based on using multiple representations—words, graphs, table of values, and equations—to use in several ways: to check for prior knowledge from a previous course or chapter; to review before a chapter or semester exam; and to review for state assessment tests. Since the initial time we learned about splashes, teachers from our district and our summer institutes have created more than 50 splashes for grades 5 through AP Calculus.

Here are 3 links from Scribd that will help math teachers understand how to use a splash in math class.
  1. The Splash Intro Sheet created as a teacher guide to using a concept splash in math class.
  2. The Functions and Relations Splash created for algebra through pre-calculus classes to review math concepts.
  3. The same Functions and Relations Splash as a PowerPoint presentation, showing how the teacher and students can use it in class to check for prior knowledge and to review.
There are more than a dozen additional Math Concept Splashes posted on Scribd and also directions for creating them in Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.
I've never used Scribd before I got this email. It's a pretty interesting platform for sharing documents, using a format called iPaper which the creators tout as a "a fast and light alternative to PDF". I quickly found some practice problems on radians and degrees, which I've been covering in my Algebra II class, so there's some potential for lesson planning there.

There's all kinds of content there, from recent issues of Scientific American to sample student answers from a math test. It's worth exploring. If you have any of your content or know of great stuff on there, please share it in the comments!