Tina Ayers

521 Blog Post 3

Creativity is a way to get people to come up with new and
meaningful ideas or ways of solving a problem. Students use creativity when
they work in groups and are brainstorming ways in which they might approach a
problem. The students analyze their work by comparing it to their group mates
in order to maximize their understanding. Sometimes, however in our classroom
it may be hard to find evidence that allows for students to use creativity to
accomplish any assignments or problems. I co-teach in a high school geometry
class, with the primary source of information coming from pre-formed skeleton
notes that the department uses every day and the homework is a set of problems
from the textbook. Everything is very cut and dry, but I don’t think that it is
the department to blame because everything is so rushed that the issue seems to
be a lack of time to implement any creativity. Projects and special activities
may be seen as having the potential to eat up too much time; time needed to get
through all of the state standards. We had an assignment that fostered
creativity last week where the students had to make a visual representation to
show the relationships between quadrilaterals; giving their properties, a
picture of each and show how they are related. The outcome of the variety and creativity
was pretty good and it helped the students make more connections. The knowledge
acquisition is apparent in the proceeding next lessons while the students
showed more comprehension through the lessons.

Problem solving a critical thinking occur in group investigations
where the students are given a shape and asked to discover the properties by
using various investigatory techniques. Such properties as: base angles of an
isosceles trapezoid are congruent, etc. The students use inductive and deductive
reasoning to solve their geometrical proofs. The students are constantly being
reminded of how the things that they are learning on any given day are
definitely part of a bigger picture that will build on each other.

Communication, discussion, and collaboration usually occur
every day in the classroom by having the students work in pairs to solve the
examples that go with the day’s lesson. When it comes time for an exam, the
students are given a full day to work in groups to complete a review worksheet.
Discussion can take place during the lesson if a student asks a question and it
may be possible for another student to come up with another explanation, but
this is a rare occurrence, it’s usually the teacher talking and the students
listening. The students collaborate to get their homework folders passed back
through their row and back up to the front in a timed manner. The teacher will
put up a timer ion the board and the students have, say 1 minute and 30 seconds
to get the task accomplished. They work together to get it done in order to
avoid getting a quiz at the end of the class if they don’t make it by the time
the buzzer goes off.

Information literacy is taught to the students through the
textbook, the teacher’s classroom website and through the notes. The use of
this information on the teachers website should be used as a supplement to the
students work and enhance their understanding. It should not be used as the
primary source of information for their education. The information on the
website is public, so they can technically save it or share it.

In our classroom we support and teach media literacy when we
assign and do mathematical word problems. We always tell the students to
analyze the problems and look carefully for key words, such as: median, equals,
perpendicular, etc. We also introduce
the information to the students in different forms by showing them different
visual displays from the internet, programs we’ve created, posters, and
graphing calculators. This type of information we’ve used doesn’t have the risk
of running into any legal issues because it’s YouTube, which is public.

In our class, we use the teacher’s website to post all notes
packets, homework assignments, keys to the notes, and additional videos to
supplement learning. Technology is used in a grade reporting system that the
students have access to where they can check their grades and read teachers
comments. This helps keep the students organized by giving them access to the daily
pre-printed notes skeleton packets and homework worksheets and assignments. They
are able to evaluate their progress in class and keep track daily if desired. A
way to communicate with the teacher or e ach other using technology is via
email.

The students are prompted to work independently on some
assignments in class, and they are assigned homework every night which they
usually do on their own. They get credit for doing their homework and suffer
the consequences if they do not. They are allowed two late homework assignments
per term. They may save them and get extra credit at the end of the term if
they didn’t use them. This allows them to see the value in completing
assignments. They are also not given leeway for accidentally forgetting their
work, even if they did it. I think this prepares them for the real world by
showing them that excuses or not, if you don’t have your work to submit, then
it’s too bad.

The students are given opportunities every day to work in
pairs and on someday they are to work in groups of four. The seating chart is
switched up periodically through the term to give everyone a chance to get to
know each other and use each other for their diverse sense of knowledge. They
may get a chance to see a problem solved in a way that they m ay never have
thought of which expands their understanding of the mathematics.

Creativity is something that needs to be let out of every
individual in order to make the world a more diverse, enriching, and more
sustainable place to live; to thrive in.

I agree with your assertion that students must be allowed to use creativity in the classroom. I think this is one of the reasons many students become frustrated with math and find it dififcult because it is extremely formulaic. I think applying math to the real world and in project based learning where students are forced to use math to get to a goal would be extremely helpful and foster creativity. I think something you might want to look into is various simulated programs.

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