Saturday, November 10, 2012


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.

1 comment:

  1. 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.