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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Progress Logs Improving what I don’t like teaching

  • Improving what I don’t like teaching

    Posted by Janice Robertson on November 19, 2020 at 8:41 pm

    One of my goals is to find ways to make my least favourite units more exciting… not just for the students, but for myself as well. I find the data management unit in gr. 8 to be very uninteresting and not a lot different from what they do in grade 7, so I’d like to find tasks that make it more engaging.

    Kyle Pearce replied 1 year, 11 months ago 3 Members · 3 Replies
  • 3 Replies
  • Jon

    November 20, 2020 at 1:01 pm

    @janice-robertson Great plan here! – So far, what have you found to improve data management?

  • Janice Robertson

    December 8, 2020 at 10:49 am

    To be honest, not a lot. I run into a lot of roadblocks… the secondary data the students would really like… relevant, recent and Canadian is almost always not available. Although stats Canada has some decent data it often doesn’t engage the students as much as I’d hoped.

    Getting enough primary data to be significant is also an obstacle because you can’t have three classes of grade eights conducting surveys and hoping that each student is going to answer 90 surveys. So collecting and organizing data has a very phoney feel to it because the sample size is so small. I used to love the census at school activity where the data was pooled into a huge collection and you had the results from all across Canada. I wanted them to expand the questions and they never did.

    My students were interested in sleep data specifically regarding Ontario teenagers and transportation data like average length of time on a school bus or in a car or walking to school and how they get to school and even who regularly drives them to school IF they’re driven and how often do they carpool if ever.

    Making infographics used to be an engaging activity but now it’s part of grades 6 7 and 8.

    Scatterplots are frustrating because you need so much data in order to reliably determine if there is a correlation and again the data that is available isn’t that exciting to a grade 8 students. I don’t want to suck the joy out of data by always forcing it to be tied to geography or some other school subject content.

    • Kyle Pearce

      December 10, 2020 at 6:44 am

      I feel ya! I used to teach the grade 12 data management course and found that it took a while to get some Momentum with our statistics projects.
      I wonder if we were to spread out your data expectations as a year long project that you commit a bit of time say each week or couple of weeks to it where students are given some time to work towards something bigger… an ongoing project.. would that break up the monotony of collecting, organizing, and interpreting the data?