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Make Math Moments Academy Forums Community Discussion Water Cooler My BIG question: spiraling in asynchronous self-paced environment

  • My BIG question: spiraling in asynchronous self-paced environment

    Posted by Addie Otto on May 1, 2020 at 11:00 am

    This is something I’ve been wondering since I first heard about spiraling last fall. First, a little background: I teach in an alternative school where all students are working independently but until the pandemic were expected to attend school 3 hours per day (although many did not). I teach all levels of high school math and mainly use distance learning materials for academic math. Not exciting.

    A couple of years ago, I revamped my trades-entry math classes and blended the grade 10 and 11 levels into a single large course. The rationale was that students would be able to progress faster if we could eliminate the review portion from the grade 11 course. It’s been quite successful with many more students completing these math courses compared to previous years. They get to take math once in high school and I have much more control over the content. I’ve included the mind map of how I organized my program.

    I am very fortunate in this pandemic environment to have much more time available than usual so I’m looking for ways to make this combined course EVEN better. I wonder if spiraling might be the way to go (rather than learn it and lose it) and I would love some guidance on how to approach this.

    I would also love ideas on how to bring curiosity into the course and I’m really hoping that there’s more expertise out there now that more teachers are working asynchronously.

    Jennifer L’Arrivee replied 2 years, 8 months ago 2 Members · 2 Replies
  • 2 Replies
  • Addie Otto

    May 5, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    I was able to spend some time brainstorming this morning. What do you think of splitting the course into 3 stages:

    Finishing High School

    Moving Out

    Moving on Up

    • budgeting – utilities, different scenarios
    • travel – currency exchange, unit conversions, work vs play, Giant Rubber Duck, Airplane Problem
    • buying a home – fence (perimeter/pyth), grass (area), gardens (volume), rain barrel (volume vs area), mortgage (compound interest), renos (surface area), Railing Reconstruction

    In this scenario, there would be spiraling of some topics, but not others. I really want the spiraling to focus on the big rocks in our curriculum and not worry too much about other parts (like calculating income tax! Who needs to do that nowadays!).

    I would love some feedback (@jon @kyle) and especially if there are tasks/activities I’ve missed please let me know

  • Jennifer L’Arrivee

    May 20, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Hi Addie, You have put so much thought into developing this combined course. I love the idea of the three stages of life. These stages help connect the math they are learning to their development in life. So many of the topics within each stage, easily spiral into another stage allowing the students to work with the outcome several times. Impressive. I am just working on developing a Physics course that would tie in to a workplace math course. I will let you know how it goes.