Month: December 2014

Thankyou (By @happynikitakk)

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​Hey Sir,

Just wanted to say a thank you from myself and on behalf of the rest of the class for a great course this semester. I think we have all learnt so much over the past two terms. You’ve really changed my attitude towards mathematics and I have learnt that there is more to maths than just applying formulas and difficult algebra. There were times during this semester where i had my mind blown, times when I got really excited when I solved a problem and even times when my brain hurt and I really felt like giving up. But, all in all this course has been an eye-opening experience for me and I’ve learnt a lot. I never thought i’d say this but maths can actually be fun. Thanks again!

#exploremaths

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#ozftchat

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It’s taken me a long time to dip my toes into the ocean of Twitter, but I’ve found it to be a really enriching place to go. I’ve had the opportunity to strike up lots of relationships and be exposed to lots of ideas that I wouldn’t have heard about if I stayed in my own little educational neighbourhood.

One of the greatest social structures that have emerged from Twitter are the scheduled chats. These are often run weekly (others run once a month), and see people gather to chat about a theme that’s related to their field. Naturally, I gravitate towards the teacher chats. Twitter isn’t the ideal medium for lengthy discussion of complex and nuanced issues, but that’s not what these are about. They are more like a teachmeet than a lecture: they cover a broad range of topics and connect a variety of people together, which then opens the door for further conversation later on.

I was very privileged to be the guest on #ozftchat a couple of weeks ago. Australian Family-Teacher Chat is hosted by the wonderful Jeannette James, and is exactly what it sounds like: a time for teachers and families to interact on questions and issues that affect them both (and there are lots of those). It’s a brilliant idea and a great way to open lines of communication that are more frequent and flexible than the annual parent-teacher interview.

As you might be able to imagine, I was brought in because the theme of this particular chat was mathematics. You can read a Storify of the chat here to see how it unfolded.

In preparation for the chat, I threw together a few quotes that communicated some of the key ideas I wanted to get across. Here they are:

2_think_deeply

3_asking_questions

6_climb_together

If you’re into education at all, whether from the parent or teacher side (or both!), the @ozftchat account is definitely worth following!

Troubled Acronyms

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Random thought of the day…

Why have there been so many ways to describe people whose main language isn’t English? I count the following acronyms:

  1. ESL: English as a Second Language. Okay, so maybe English is your third or fourth language – I get the problem.
  2. LBOTE: Language Backgrounds Other Than English. So it has BOTE in the acronym, which is a homonym for BOAT, which might be the way that some refugees arrived in the country and has negative connotations with some? Okay, I guess that could be construed as an issue.
  3. NESB: Non-English Speaking Background. So what’s wrong with this one? I thought it rolled off the tongue quite nicely, actually.
  4. EAL/D: English as an Additional Language/Dialect. This one wins points for using an extra symbol to squeeze in more meaning. Yowzer, it sounds so awkward to say out loud: “Eee Ay Ell Slash Dee”.

I guess I shouldn’t stress about it… in a year or two we’ll probably have a new one.