Integrating Higher-Order Thinking Skills into Math


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Integrating Higher-Order Thinking Skills into Middle and High School Math

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Clif Mims ID: clifmims Join my PLN and let’s learn together.

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Instructional Design and Technology Certificate Technology Integration Graduate Degrees Library Sciences Program Instructional Design & Technology

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All materials are available online:

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What kinds of lessons, activities, assignments, etc. would a visitor to your classroom observe?

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It’s not about the technology. It’s about learning.

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Images from

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Images from

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Images from

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How Do Students Describe Our Math Classes?

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Student Voices “I don’t know why we have to learn math. The only place you use it is at school…what’s the point?” Sierra 9th Grade

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Student Voices “I’m always scared in that class…either your answer is wrong or it’s right and I’m always worrying that mine is wrong.” Crystal 8th Grade

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Student Voices “All we ever do in there is work on problems. Everyday we have to do about 20 more and if we don’t finish in class we just have to do them for homework.” Ricardo 8th Grade

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Student Voices “Math is easy. All you have to do is memorize the steps…don’t really have to think about it much.” Derek 6th Grade

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What Advice Would You Offer Future Teachers about Integrating HOTS?

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Some Advice I’d Share Conceptual Understanding Could potentially lead to increased problem solving abilities.

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Some Advice I’d Share Design Opportunities for Students to “Create” Highest Bloom’s Level Produce products More than just repeating memorized steps

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Some Advice I’d Share Student-Created Problems and Solutions Teach classmates, younger classes, or parents Ability to teach requires high level of understanding PowerPoint, video, Glogster, Blabberize, Xtranormal

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Some Advice I’d Share Let Students Explore Instruction booklets for video games have gotten smaller. Learn to play through exploration.

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Some Advice I’d Share Allow Students to Struggle. Careful Not to Always Rescue them.

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Some Advice I’d Share Informative Assessment

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Digital Media in the Classroom

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Example Digital Poster Student Created Problem and Tutorial

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VoiceThread Example Triangle Scavenger Hunt

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Examples of Animated Video Student Created Problem and Tutorial The First Derivative of a Function

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Tool Time

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Audio Examples First Day of Preschool Dear Mrs. Estep…

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The preposterously easy way to post everything online using email.

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Posterous Examples Let’s Post Something! Photos, .Doc, .Ppt, Audio, Video, and more Can use embed codes Has RSS Teaching & Learning with Web 2.0 (Group Blog)

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Let’s Be Real

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Follow-up Discussion Discuss using these kinds of activities and projects in the classroom. Are there any benefits? Are there any disadvantages? How realistic would this be in your teaching situation? How do you think the students would react to being assessed with these kinds of strategies?

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Although teachers may not be comfortable using technology it is important to consider allowing students to use it to communicate their understanding as they are often more naturally able to more fully express themselves with digital media.

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Related Resources The following workshop resources may be helpful. Multiple Representations of Mathematic Understanding Multiple Representations of Language Arts Understanding

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Special Thanks to Ryan Graham Kannapolis Middle School

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It’s not about the technology. It’s about learning.

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Presentation materials and many other teacher resources available at

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Clif Mims ID: clifmims Join my PLN and let’s learn together.

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Summary: Integrating higher-order thinking skills and problem solving into middle and high school mathematics

Tags: blooms clifmims hots math teaching clif mims pd professional development ncctim