TA activities for students aged 12-13 to understand mathematical operations with negative and positive numbers.

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# Alexander Sokol 2020-01-28 09:51
Noelia, welcome to the site and many thanks for sharing your materials! I am sure they will be interesting for many colleagues.
One question before looking at the proposed system of tasks. Have you already tried them out with learners or is it just a plan and you are looking for our comments before trying them out?
# Noelia García Rincón 2020-01-29 11:35
Thank you for your welcome. The situation is a mixture of the two options you mentioned. I have already tried similar tasks with learners and then I improved them taking into account the results. So, It would be fine if someone could give me their opinion to use this activities next time.
# Natalja Kovilina 2020-03-13 10:20
Hello, Noelia,
Thanks for your system of tasks for Math lessons! I with some Math teachers looked at your materials. We like the way of organising the reseach. For the "beginner"it's really great. And for sure we have some questions - it's a good sign :-)
You wrote to Alexander that you had tried some tasks and then had done some changes. What kind of changes had been done and why? We'd like to know if the students found all 4 classifications (tasks1.1.) and what you did if they didn't find? In the tasks 1.3. you ask the students to write "describe" different operations. Did you plan that the students would do these operations? Did your task about Clara help the students to come to the hyposethis? We think the tasks about Clara are useful but they will take the students away form the hyposethis? What about the result of research? Were there any different hyposethises? How many lessons did you use for this research? Did you like this way of teaching? What kind of problems did you face? What about students, their impression? Thank you.
# Noelia García Rincón 2020-03-26 10:14
Hi Natalja,
Thank you for your feedback, as it is my first TA material, it is so useful for me. I'm sorry for not having answered earlier.
The changes I made were realted to organization. The tasks are the same but some are divided to get students to understand them better.
In task 1.1. my students didn't find "absolute value of the result". The other three were found by most of them and when they debated together comparing their results they completed them. I can't remember well what I did to help them, sorry. Perhaps I asked them to focus on how to get the value of the result.
In task 1.3. my plan wasn't students to calculate the operations they made. It was just thought to realize the number of possible combinations in operations in order to focus on the elements that can interfere in these different operations.
I think you are right about Clara's task. Perhaps it is better to work it in a separate way, just before to start with the tasks. I included it because I notice a problem in integer numbers operations about giving a name when a negative sign appears, is it a negative number or a substraction? But, I see what you mean, it is not well connected with the hypothesis.
Related to hypothesis, they started to focus on things that weren't relevant like odd and even numbers, and they wanted to use the same hypothesis for all the different operations. I told them to check their ideas with the cards from the bank before to write it down. When they compare their results with their classmates they realize that some hypothesis were stronger than others.
I use three lessons for the research, but as we are working with integer numbers all the year, I usually remember them to check their work.
I do like this way of teaching but I think I need to develop more materials and having more real lessons to feel comfortable with it. Also my students are not prepared to this way of learning because at the beginning they were so lost, but I think it is perfectly normal. The main problem was my students are used to ask for any question even before thinking about it. And also I am used to answer these questions, so changing the class model was the most difficult thing to do. However I think it's worth a try. At the end of the activity I think my students were getting used to working like this and I think the really understood how to operate with integer numbers.
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