Up Side Down Teaching

What is it?

Cathy Seeley, former president of NCTM, suggest something called up-side down teaching. Rather than starting a lesson with the identification of procedures and simple examples, and working up to a rich, challenging problem, teachers who practice Upside-down Teaching begin with the rich, challenging problem. Seeley suggests the following outline: Start with a rich problem, engage students in dealing with the problem by discussing, comparing, and interacting, help students connect and notice what they’ve learned, then assign exercises and homework. This approach is similar to project based learning. An over arching theme of instruction and staff development needs to target students who see education as something they are participating in rather than being done to them. Constructive Struggling interview with Cathy Seeley (scroll to the bottom of the page) Read the article above, "The Power of Yet", "I have not learned this skill YET."

A great example and video demonstration

Dan Meyer uses videos capture student interest and to on reshaping the math curriculum to make it more relevant and problem orientated. Dan encourages teachers to teach students the math that's all around them. Will the basketball continue on a course to go into the basket? Going up and down escalator presents velocity questions. Watch the (4 min) video of DanSame video from Dan at ASCD
Upside down teaching GREAT Dan Meyer, math needs a make over.
Marilyn Burns
  • Use word problems to build understanding of when and how operations are used.
Dan Meyer
Sir Ken Robinson on creativity.

failure is just an opportunity for success
When looked at correctly, failure can teach us where we went wrong in the first place, and how we can learn to pick ourselves up again in a pursuit to succeed.
See more in this blog: http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/finding_common_ground/2012/01/the_benefits_of_failure.html

Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers

A video from TED. From rockets to stock markets, many of humanity's most thrilling creations are powered by math. So why do kids lose interest in it? Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant to real mathematics and the real world.
found at http://www.ted.com/talks/conrad_wolfram_teaching_kids_real_math_with_computers.html

Want Children to "Pay Attention"? Make Their Brains Curious! by Judy Willis

In 360 BC Plato advised against force-feeding of facts to students. Children are paying attention, just not to the boring things in class. Judy looks at the value of curiosity in helping information get past the RAS--Reticular Activating System which determines what gets into the brain.
Psychology Today posting of article from Judy Willis
ASCD blog posting of article (same article as above) from Judy Willis
Make Children Curious Judy wils.doc word document of article from Judy

Relevance Students are likely to learn more when they use their bodies -- a concept called active learning -- says educational technology consultant Ben Johnson. In this blog post, Johnson writes that the bodies become an extension of the brain. http://www.edutopia.org/blog/mind-body-learning-activities-ben-johnson

Confusing the Drills With the Game

Copy of page from Schooling by Design--by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe
Students quickly tire of practice, practice, practice and need to actually "play the game" so that they know why they are learning what they are learning and to be motivated to practice. Drill vs game SbD.pdf

Creating questions and self-testing better for memory than reviewing notes.
The time students invest in rereading or reviewing their notes would be better spent practicing retrieval to ensure better learning, according to new research from Purdue University. "We continue to show that practicing retrieval, or testing yourself, is a powerful, robust tool for learning," said Jeffrey D. Karpicke, an assistant professor of psychological sciences who studies learning and memory. "Our new research shows that practicing retrieval is an even more effective strategy than engaging in elaborative studying. Educators, researchers, and students are often focused on getting things 'in memory,' so techniques that encourage students to elaborate on the material are often popular. But learning is fundamentally about retrieving, and our research shows that practicing retrieval while you study is crucial to learning. Self-testing enriches and improves the learning process, and there needs to be more focus on using retrieval as a learning strategy." More information is available at http://memory.psych.purdue.edu.


  • Have students take pictures of their world, import the pictures into Geogebra and analyze the characteristics such as slope and shapes,
  • http://illuminations.nctm.org/LessonDetail.aspx?id=L835 From NCTM, determine the weight of a car by using the air pressure of the tires and the footprint (area of tire in contact with ground)


http://mathalicious.com/ Select level or area and a list of relevant questions related to math are asked.
http://www.edutopia.org/stem-education-online-resource-stemtube STEM activities and projects. Underdevelopment is the site http://www.stemtube.com/
http://www.atetv.org/ The National Science Foundation is sponsoring an online video series aimed at high school students who are interested in math and science. The videos inform them of the many different high-tech jobs that are available to students who like math and science. The program also showcases college programs that will prepare them for these careers. A new video is posted each week.
http://www.thefutureschannel.com/ This web site has short video related to how math and science are used in problems, projects and careers.

How to structure class time. http://ascd.typepad.com/blog/2011/04/bell-to-bell-instruction-vs-golden-rule-of-15-minutes.html ASCD author and a 2011 Teacher of the Year Kadhir Rajagopal advises putting his algebra students -- even the most at-risk kids -- in the learning hot seat with an approach he refers to as "the golden 15 minutes of teaching" or "interactive teach-back."