Upper School English teacher Jamie McQueen forwarded along this article on the launch of PhotoMath, an app that does math for you and shows work. Many are understandably concerned about the impact this will have on learning. After the display of excitement at this week’s Math Olympics, we aren’t too concerned.
Here’s a note from math teacher Annette Osband:
“A lot of exciting things have been happening in math class lately!
It all started with a handful of Grade 5 kids getting an extension project: make a pie chart on Excel, then make it by hand (degrees and all). The four presented to fellow classmates in the other math group while their teacher was out. Excel caught on like wildfire: all of the other class wanted to do it. Fellow Math teacher Maureen Malley made a structured task for them, better than my initial one. Excel spread like wildfire throughout the classes.
We have concluded our first unit on data and measurement, which was greatly enjoyed by all. “Measurement Olympics” generated data on three sporting events: penny toss, running and hula-hoop. One of the highlights was Bella K, who set a new all time Whitby record with 3169 revolutions. This clearly affected our mean!
Students created visual representations and analyzed the data, following our significant concept that“ almost everything that can be measured can be visually displayed”. Just as importantly, they became familiar with Excel, and avidly applied their new knowledge to organizing and counting data, creating pie charts and histograms. Parents visited the classrooms last Friday to see the projects in action.
The classrooms were buzzing with excitement! As happens so often, all good things start with a handful of kids getting excited about an idea."