On the Job Training: Using GeoGebra in Teaching Math

For the last several years, our Institute has been accepting on the job trainees from nearby universities. These trainees are undergraduate students taking up bachelor’s degree in education. As for our group, we are accepting students who are taking education major in mathematics.

This year, we have accepted two students who are on their third year of university studies. I have been handling them already for three weeks of their 6-week course. In this post and the next several posts, I will be sharing our activities during the training.

During our first meeting, the two students shared that they wanted to deepen their understanding on content and strategies in teaching mathematics. Since my specialization is on the use of technology, I have designed their training with the focus of integrating technology in teaching mathematics. This includes familiarization with various theoretical frameworks used in teaching mathematics using technology, using a software in creating teaching and learning materials, and developing lessons with technology integration. Once a week, we also discuss key content topics in high school mathematics and various ways to teach them.

The GeoGebra Interface (via Wikipedia)

At the end of the training, the students are expected to develop applets and lessons using GeoGebra. They will implement the lessons with me and my colleagues as audience. After the implementation of the lesson, we will comment on how the lessons can be improved.  Their last task is to revise the lesson. Their major output is a lesson plan.

For those who are not familiar with GeoGebra, it is free software that can be used for teaching and learning mathematics. You can download it here and there are various tutorials on learning the software here. GeoGebra is available on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android operating systems.  You can use it on laptops, tablets, and mobile phones.

An Open Letter to New Teachers

Two weeks ago, I shared to you about A Mathematician’s Lament, an essay by Paul Lockhart about the mishaps of teaching in K-12 Mathematics. In this post, I’m going to share to you about an open letter to new teachers, a great piece written by Sam Shah in his blog, that discusses teaching tips. I think it’s a must read for new teachers, especially math teachers.


Here is Sam’s letter.

Dear person about to enter the classroom as a full-time teacher,

I love you. Okay, fine, not quite true — maybe respect, like, or lurve is more appropriate — but you have a passion for something and you’re following it. I don’t know if that passion is for the subject you teach, or for working with kids, or the deeply interesting intellectual puzzle of how to get someone to understand something, or for (in the booming Wizard of Oz voice) the Betterment of All Mankind. Regardless, this thing that brings you to the classroom is wonderful, because it puts you in the same ranks as those wonderful teachers that loom large in your past who inspired you and who helped you recognize that what they do has some worth. Continue reading…

A Mathematician’s Lament

A Mathematician’s Lament is a critique written by Paul Lockhart on how K-12 mathematics is taught. I have read this essay ages ago, but I didn’t have the chance to share it.  I recommend this reading to all mathematics teachers. Paul Lockhart, the author,  is mathematician who decided to teach K – 12 mathematics.

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