Monday, September 10, 2012

Example from Vietnam

The example from Vietnam is on the speed of tsunami waves. It looks at depth, velocity and wavelength.

This presentation brings together the essence of this meeting:
(1) including authentic situations (such as tsunami and earthquakes) in mathematics learning
(2) providing opportunities for mathematical modelling
(3) stimulating interest in the use of mathematics by various professions
(4) use of internet resources which includes information and tools (5)

In the long run, other people may add lower-grade versions or higher-grade versions of the same lesson. I found a fairly simple version on this topic - speed of tsunami.

That is the beauty of e-book - it is dynamic, at least it should be.

Example from The Philippines

The e-book can provide information that mathematics teachers may not be an expert in. In contextual learning, teachers may need more information on the science of earthquakes and tsunami. Materials like this may give mathematics teachers confidence in dealing with real situations outside mathematics.

One feature of the e-book is to provide teachers with frameworks to organize open class discussion.

On interesting addition is an applet that allows students to arrange the furniture in a room and experiment what happens during earthquakes of different magnitudes.

I found one applet on earthquake (in French). Another one on epicentre.

Example from Malaysia

The example shows is to test the conjecture that the higher the magnitude of an earthquake the higher the death toll.

The lesson structure includes

  • Materials for motivation and to provide context for learning - videos, newspaper and so on
  • Presentation of a situation
  • Students posing problems or select from a collection of problems
  • Students solve the problems using suitable statistical tools
  • Students make conjectures for further investigation
  • Further self-directed learning
One suggestion is to have the same tools in all chapters and students need to learn to decide the best tool to use.

Example from South Korea

The example from Korea suggests a balance between information provided and student-generated data.

How Fast is the Tsunami? is the example shared. 

The format suggested includes the following part
(1) Information to set scenario - this can be some visual texts or videos (for this topic, a video is suitable)
(2) Links to provide better understanding of keywords and concepts
(3) Links for scaffold - differentiated learning where students who need more help can seek scaffolds while more able students will proceed without these scaffolds
(4) Students can use the e-book as a journal where they can enter their responses and sent to the teacher or shared with their peers.

I like the feature for differentiated instruction. We can also provide links for advanced students to receive challenging problems to extend and deepen their learning.

Ronel also suggested embedding, say, Excel.

Example from Indonesia

The example from Indonesia provides students with data on Indonesian earthquake where information on year of earthquake, magnitude, death toll and place of earthquake. Students are asked to pose problems based on the data.

Two advantages of having an e-book like this is (1) provide data source (2) provide differentiated learning.

The internet is full of such data. One way is to let students explore but an e-book can provide a few good examples so that younger students are not overwhelmed by data, making the learning of the main content difficult.

The e-book should allow students to pose and their the problems they posed.

Example from Hong Kong

Hong Kong

The tasks is based on arrival time of P-waves and S-waves and using the information to determine how far one is from the epicentre and hypocentre. Information about epicentre and hypocentre.

This is suitable for secondary level when students are learning simultaneous equations, trigonometry and Pythagoras theorem as well as locus.

The e-textbook may embed geometry tools such as GSP to allow students to do geometric construction using technological tools and explore the general case.

Patsy Wang also suggested including videos / interviews of actual work done by professionals in determining epicentres of earthquakes. How geologists use trilateration and other techniques can show how mathematics is used by different professions - in this case by geologists.

Example from Chile


Learning about what to do during an earthquake which includes identifying the 'safe zone' in the school. The mathematical task includes different ways to calculate the area of the 'safety zone' and if it is sufficient for the number of students in the classes that the zone caters to.

The figure is an L-shaped figure.

This is suitable for primary level when students are learning area of composite figures (comprising of rectangles). 

e-textbook format allows
(1) teachers to pull out the template of the L-shaped figure and discuss the methods students use to calculate the area
(2) teachers and students to show the unit square grid to confirm that their calculation is correct by 'counting squares' method

Examples from APEC - Khon Kaen International Conference

The APEC Specialists are working on examples of mathematical tasks that incorporate the idea of emergency preparedness with a focus on tsunami and earthquake. Seven economies presented their examples. The final product is an e-book for teachers to use in class.

At least two criteria that can be used to prepare the e-book is (1) to provide authentic and context-based learning to stimulate interest in mathematics and science learning (2) to provide a technologically dynamic learning environment to prepare students for the technological world. This is based on the idea that mathematical and scientific as well as technological literacies are critical in the learning of students in the APEC economies. 


Hong Kong